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SDAIA leverages AI to propel Saudi Arabia’s environmental sustainability and economic growth

The AI authority’s efforts also align with the aim of positioning the country as a leader in data and AI.

SDAIA leverages AI to propel Saudi Arabia’s environmental sustainability and economic growth
[Source photo: Krishna Prasad/Fast Company Middle East]

Saudi Arabia has been advancing its artificial intelligence agenda through various solutions and initiatives. AI could potentially contribute $135 billion to the Saudi economy by 2030, accounting for 12.4% of GDP. The Saudi Data and Artificial Intelligence Authority (SDAIA) has played a crucial role in shaping this direction and is a key source for this projection.

The efforts of the AI authority also align to position the country as a leader in data and AI, fostering investment, innovation, and the development of technological infrastructure.

One notable solution involves the preservation of the environment and natural resources. SDAIA has partnered with the Ministry of Environment, Water, and Agriculture to establish the Artificial Intelligence Center of Excellence in Environment, Water, and Agriculture.

The center aims to deliver innovative and sustainable solutions and applications through AI. These efforts have led to creating a lifelike model based on AI algorithms. This model analyzes nine historical earth datasets to identify their correlation with the vegetation cover change index, predicting changes expected over the next six years with an accuracy surpassing 90%.

At the same time, the authority has created a data dashboard to monitor vegetation cover change across the kingdom.

Also, the authority has developed a data dashboard focused on monitoring vegetation cover change within the kingdom. This dashboard contains 6 billion data samples derived from the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), tracked from 1984 to 2023. Additionally, it classifies land into six distinct types using satellite images.

Meanwhile, SDAIA launched the Smart Planet Program, a platform that utilizes its historical earth data to build predictive algorithms. The program has conducted studies, researched, and designed several preliminary solutions for AI algorithms, sharing them with nature reserves and the Ministry of Environment, Water, and Agriculture.

Another center that was launched pertained to supporting initiatives within the energy sector. The Artificial Intelligence Center for Energy, a collaboration between the Ministry of Energy and SDAIA, helps achieve the goals of Saudi Arabia’s Green Initiative in reducing carbon emissions.

SDAIA is also keeping its eyes peeled on reforestation and green areas in Riyadh, utilizing the National Smart Cities Platform via satellite imagery, building and training AI models, and processing data to represent green areas visually.

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