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Omar Sultan Al Olama, a UAE minister and the world’s first for artificial intelligence (AI), has been listed in Time Magazine’s inaugural list of the 100 most influential people in AI. In 2017, Al Olama was appointed as the UAE Minister of State for AI, and in 2020, his role expanded to include Digital Economy and Remote Work Applications.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, expressed pride in Al Olama for making it to the list, stating, “I am proud of every accomplished Emirati who makes the country proud with excellence. Our youth are our most important resource.”
Time magazine acknowledged the achievements of the 33-year-old minister, stating, “You need to have someone who sees AI and its application across the government with a holistic view and ensure that there is at least some sort of coordination between different bodies.”
They further mentioned that the “most influential players in this domain — the US, the EU and China — have yet to heed the UAE’s example.”
The list includes notable figures such as US representatives Anna Eshoo and Ted Lieu and Ian Hogarth, the chair of the UK’s AI Foundation Model Taskforce. Also, prominent names like Elon Musk from xAI, Sam Altman from OpenAI, and Rumman Chowdhury, CEO and co-founder of Humane Intelligence, are featured on the list.
The list showcases a diverse range of individuals, the youngest being 18-year-old Sneha Revanur. She has gained recognition for her leadership of Encode Justice, a youth-led movement that advocates for ethical AI. On the other end of the spectrum, the oldest person listed is 76-year-old Geoffrey Hinton. He recently departed from his role at Google to openly address the concerns associated with the technology he played a pivotal role in developing, as highlighted by the magazine.
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