The UAE has issued a call for a global coalition to oversee and regulate the development and utilization of artificial intelligence (AI) worldwide, drawing a parallel to the monitoring of nation states for nuclear arms proliferation.
Omar Al Olama, the Minister of State for Digital Economy, Artificial Intelligence, and Remote Working Systems, emphasized the urgent need for international collaboration and dialogue on this matter. Speaking at The National’s Connectivity Forum, he highlighted the need for rigorous oversight similar to the mechanisms in place for detecting the enrichment of uranium for weapons-grade purposes.
Al Olama pointed out that when a country begins enriching uranium, regardless of disclosure, the world becomes aware of it. He stated, “We need to have the same level of rigour, the same level of oversight on AI.”
As the world’s first AI minister since 2017, Al Olama emphasized that countries like the UAE cannot afford to wait for private business leaders, including figures like Sam Altman, CEO of OpenAI, or Sundar Pichai, CEO of Microsoft, to engage with the US Congress. The dangers associated with AI, which has been in the hands of consumers for over a decade and is now rapidly advancing, require global regulation beyond the national level.
Al Olama further explained that even if a country such as the UAE were to implement the most progressive and proactive measures, if AI development takes a negative trajectory elsewhere due to global interconnectedness, it will inevitably harm people worldwide.
The UAE’s call for a global coalition reflects growing concerns about the responsible and ethical use of AI as it becomes increasingly prevalent in various industries and societies worldwide.