Artificial intelligence will replace people if they don’t adopt AI technologies, said Omar Sultan Al Olama, Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy and Remote Work Applications.
“There is no dictionary that tells you the difference between complete and finished. If you adopt artificial intelligence in your life, you’re going to be complete. If you don’t, you’ll be finished.
And if you try to reject it altogether, you will be completely finished,” he said speaking at the Digital Assembly for Generative AI conference in Dubai on Wednesday.
“[Many] jobs were created because of technology over the last two decades. Then jobs were created that we don’t necessarily need. Like we don’t need social media influencers. But we have [them],” he added.
He said that governments and societies must openly address concerns around AI, and that fear should not dominate the discussion.
The minister urged individuals not to be driven by fear of job losses but to channel their anxiety into empowerment. He also emphasised the importance of embracing necessary tools and enrolling others in the journey to harness AI’s potential for positive change.
He said big companies had thousands of employees 100 years ago. “Today, we are hearing about firms with 12 employees worth $50-100 billion. It is because, with the power of technology we have, we are able to create a lot more with a lot less human resources.
And that will give opportunity to all of us to create something meaningful that can have an impact and change the world.”
The minister also said there is a need to be pragmatic when it comes to embracing artificial intelligence.
“Is anyone here worried about a meteorite hitting the Earth and eradicating life? Yes, there is a fear. But are people living in bunkers? No. We need to be pragmatic.
There are fears that we need to be honest with ourselves and that need to be addressed. Elon Musk is a great example. He is trying to rally the public towards understanding the fear of the problem of AI. But he is, at the same time, investing billions of dollars in creating humanoid robots, self-driving cars and running AI engines like X.”
The key to success in this century, he said, is adding intelligence to everything – similar how adding electricity to everything was that in the previous century, as in the case of cars and bulbs.
“People are saying we have to govern artificial intelligence. You can’t govern AI. It is impossible. Whoever tells me that they can, I tell them they’re are out of their mind. I say this with a lot of humility.”
He said: “We need to govern things as verticals. So let us govern LAN language model for LAN language model use cases; let us govern self-driving cars for self-driving cars.”
The minister stressed that the world can’t wait for 20 years to govern AI use cases. “My biggest fear is that we are going to take it too long to address it.”