Artificial Intelligence: The Technological Revolution that Propelled Saudi Arabia to the Lead
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Artificial Intelligence: The Technological Revolution that Propelled Saudi Arabia to the Lead




Saudi Arabia leads the global “Government Strategy” sector, evaluating over 60 countries, with Germany and China following in second and third place, respectively.


 By: Auday Hasan


However, what is the government AI strategy indicator? How was the Kingdom able to occupy first place in this classification?

 Government Artificial Intelligence Strategy Index

The Global Artificial Intelligence Index is one of the indicators of the international classification of artificial intelligence issued by the UK-based Tortoise Media website. It includes over 100 indicators, categorised into seven sub-pillars, including government strategy, research and development, talent, infrastructure, operating environment, and trade.

Tortoise Intelligence is a global company specialised in measuring the level of development of artificial intelligence uses in different countries, and it has an international advisory board that includes experts in this field from all over the world. The Global Artificial Intelligence Index aims to identify artificial intelligence applications in more than 60 countries.

Tortoise Intelligence sets 100 standards within seven leading indicators to measure artificial intelligence applications in governments: government strategy, research and development, competencies, infrastructure, operational environment, and trade.


Saudi Arabia’s Ranking on Artificial Intelligence Indicators

Saudi Arabia came first in the government strategy index for artificial intelligence while ranking 31st in the other seven classification indicators, according to the official website.

The Kingdom also ranked second globally in terms of societal awareness of artificial intelligence, according to the 2023 Artificial Intelligence Index report issued by Stanford University.

Overall, the Kingdom ranked 31st in the overall ranking indicators, with the United States coming in first, scoring 100% in talent generation, infrastructure, research and development, and commercial investment for artificial intelligence. Ranking second place, China scored an overall score of 61.5, while Singapore ranked third with an overall score of 50.

According to the report published by Tortoise Intelligence, Saudi Arabia achieved the standards by 100% in the government strategy index for artificial intelligence, as the Kingdom developed a dedicated national strategy aimed at benefiting from artificial intelligence in various government agencies.

The national strategy developed by the Kingdom for artificial intelligence included funding and a massive budget for development, in addition to defining and following up on achieving the strategy’s goals.


Saudi Data and Artificial Intelligence Authority (SDAIA)

According to the study published on the company’s website, as part of achieving this strategy, a royal order was issued on August 30, 2019, establishing the Saudi Data and Artificial Intelligence Authority (SDAIA). Later, the National Data Management Office, the National Center for Artificial Intelligence, and the National Information Center joined it.

Over the past years, SDAIA has worked to develop the Saudi strategy for artificial intelligence by integrating advanced technology into government agencies, in addition to developing Saudi cadres in the field of data.

Given the importance of the role played by the Authority, Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, Crown Prince and Prime Minister, assumed the presidency of the Authority to achieve the Kingdom’s Vision 2030, according to the Saudi newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat.

Indeed, the Authority succeeded in running the first virtual summit of the G20 on March 26, 2020, and then subsequently built a secure video communication system for several government agencies.

Within four years, artificial intelligence was integrated into more than 80 government data sets, and in November 2022, it even succeeded in obtaining the best technology project for 2022. The data centre affiliated with the National Information Center also received a readiness certificate and international accreditation from the UPTIME Institute.

Saudi Arabia has also allocated $20 billion to develop artificial intelligence, and the country’s market for big data and artificial intelligence is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 32.6% and reach $891.74 million by 2026.

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s top-ranking position in the Government Strategy Index for Artificial Intelligence is evidence of the Kingdom’s firm commitment to technological advancement by nurturing a thriving artificial intelligence ecosystem and dedication to achieving the goals of Saudi Vision 20230. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia continues to take significant steps towards a future driven by innovation and advanced technology.