Artefact Middle East Hosts Data & AI Summit 2023 In Riyadh

Artefact Middle East hosted its Data & AI Summit 2023 in Riyadh in an influential event gathering leaders and professionals in the industry including top executives from Saudi Electricity Company, Riyadh Municipality, Ministry of Tourism and Royal Commission of AlUla.

Top executives from Artefact, along with Google and industry experts shared their insights and perspectives on the latest developments and trends in the sector along with the opportunities that Data & AI will bring to the Kingdom across different sectors and areas such as tourism, environmental action, and energy.

The event’s opening address was delivered by His Excellency Ludovic Pouille, the French Ambassador of Saudi Arabia. He said: “Since the inception of Vision 2030, Saudi Arabia has emerged as a prominent global player in AI. France shares the Kingdom’s confidence in AI and data as the transformational powers of the future. Digital technologies already form a major part of the flourishing partnership between our countries, and we are fully committed to partner the Kingdom on its journey. My team and I at the French Embassy are strongly devoted to supporting our best companies such as Artefact in bringing the best of French talents and technologies to Saudi Arabia.”

In his address, Vincent Luciani, Co-Founder and CEO of Artefact said: “While AI has become increasingly accessible to everyone, it is imperative for governments to keep pace and establish a clear vision for its future utilization. Coming from Europe, I was immensely impressed by the Kingdom’s remarkable investments and rapid adoption of AI technology. The prevailing culture of innovation here is truly inspiring. However, it is equally vital to focus on developing skills and nurturing local talent alongside investment.

“This belief drives us to contribute to the regional AI ecosystem through innovation, talent development, and research. With the region’s rapid development, we are committed to maximizing our investments here. As we establish our presence and build teams on the ground, our primary focus is on recruiting local talent. We strongly emphasize the significance of training, education, and skill enhancement, which led us to establish a data school in Europe that has trained 2,000 individuals in the past three years. We are actively exploring the possibility of bringing this school to the Kingdom. This event marks the first step for us in becoming integral to shaping the Data, AI, and innovation ecosystems in the KSA, and we eagerly anticipate organizing more such events in the future.”

Rahul Arya, Managing Partner at Artefact MENA, said: “Digital transformation is a key goal of Saudi Vision 2030 which includes the National Transformation Programme, and AI-based technologies are the enabling force to achieve this vision. It is exciting to be in Saudi Arabia as the Kingdom creates AI-friendly ecosystems, building smart cities and ambitious projects. Aligned with this transformation, Artefact is committed to bringing innovation to the region through cross-country talent mobilization.

Operating in the MENA region from its base in Dubai since 2013, Artefact has been working with public and private sector clients on their data and AI-led transformation programs. Key offerings include data vision and strategy, the ‘AI Factory’ (for launching and scaling AI programs), big data platform implementation, large-scale data governance programs, and data marketing programs. Partnerships with Google, Microsoft, and Amazon enable its technical teams in the region to have access to cutting-edge technologies (for instance access to OpenAI on Azure), to keep pace with the latest R&D on the advanced cognitive capabilities of their platforms, enhancing Artefact’s global recognition in the Data & AI industry.