'Data is the new oil' says UAE AI minister

UAE Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence Omar bin Sultan Al Olama said that the opportunities for AI's contribution to the energy sector are "endless"
'Data is the new oil' says UAE AI minister
Omar bin Sultan Al Olama, the UAE’s Minister of State for AI.
By Bernd Debusmann Jr
Wed 14 Nov 2018 10:02 AM

The oil industry and wider energy sector should work to increasingly use artificial intelligence technology to boost yields and lower costs, according to Omar bin Sultan Al Olama, the UAE’s Minister of State for AI.

Speaking to CNBC at the ADIPEC oil summit in Abu Dhabi, Al Olama said that he believes that “data is the new oil.”

“Any company, any government that merges data and oil is going to get yields that we have never seen before,” he said. “We are going to see lower costs, with profits that cannot be found elsewhere.”

The use of technology, he added, will allow the energy sector to be more sustainable and allow executives to make more informs decisions.

“The opportunities are endless. Some estimates say AI can have a $2.85 billion contribution in the energy industry by 2022,” he said. “That’s a start, but the impact I going to be much bigger than that.”

CNBC also quoted Andrew Smart, the managing director of Accenture’s energy practice, as saying that “blending human and machine has been a more complex and difficult journey that many had envisaged.”

“Naturally, we have hit a bit of a brick wall at times but this is still a journey worth taking,” he said.

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