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Ministry works to improve Jordan’s rank on AI Readiness Index

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Jordan ranked 80th globally and 11th regionally on the Government Artificial Intelligence Readiness Index. (Photo: Pixabay)
AMMAN — The Ministry of Digital Economy and Entrepreneurship is analyzing the 2021 Government Artificial Intelligence (AI) Readiness Index, on which Jordan ranked 80th globally and 11th regionally, with a view to developing plans and programs to improve its ranking, according to ministry spokesperson Shorouq Hilal.اضافة اعلان

The index assesses governments’ “readiness to implement AI in the delivery of public services” in 160 countries, the report said, also mentioning that it draws on 42 indicators, covering 10 dimensions: vision, governance and ethics, digital capacity, adaptability, size, innovation capacity, human capital, infrastructure, data availability and data representativeness.

In the MENA region, the average score in 2021 was 49.68. Jordan had an overall score of 44.38, up from the 41.76 it had scored in 2020.

Hilal told Jordan News that the index revolves around three main hubs: governance, related to the strategic vision for developing artificial intelligence; technology and entrepreneurship; and data and digital infrastructure.

Among the most prominent points that the government is currently working on, and which will contribute to improving Jordan’s rank on this index, “are preparing a strategy for artificial intelligence, preparing a national charter for the ethics of artificial intelligence, approving the personal data protection law, developing the cyber security environment and digital infrastructure, introducing fifth-generation services and developing services, improving the entrepreneurship ecosystem and environment, and developing the digital education system such as the Darsak platform,” the spokesperson said.

The ministry seeks to bolster the use of artificial intelligence through cooperation with the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA), said Hilal.

The two parties signed a technical cooperation project whose two main axes are building and developing the artificial intelligence infrastructure in Jordan, and promoting the use of emerging, modern technologies to improve public services, particularly to use artificial intelligence in vital economic sectors, she said.

Hilal added that the ministry implements many programs and initiatives that target young people to help them build their digital skills and network with the labor market. Among these programs: the National Training Program in technical skills, life skills, English language, the Youth, Technology and Jobs project, providing graduates with the skills required in the labor market, such as programming languages, cyber security, Cloud computing, smart phone applications, artificial intelligence.

The index is issued by British Oxford Insights. Jordan scored its highest, 56.56, in areas of data and infrastructure, in terms of data availability and infrastructure security for the operation of artificial intelligence tools, and a relatively lower score of 38.31 in the technology sector and supporting innovation in a business environment. It also scored lower in regard to the strategic vision to develop artificial intelligence and adaptability.

The index pointed out the backlash of the pandemic, both regionally and worldwide, during last year, particularly the changes that took place in education, where several countries in the region developed e-learning platforms, and said that such initiatives reflect the broader commitment of government to digitize their services.

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