AI poised to disrupt Moroccan society

AI poised to disrupt Moroccan society
AI poised to disrupt Moroccan society

Strongly established in Morocco, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is poised to disrupt Moroccan society by impacting several key sectors of the economy, essential to the functioning of the country. Indeed, AI represents the future, and the Kingdom took up this challenge by founding, in 2021, AI Movement, a Moroccan research center co-founded by OCP. This center, like MIT, will enable the Kingdom to become a regional and continental leader in artificial intelligence.

The British consultancy firm Oxford Insights ranks Morocco in fifth position in Africa for preparation for Artificial Intelligence in public services. The Kingdom achieved its best performance in the areas of infrastructure and data, but must make more efforts in terms of governance and improvement of its technological sector to promote the development of AI. According to the annual “Government AI Readiness Index 2023” report from Oxford Insight, with a score of 43.34 out of 100, Morocco ranks 88th in the world and 5th on the continent, behind Mauritius, Egypt, South Africa and Tunisia.

This study assesses the level of effective and responsible integration of AI in public services in 193 countries, based on 39 indicators divided into 10 dimensions covering three pillars: “government” (strategic vision in the development of AI , qualified skills, appropriate regulation and attention to ethical risks), the “technology sector” and “infrastructure and data”.

Concerning infrastructure and data, Morocco obtains a score of 56.79 out of 100. However, efforts remain to be made in the sectors of “ government » and the “technology sector”, where the Kingdom respectively obtained 37.54 and 25.69 out of 100. In the Middle East North Africa (MENA) region, Morocco is positioned in 12th place, in a dominated ranking by the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Oman. Globally, the United States maintains its leading position, followed by Singapore, the United Kingdom, Finland and Canada.

The Minister Delegate in charge of Digital Transition and Administration Reform, Ghita Mezzour, underlined the importance of the role of AI, while insisting on the need for its use and responsible development in Morocco. AI is essential to progress, but ethics remains just as crucial to humanity. AI is a tool for articulating and consolidating different actions linked to the field, with the ambition of making the Kingdom a regional AI hub with an impact on its ecosystem, on strategic, educational and industrial levels. It is a lever for anticipating and supporting developments and transformations linked to AI and data sciences, with the aim of providing innovative, operational, resilient and ethical solutions to the problems of society, the environment, market, economy and technology.

In 2021, the International Center for Artificial Intelligence of Morocco was founded. This 5,000 square meter building, which evokes the Moroccan MIT, is located in the suburbs of Rabat. Co-founded by OCP, the Moroccan AI center, called AI Movement, represents the fertilizer giant’s main investment in this technological revolution and constitutes a pioneering project for the Kingdom. OCP had previously invested massively in education and the energy transition.

Although MIT is a model for the AI ​​Movement, the difference in budget allocated to AI for these two institutions is notable: MIT has invested $1 billion in its dedicated AI faculty, while the Moroccan AI center Movement only invested $1 million.

Under the direction of Ms. Amal El Fallah Seghrouchni, former member of the CNRS-Sorbonne University computer laboratory (LIP6), the seven teacher-researchers and eighteen doctoral students attached to the center focus on concrete solutions to the problems of inequalities, energy consumption and development of sustainable cities.

AI will enable the emergence of a new world where “machine learning”, “deep learning”, “neural networks” and all the new technologies that result from them will rule the world. The generalization of the use of AI is no longer an exception today. However, this technology presents numerous challenges which will require constant evolution of regulations, in particular because of the ethical issues it raises.

There will likely be a worsening of issues related to the regulation of algorithms, which remains difficult due to the scalability of the technology and the confidential and competitive nature of developments.

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