Microsoft President delivers Masterclass for UAE government leaders on generative AI

01 May 2023

 The Federal Authority for Government Human Resources (FAHR) recently held a virtual Masterclass session entitled “Demystifying Generative AI” aiming to familiarise its top talent with generative artificial intelligence.

The session, led by Brad Smith, Vice Chair and President of Microsoft, was attended by government employees across several federal entities and held under “Jahiz”, an integrated national initiative launched by the UAE government.

The recent emergence of generative AI technologies is expected to significantly transform and impact future jobs, paving the way to explore new ways of working in the public and private sectors.

In the Masterclass, Smith explained the evolution of generative AI. He discussed its underlying technological framework, its potential to tackle some of the world's major challenges, and this ground-breaking technology's societal and policy implications.

Smith also highlighted the guidelines Microsoft has set to foster the ethical development of AI solutions, with specific reference to Microsoft's use of the technology.

Smith provided insights into the mechanics of generative AI, its rapid advancement in recent times, and effective strategies to maximise its use while upholding responsible AI practices. He depicted AI as an enabler of intelligence, creativity, and expression, underscoring its pervasive role in daily life.

Drawing from Microsoft's experiences, Smith elaborated on the creation of language processors modelled on human cognition and their training using algorithms drawn from pre-established generative AI technology. He also demonstrated how these formidable language processors operate, specifically in relation to text data.

Smith touched upon the human response-driven reinforcement learning tool, a significant accelerator for AI, along with the stages of generative AI development and its ability to understand and interpret images. He stressed the importance of a strong infrastructure, including innovative technological tools, algorithms, comprehensive programming code, and high-speed internet, for establishing such language models.

He reiterated the vital need for responsible AI, advocating for regulatory governance, content verification for accuracy and neutrality, and the assurance of ethical AI usage for safety purposes. Looking to the future, Smith forecasted that AI companies would pivot their focus towards the development of processors and language models for a variety of uses.

The Microsoft President highlighted that implementing these technologies necessitates the availability of global data, skilled talent, and consistent policies. He further elaborated that several countries have started using these technologies in education, government services, healthcare, and energy sectors. For instance, Japan has embarked on the development of three AI-based digital books.

“Jahiz” advanced digital platform covers four main future skill sets, including 20 sub-skills to be implemented within a year. The primary skills include digital skills, X10 skills to enhance productivity and accelerate achievement, data and artificial intelligence skills and new economy skills.

The platform also includes the Future Skills Wallet, a digital portfolio for each employee in the UAE government, through which achievement badges are placed upon completing the requirements for future skills allocated to the main future skill sets.