Invest in AI-based technology or lose the race, Israel’s chief scientist warns

“We must acknowledge the fact that the race for leadership in artificial intelligence-based technology has begun. The State of Israel must close the gap with other countries,” said chief scientist Aharon Aharon.

By Adina Katz, World Israel News

According to Israel’s newly released 2018-2019 Innovation Report, investment in future technologies is the most significant challenge for the coming year, with a major factor being the advancement of artificial intelligence (AI)-based technology.

The years 2017-2018 were excellent years for the Israeli high-tech industry, manifested in several aspects, according to the Israel Innovation Authority, but in order to ensure this success is translated into an all-encompassing financial growth, it is not sufficient to develop innovative technologies; rather, they should be implemented in all sectors of the economy and in all areas of life. For this purpose, the report says, Israel has to turn into a technological and intelligent economy that leads both in the development of technologies and in their implementation.

“We must acknowledge the fact that the race for leadership in artificial intelligence-based technology has begun. The State of Israel must close the gap with other countries who already make enormous investments in artificial intelligence infrastructures,” said Israel Innovation Authority CEO Aharon Aharon.

Artificial intelligence and the changes it brings will be the key to economic growth worldwide,” he stressed.” In order for Israel to continue to lead in the global technological race, it is necessary to allocate resources and a national artificial intelligence strategy shared by the government, academia, and the industry.”

‘From start-up nation to smart-up nation’

Dr. Ami Appelbaum, chairman of the Israel Innovation Authority and Chief Scientist at the Ministry of Economy and Industry, said that “in order to guarantee the impressive achievements of the high-tech industry and the future prosperity of the Israeli economy, the State of Israel must change from a Startup Nation to a Smart-Up Nation – an astute technological market. A leader in the development of future technologies as well as their assimilation in all walks of life.”

“The enormous economic value that lies in artificial intelligence may enable an increase in efficiency and well-being of all aspects of life,” the report says, advising all sectors – government, academia and industry – to “gather around the vision and strategy of artificial intelligence for the Israeli economy.

“Such strategy should address a number of key challenges,” including, for example, research and development, academia, computer and data infrastructures, the economy, and personalized medicine.