Saudi Arabia Wants in on the Futuristic Wave
تكنولوجيا DEC 03, 2017

نقلاً عن نشرة "آفاق الشباب" العدد 78:

After decades of religious and societal conservatism, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has finally decided that it is time to move forward, leave the past in the past and ride the new wave that is evolution and globalization. This is happening both from a societal perspective and a technological perspective, all thanks to Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman.
Shortly after allowing women to drive, the Kingdom granted full citizenship to a female robot, thus becoming the first country in the entire world to make such a bold move. What does this say? Simply put, it sends a message to the planet stating that this country is opening its arms for artificial intelligence, technology and, well, probably equality between men and women. 
In another bold move to promote their vision, the Kingdom had announced that it will build a megacity across its borders with Egypt and Jordan, powered entirely by green, clean energy. This only shows how the Kingdom is pushing towards relying on sources of income other than the fuel and gas it has been feeding on.
Unlike the rest of the Arab Peninsula, this big move is not just words going into void. The city, named NEOM, which will span over 26,500 square kilometers, yes that’s more than twice the size of Lebanon, already has a Twitter account of its own… @discoverneom
This city will be backed by more than 500 billion US Dollars, funded by the Kingdom itself as well as local and international investors. Though a big number, this investment is more likely to pay off in two main aspects. On the one hand, though building an emission-free country-sized-city might cost a whole lot of money, it will only contribute to saving the planet and money down the line, since wind and solar energy is – to an extent – free of charge. On the other hand, the city will be – almost entirely – automated, served and maintained by robots, thus cutting down labor cost.
These major announcements happened on the same week Prince Mohammad bin Salman announced that conservative Saudi Arabia is moving towards a more moderate form of Islam.
For what it’s worth, the Kingdom is not only sugar-coating its appearance by talking, implementations are already happening. The problem is, with the new push towards equal rights and globalization, the Kingdom will have to balance between providing job opportunities to its male and female population, not to mention the agreements it would sign with various countries to provide job opportunities for foreigners. Will they be able to manage all of that? Especially with the rise of automation and robotics, would that jeopardize job security?

تكنولوجيا DEC 03, 2017
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