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UAE's largest company IHC appoints AI bot to board

Several international companies have named AI-based entities to their leadership structures in recent years. The UAE is seeking to become a world leader in artificial intelligence.
The Ameca humanoid robot greets visitors at Dubai's Museum of the Future, on October 11, 2022. (Photo by Karim SAHIB / AFP) (Photo by KARIM SAHIB/AFP via Getty Images)

The United Arab Emirates’ International Holding Company announced on Tuesday it appointed an AI-powered observer to its board, becoming the latest company to include an AI entity in its leadership and furthering the Gulf state’s ambitions in the sector.

The Abu Dhabi-based investment company, also known as IHC, said it appointed an “AI Board Observer” known as “Aiden Insight.” The observer will perform data analysis, risk assessment, compliance monitoring and other tasks in support of the company. Aiden will attend IHC board meetings as an observer but will not have voting privileges. Aiden is powered by the Emirati AI firm G42 in collaboration with US tech giant Microsoft, IHC said in a statement.

IHC is chaired by UAE national security adviser Sheikh Tahnoon bin Zayed Al Nahyan, a member of the ruling family. It is the largest company in the UAE by market value.

Continuing a trend? IHC is not the first company to appoint an AI-powered entity to its leadership team. In 2014, the Hong Kong-based Deep Knowledge Ventures appointed a computer algorithm to its board of directors. The Finnish tech firm Tietoevry named an AI entity to its leadership team two years later.

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