AI, VR, Self-Driving Cars Will Positively Impact UAE: YouGov Survey

The new YouGov survey explores familiarity among UAE residents with 16 new technologies

UAE residents believe that artificial intelligence, virtual reality, and self-driving cars will positively impact, with half of the respondents in a YouGov survey saying the government should invest in AI. With its favourable business legislation and forward-looking mindset, the UAE has become a testing ground for new tech. YouGov looked at awareness around 16 new technologies among UAE residents.

Data shows that of all the 16 listed technologies, UAE residents have most likely heard “a lot” about or have some awareness of cryptocurrency, virtual reality, self-driving cars, and 3-D printing. The UAE government’s implementation of its first law regulating virtual assets and other recent initiatives to help people gain a deeper understanding of the technology seems to have created a favourable environment for crypto, making it the most widely known technology in the country.

In comparison to this, technologies that UAE residents are least aware of are a decentralised autonomous organisation (DAO) and implantable brain-machine interfaces (BMIs).

Among those who are familiar with each of the technologies, residents believe that 3D printing, AI, self-driven cars, and cryptocurrency have the tremendous potential of catching up while lab-grown meat, on the other hand, received the smallest share.

When asked which of these technologies will have a positive impact on society, a higher proportion of those who have heard of each said 3D printing (83 per cent), AI (66 per cent), self-driven cars (64 per cent), and virtual reality (60 per cent), will be good for the society. Conversely, lab-grown meats and gene-editing technology recorded the highest numbers in terms of perceived negative societal impact.

Furthermore, we polled the residents, asking them which of the 16 technologies the government should invest in, and the results were quite similar to the technologies most likely deemed to have a positive societal impact. Over half of those who are aware of each technology think 3D printing (52 per cent) and artificial intelligence (52 per cent) are the most important areas where the government should invest, while just as many think self-driving cars (46 per cent) as the next most important area. Lab-grown meat and NFTs are ranked lowest, with fewer people considering it a “crucial” sector for government investment.