Unleashing Innovation: Israeli Perspectives on Artificial Intelligence
Israel is at the center of these emerging technologies, but experts warn that the recent political upheaval threatens to undermine the country's edge.
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Why is Israel uniquely positioned to drive AI innovation? And what are some of the contributions that Israelis have recently made?
Back in June, the infamous OpenAI’s Sam Altman visited Israel as part of a worldwide tour to meet with AI users, developers, and policymakers. Altman said during an event at Tel Aviv University:
“There are two things I have observed that are particular about Israel: the first is talent density and the second is the relentlessness, drive, and ambition of Israeli entrepreneurs. Those two things together are optimal to lead to incredible prosperity both in terms of AI research and AI applications.”1
Additionally, he said Israeli techies “possess creativity, courage, and the ability to react quickly to change,” skills needed to thrive in this fast-moving field.
In the video below, i24NEWS correspondent Ariel Levin explains how necessity was the (Jewish) mother of invention in Israel.
And, as former Israeli Prime Minister and President Shimon Peres once said:
“The true solution to the defense problem is the invention of arms that aren’t available on the market and cannot be duplicated.”
In other words, Israel turned its vulnerable position as a small country surrounded by hostile neighbors — into an asset. Israel needed to be relentless in its search for innovative defense solutions, which ultimately overflowed into the private sector, propelling Israel to become the “Startup Nation” it is today.
Hence why Israel is among the world’s top three countries operating in AI, following China and the U.S.2 And according to a report for The Council of Europe’s Ad Hoc Committee on Artificial Intelligence:
“Israeli policy makers tend to view AI developments not just as a disruptive but as a transformative: AI technology is seen as critical to the welfare, economy, and security of Israel’s citizens.”3
So, what are some of the more recent AI innovations coming out of Israel?