Dubai Customs is showcasing its in-house developed AI Productivity Engine  at Gitex Technology Week 2019. The project which was recently approved by the Executive Council of Dubai aims to boost government efficiency by disrupting productivity using artificial intelligence to turn hours worked into productive hours.

Its features include the ideal time calculator, task allocator, productivity predictor, and leadership nudges and recommendations.  Most importantly, the innovative engine encompasses an auto-time tracker that highlights productive and unaccounted time and notifies decision makers of productivity scores for each department and employee. It is built upon proprietary machine learning algorithms, which use time-stamped data to comprehensively observe—individually and collectively—employees’ real work patterns and the related impact on the units of service and intended result.

Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, DP World Group and CEO and Chairman of the PCFC said: “In line with Dubai’s vision for global leadership in all sectors, we have identified opportunities to continually enhance our performance and productivity. The Productivity Engine, which is one of Dubai Customs flagship development projects exhibited at this year’s Gitex, is a breakthrough solution to the declining productivity growth challenge: Organizations are paying for 7 to 8 hours of time, so they should get at least 5.5 to 6.5 hours – after deducting breaks. But they are only getting  3 hours of productive time. The new solution uses Artificial Intelligence to help maximize productivity of government employees in Dubai.

“The engine helps the leaders to create better workplaces to support legitimate trade and attracts new investments while boosting productivity and facilitating procedures."

He added that PCFC is moving forward towards making cross-border trade easier and more cost-effective with real added value for customers. “With 17 smart innovations and high-tech projects presented by PCFC entities at this Gitex ranging from Artificial Intelligence to blockchain, process automation, virtual reality, and robotics, Dubai is all set to disrupt trade sector to ensure sustainable economic growth into the future and maintain its leading position as key global trading hub,” he said.    

On his part, Ahmed Mahboob Musabih, said: “We are one of the world’s few organizations to develop a productivity engine that assists leaders in harnessing the power of artificial intelligence and giving recommendations aimed at creating better workplaces. It is expected to boost our productivity capacity by 35% by 2020 and save 1.3 million work hours by improving ideal time adherence, consistency, process automation and quality impact.

“We are totally aware of the importance of boosting productivity growth. Dubai Customs enhanced its productivity by 15 per cent in the period between 2010 and 2012 after our online customs solution, Mirsal-2, joined service," said Musabih.

“The productivity engine will allow us to handle our future growth without increasing our headcount. The focus is on improving our rate of productivity growth by doing more without increasing the hours worked.

"The AI surfaces what humans could never see. For example, we have 7,400 independent tasks and it's impossible for humans to watch over them all, but the new system can calculate the ideal time for each task to be completed," he said. "The system will keep learning and adjusting the ideal time for the tasks."

In addition to growing its own productivity, Dubai Customs’ Productivity Engine Project’s aim is to create a scalable productivity disruption program that can be implemented at other government organizations as well.