The Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities Department (IACAD) of Dubai government has launched a ‘Virtual Ifta’, said to be the world’s first service using artificial intelligence to issue fatwas, or Islamic rulings on religious matters, reports Gulf News.
According to the report, instead of an Islamic scholar answering questions over the phone, the AI-powered virtual ifta takes live questions on internet chat and provide answers to the queries.
The AI-powered service was launched on 29 October by the IACAD in an event in Boulevard, Emirates Towers. At present, it is only able to answer around 205 questions related to salah, or prayer, said Tariq El Emadi, Head of Fatwa Section, IACAD.
As per the report, the service in its first pilot phase will be available in Arabic and English through the IACAD website. However, in the next phase, it will be available through WhatsApp and cover more topics including fasting, purity, financial matters among others. In the future, more languages will be added to the service.
Virtual Ifta, which operates 24/7, has reportedly been introduced in line with ‘Dubai 10X’, a government programme to keep Dubai 10 years ahead of other cities in delivering public services and using the latest innovations to solve issues.
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