Saudi Arabia Working with China to Build Arabic-focused AI System


Saudi Arabia and Chinese universities to work on AceGPT, an Arabic-focused AI system based on Meta’s LlaMA2, designed as an AI assistant for Arabic speakers.

Every big country on the planet has been spearheading efforts to build new artificial intelligence (AI) systems. Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) has joined forces with two Chinese universities to create an Arabic-focused artificial intelligence (AI) system.

This large language model (LLM), named AceGPT, is based on Meta’s LlaMA2 and was developed by a Chinese-American professor at KAUST, in collaboration with the School of Data Science at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shenzhen (CUHKSZ), and the Shenzhen Research Institute of Big Data (SRIBD).

AceGPT is designed to serve as an AI assistant for Arabic speakers, capable of answering queries in Arabic. It’s important to note that the model may not yield satisfactory results in languages other than Arabic, as per the project’s GitHub page.

Furthermore, the developers have incorporated features into the model to identify potential misuse, such as mishandling sensitive information, generating harmful content, spreading misinformation, or failing safety checks.

Nonetheless, the project has urged users to exercise responsibility in their usage, citing a lack of safety checks. “We have not conducted an exhaustive safety check on the model, so users should exercise caution. We cannot overemphasize the need for responsible and judicious use of our model,” the project notes.

Saudi Arabia’s Push into AI and FinTech

This development aligns with Saudi Arabia’s ongoing efforts to position itself as a regional leader in emerging technologies like AI. In July, the Saudi central bank collaborated with the Hong Kong Monetary Authority on tokenization and payments.

Earlier in February, the Saudi government joined forces with the Sandbox metaverse platform to expedite its future metaverse initiatives. Next month in November 2023, the Emerging Tech Summit will take place in Saudi Arabia.

The summit will welcome a diverse range of solution providers specializing in AI, Blockchain, Cybersecurity, IoT, and Cloud Computing, all prepared to address the changing requirements of attending companies. Diverging from the conventional trade show structure, ETS ensures substantial interactions between solution providers and key decision-makers from companies that share their collaborative objectives.

In August, US regulators advised AI chip manufacturers Nvidia and AMD to restrict exports of their high-level semiconductor chips, which are essential for AI development, to unspecified Middle Eastern countries.

However, it’s worth noting that US regulators subsequently clarified that they hadn’t explicitly banned the export of AI chips to the Middle East region.



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Bhushan Akolkar

Bhushan is a FinTech enthusiast and holds a good flair in understanding financial markets. His interest in economics and finance draw his attention towards the new emerging Blockchain Technology and Cryptocurrency markets. He is continuously in a learning process and keeps himself motivated by sharing his acquired knowledge. In free time he reads thriller fictions novels and sometimes explore his culinary skills.



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