G42 partners with OpenAI to bring ChatGPT tools to the Middle East 

Agreement comes four months after Altman’s visit to the UAE

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates – The creator of ChatGPT is working with Abu Dhabi’s biggest artificial intelligence firm to scale up the availability of generative AI tools in the Middle East. 

Mubadala-backed artificial intelligence firm G42 will use OpenAI’s large language models to build new products for clients in sectors where it is already active – financial services, energy and healthcare – and provide infrastructure capacity to support OpenAI’s local and regional inferencing on Microsoft Azure data centers. No financial details of the partnership were disclosed.

“Leveraging G42’s industry expertise, we aim to empower businesses and communities with effective solutions that resonate with the nuances of the region,” Sam Altman, co-founder and CEO of the San Francisco-based company, said in a statement on Wednesday. 

G42 CEO Peng Xiao called the partnership  “a convergence of value and vision.” 

Since becoming available to the public last year, OpenAI’s ChatGPT has inspired a gusher of investment into vast databases and neural networks to mimic human intelligence for commercial gain. 

But the UAE was an early mover on AI. The country is set to reap the biggest economic boost in the region, with AI expected to contribute to 14% of GDP by 2030, according to a PwC study that the government often cites. In 2017 it released a strategic roadmap for integrating the then-nascent technology into its economy and regulation. In 2019, Abu Dhabi opened a dedicated AI research university.

In 2020 G42 became the first UAE company to open an office in tech-heavy Israel after the Abraham Accords were signed, and within a year formed a joint venture with Israel’s state-owned Rafael Advanced Defense Systems to commercialize AI and big data technologies.

G42 is also partnering with Cerebras Systems, which recently built the first of nine AI supercomputers, offering a compelling alternative to the market leader Nvidia. 

The G42-OpenAI partnership comes four months after Altman stopped through the UAE on a global tour that included India, Israel, Qatar and South Korea. During a talk in Abu Dhabi, Altman said the UAE “has been talking about AI since before it was cool.” 

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