World Governments Summit

Jensen Huang: Countries must protect ‘data sovereignty’

Nvidia chief tells leaders at World Governments Summit in Dubai that strong AI infrastructure should be built in all countries 'as fast as you can'

Jensen Huang, Founder and CEO of NVIDIA at the World Governments Summit. (WGS/Twitter)

Jensen Huang, Founder and CEO of NVIDIA at the World Governments Summit. (WGS/Twitter)

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates – Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang made a strong sales pitch to the UAE’s Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence Omar Al Olama onstage today at the World Governments Summit in Dubai. More than 25 world leaders, 140 governments and 85 international organizations are among the 4,000 attendees at the three-day event under the theme “Shaping Future Governments.”

The semiconductor chief, whose California-headquartered firm has a $1.73 trillion market cap, said that every country should have its own AI infrastructure and protect its “data sovereignty.” Doing so would capture the most economic upside, he said, adding that companies in the Gulf like Saudi Aramco and Abu Dhabi-backed G42 are already doing this. “You cannot allow that to be done by other people,” Huang said. “Build the infrastructure as fast as you can.”

Minister Al Olama asked Huang about the eye-watering $7 trillion OpenAI CEO Sam Altman is seeking — and reportedly courting UAE investors on — to realize his biggest ambitions for ChatGPT. Huang quipped that Altman was apparently looking to buy “all” of the world’s AI chips.

In October of last year, the U.S. expanded restrictions on chips and Nvidia said at the time it was working with customers in China and the Middle East to obtain export licenses for new products to comply. Huang did not provide an update on the issue today. On Friday, G42 said it has sold its stakes in Chinese companies including TikTok owner ByteDance, as the group seeks to reassure U.S. partners by cutting ties with China, the Financial Times reports.

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