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OpenAI looks to expand in the Middle East and collaborates with G42 in Dubai.

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OpenAI, the creator behind the widely used AI chatbot, ChatGPT, and the technology holding group G42 based in Dubai, have declared a novel collaboration on October 18th to enhance AI capabilities in the Middle East region. The plan involves deploying OpenAI’s generative AI models across industries where G42 boasts expertise, including finance, energy, healthcare, and public services.

G42 anticipates that businesses in the United Arab Emirates and other regions leveraging its solutions will experience a streamlined integration process for advanced AI capabilities. The company outlines its intention to dedicate its significant AI infrastructure capacity to facilitate OpenAI’s local and regional inferencing on Microsoft Azure data centers.

Sam Altman, the Co-founder and CEO of OpenAI, highlights the potential of G42’s industry connections in introducing AI solutions attuned to the nuances of the region. This collaboration is envisioned to propel generative AI advancements on a global scale.

This development coincides with a recent announcement from Saudi Arabia, where a collaboration between a local university and Chinese universities focuses on developing an Arabic-based AI system named AceGPT. Built on Meta’s Llama 2, this large language model serves as an AI assistant for Arabic speakers, adept at responding to queries in Arabic.

These advancements unfold amid escalating concerns among U.S. regulators regarding the export destinations of AI semiconductor chips, including the Middle East. In August, reports surfaced about the inclusion of “some Middle Eastern countries” in the list of areas where AI chip manufacturers like Nvidia and AMD need to restrict exports of their high-level semiconductor chips.

Despite subsequent reports denying the blockage of such exports to the Middle East, recent expansions of export controls for AI semiconductor chips include a new rule broadening licensing requirements for advanced chip exports to “all 22 countries subject to a U.S. arms embargo.” This extends beyond the primary focus on China to encompass Middle Eastern countries such as Iraq, Iran, and Lebanon.

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