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Saudi wealth fund pitches kingdom as global AI centre

PIF governor Yasir Al-Rumayyan said the kingdom has ample funds to foster AI's development Reuters
PIF governor Yasir Al-Rumayyan said the kingdom has ample funds to foster AI's development

The governer of the Saudi sovereign wealth fund, Yasir Al-Rumayyan, expects the kingdom to emerge as a centre for artificial intelligence activities outside the US.

“We are fairly well positioned to be an AI hub outside of the US,” Reuters reported, citing the Public Investment Fund governor’s speech at a Miami investment event.

The head of the Saudi sovereign wealth fund said AI will consume much energy, adding that the kingdom is a global leader in fossil fuel and renewable energy.

Highlighting Saudi Arabia’s “political will” to make AI projects happen, Al-Rumayyan said the country had ample funds to foster the technology’s development.

The governor disclosed that PIF was allocating more than 70 percent of the fund to projects and investments within Saudi Arabia and the remainder overseas.

He said about 40 percent of the fund’s international investments were in the US.

PIF is deploying $40 to $50 billion annually, which will increase to $70 billion a year between 2025 and 2030, Al-Rumayyan said.

Last month, Saudi IT company Al Moammar Information Systems announced an investment of $5 million in the US AI research company OpenAI. 

At the same time, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology announced it was working with Saudi company AmplifAI Health to develop AI technology for use in the early detection of diabetes. 

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