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Aramco launches world’s first industrial AI model

Saudi Aramco's digital transformation means 'tasks that used to consume hours can now be completed in seconds', says CEO Amin Nasser Reuters/Hasnoor Hussain
Aramco's digital transformation means 'tasks that used to consume hours can now be completed in seconds', says CEO Amin Nasser
  • Aramco reveals Metabrain AI
  • ‘Data gives us an edge’ says CEO
  • More powerful version due this year

Saudi Aramco, the world’s largest oil company, has launched a generative artificial intelligence model.

The Aramco Metabrain AI, a first for the industrial sector, has 250 billion parameters, or learnable variables, which it adjusts during training to make predictions or generate outputs. It was trained on 7 trillion data points gathered over the company’s 90-year history. 

The announcement was made on the first day of Leap, a technology conference taking place in Riyadh.

“This data gives us an edge in understanding and solving the big challenges we face as a company,” said Amin Nasser, president and CEO of Aramco.

The Metabrain AI combines large language models, quantum computing and real-time data analytics. Its makers aim to provide support to all industries in the kingdom.

The state oil major announced plans to create a 1 trillion parameter version by the end of this year.

Aramco is using AI, data analytics, robotics and the internet of things to streamline processes and boost efficiency.

Its technological advancements span from digitalising its decades-old oil processing facility at Abqaiq to deploying AI algorithms for predictive maintenance. 

“Our ongoing digital transformation yields numerous benefits, and tasks that used to consume hours can now be completed in seconds,” Nasser said.

The Aramco announcement was one of several on the first day of Leap, with nearly $12 billion of new investments reported by organisers.

Amazon Web Services, the cloud computing division of Amazon, is investing $5.3 billion in establishing data centres across Saudi Arabia.

Dell Technologies, which is based in Texas, will open its first manufacturing and fulfilment centre in the Gulf region in Saudi Arabia. Zoho Corp is opening two data centres in the kingdom.

IBM will invest $250 million setting up a global software development centre, and US cloud-based platform ServiceNow will invest $500 million in training and development programmes for Saudi citizens.

US software developers Datadog and Uipath have also announced plans to open academies in the kingdom to train Saudis.

Uipath CEO Rob Enslin said the Saudi School of Automation would aim to “fast-track the development of Saudi Arabia’s future workforce through training in AI and automation”.

The New York-based company is also opening an office in Saudi Arabia and is aiming for 90 percent of its workforce to be Saudi nationals.

The four-day Leap event runs until March 7 at Riyadh Exhibition and Convention Centre.

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