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UAE to launch homegrown Arabic ChatGPT model

G42 CEO Peng Xiao G42
G42 CEO Peng Xiao says Arabic is 'not served at all' by existing chatbot models
  • Abu Dhabi’s G42 is planning an Arabic chatbot based on ChatGPT
  • ChatGPT has 100 milllion monthly users
  • G42 also plans GovGPT and ClimateGPT

Artificial intelligence firm G42 is on the verge of launching its own versions of ChatGPT, including the largest Arabic language platform.

G42 group chief executive officer Peng Xiao said it was “working on it as we speak”.

“Arabic is a major body of language in the world but not served at all by the big players in the industry,” he added.

Other platforms Abu Dhabi-based G42 is developing include GovGPT, which will be able to respond to queries about government related services, and ClimateGPT, which Xiao said would “help the whole population be more engaged to participate in the climate programmes we’re championing”.

Xiao told a media round table on Thursday that all three platforms would be launching “very soon”.

Created by OpenAI, the controversial AI-powered chatbot ChatGPT was launched in November last year and gained rapid popularity as a tool to write answers quickly around a huge variety of questions. It became the fastest-growing consumer application in history and now has more than 100 million monthly active users.

A number of other platforms have since been added onto the market, including Chatsonic, GPT-3 Playground, YouChat, Bing AI Chat and Google Bard AI.

Regulators worldwide are scrutinising the safety and privacy implications of ChatGPT. Italy became the first country to temporarily block the bot for failing to check the age of users, and the “absence of any legal basis that justifies the massive collection and storage of personal data”.

Last month an online letter, signed by technology leaders including Elon Musk and Apple Computer co-founder Steve Wozniak, called for a six-month “pause” on giant AI experiments to allow regulators to develop safety protocols. Speaking at the World Government Summit in Dubai in February Musk said that AI was “one of the biggest risks to the future of civilisation”.

While Xiao admitted that regulators should be concerned by the “truly disruptive” technology, he argued that calling a halt to progress was not the answer.

Instead he urged regulators to encourage more innovation as well as creating “very transparent” partnerships between the public and private sector.

He said: “The way to better regulate is not to say stop, don’t do anything, let’s figure this out. The way to do this is to do more sandbox, to do more cutting edge experiments with full transparency.”

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