Saudi Arabia’s $40 Billion AI Initiative Revealed by NYT

According to sources familiar with the matter, the government of Saudi Arabia intends to establish a fund amounting to approximately $40 billion dedicated to investments in artificial intelligence, as reported by The New York Times on Tuesday.

Representatives from the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund (PIF) have engaged in discussions regarding potential collaborations with prominent entities such as the U.S. venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz and other financiers in recent weeks, as outlined in the aforementioned report.

Furthermore, discussions have transpired between Andreessen Horowitz and Yasir Al-Rumayyan, the governor of PIF, regarding the prospect of the U.S. firm establishing a presence in Riyadh, according to the same report.

According to the newspaper, officials from the PIF have also engaged in discussions concerning the potential role of Andreessen Horowitz and the operational framework of such a fund. The article noted that these plans are subject to potential alterations. Furthermore, the report stated that other venture capitalists may join the kingdom’s artificial intelligence fund, which is anticipated to launch in the latter half of 2024.

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Saudi representatives have conveyed to prospective partners their interest in endorsing various technology startups specializing in artificial intelligence, encompassing chip manufacturers and large-scale data centers, as per the report.

In a previous month, Al-Rumayyan of PIF had positioned the kingdom as a potential focal point for artificial intelligence endeavors beyond the United States, highlighting its abundant energy resources and financial capacity. He emphasized the kingdom’s “political will” to drive artificial intelligence initiatives and its substantial funds available to foster the technology’s advancement.

With assistance from Wall Street banks, the forthcoming Saudi technology fund is poised to join an already crowded landscape of substantial investment initiatives. The global fervor surrounding artificial intelligence has led to a surge in the valuations of both private and public companies, as optimistic investors vie to identify or cultivate the next industry leaders akin to NVIDIA or OpenAI. Notably, startups such as Anthropic have secured unprecedented amounts of capital, with over $7 billion raised in a single year—an influx of funding unparalleled in the realm of venture capital.

However, the expenses associated with funding artificial intelligence projects are considerable. Sam Altman, CEO of OpenAI, purportedly pursued significant funding from the United Arab Emirates government to bolster chip manufacturing essential for advancing AI technology.

Yabes Elia

Yabes Elia

An empath, a jolly writer, a patient reader & listener, a data observer, and a stoic mentor

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