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Falcon 40B ranked first; UAE launches U-Ask ChatGPT service
Middle East AI News weekly news digest...
And welcome to this week’s Middle East AI News!
I’ve again got quite a lot of AI news to share and much of this is related to large language models, or LLMs (once again!).
As you will remember, Technology Innovation Institute - a.k.a TII - made its Falcon 40B large language model open source last week. However, over the weekend the news broke that TII’s LLM had been ranked first in performance for open source models by Hugging Face! Since then, TII has confirmed that Falcon 40B can also be used loyalty free. So, the world’s top performing open source LLM was made in the UAE!
Meanwhile, this week the UAE government has launched a ChatGPT-powered government chatbot called ‘U-Ask’, which aims to answer any government enquiry (such as ‘How can I get a UAE driver’s licence?’ or visa, or business licence etc.).
Scroll down for more AI news from across the region!
Lastly, I made a guest appearance on the TechBurst Asia podcast this week, where we talked about AI in the Middle East, the GCC’s innovation agenda, digital transformation, flying taxis, robotaxis, and of course LLMs! You can listen to the podcast here or check out my Linkedin post for links to all the podcast platforms.
Thanks for reading!
Late news: Do check out the new McKinsey report on ‘The state of AI in GCC countries’
#UAE #LLMs - Falcon 40B, the UAE's open-source AI model by Abu Dhabi's Technology Innovation Institute (TII), has claimed the top spot on Hugging Face's Large Language Model Leaderboard, beating established models like Meta's LLaMA. (Business Wire)
#UAE #LLMs - The Technology Innovation Institute's (TII) AI model, Falcon 40B, has been made open-source for both research and commercial use. VentureOne, the commercial arm of Abu Dhabi’s Advanced Technology Research Council (ATRC), plans to support viable concepts from the Falcon model. (Business Wire)
#UAE #government - The UAE Government has rolled out U-Ask, a ChatGPT-powered chatbot for government services, developed in partnership with Microsoft and consulting firm PwC. U-Ask provides access to government service info in both Arabic and English, aiming for a smoother user experience. (Emirates News Agency)
#UAE #civildefence - The Government of Dubai has unveiled an AI-powered Civil Defence Readiness Room, a first in the region. This pioneering facility will use scientific analysis and advanced tech to tackle fire-related challenges and implement preventive measures. (Gulf News)
#UAE #sustainability - Google has announced collaborative initiatives with Mohammed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence (MBZUAI), the Department of Municipalities and Transport in Abu Dhabi, and UAE government’s AI office. (Gulf Business)
#UAE #transport - Google and Abu Dhabi's transport authority are leveraging machine learning technology to optimize traffic light patterns, reduce air pollution, and enhance traffic flow. This collaboration, dubbed "Project Green Light," seeks to increase the number of green lights. (The National)
#Saudi #emergencyservices- A study by Saudi Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University under the Saudi Aramco Cybersecurity chairat the university has developed a Smart Flood Detection solution using AI, blockchain, and drones to improve response times and save lives in areas like Mecca. (Lara on the Block)
#Oman #cloudcomputing - AWS (Amazon Web Services) predicts that cloud computing adoption in Oman, by public and private entities, could contribute approximately $13.7bn to the GDP over the next decade. (Muscat Daily)
#Oman #solar - Dymuma Advanced Projects, an Omani startup, developed a solar PV self-cleaning robot aimed at servicing the upcoming mega solar farms as part of Oman's green energy transition. (Oman Observer)
#UAE #robotics - Ali Humaid Al Loughani, a Sharjah-based pupil, has received numerous awards for Doctor Robot, a robot designed to help the elderly and disabled maintain contact with doctors. (The National)
#Saudi #deeptech - Egyptian startup, Intella, a leading deep tech company, is relocating to Saudi Arabia, recognising the country's strides in the field of AI, according to the Saudi newspaper Arab News. (Arab News)
#UAE #Industry4- The Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (Added) has set up a $136 million fund aimed at aiding small and medium industrial enterprises adopt smart manufacturing technology. (The National)
#Saudi #healthcare - The King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Centre (KFSH&RC) has introduced the SPInE initiative, which aims to integrate AI into healthcare in Saudi Arabia. (Zawya)
#UAE #healthcare - Fakeeh University Hospital at Dubai Silicon Oasis (DSO) has completed the first successful trial of medical delivery via drones, positioning it as a leading healthcare institution in the UAE. (Emirates News Agency)
#Oman #dronetraffic - Serb, an Omani startup, is launching a drone management system in cooperation with the Civil Aviation Authority, providing a one-stop solution for legal drone usage. (Oman Observer)
#UAE #XR - Emirates Group and Amazon Web Services (AWS) are partnering to develop an immersive Extended Reality (iXR) platform, transforming employee experiences. The new platform will provide 3D virtual hubs, virtual training, gamified environments, simulations with photorealistic experiences. (Emirates News Agency)
#Egypt #music - Composer Amr Mostafa and Umm Kulthum's family have reached a preliminary resolution after Mostafa utilized AI to replicate the legendary singer's voice in a new song. (source: The National)
I was invited on to the popular TechBurst Asia podcast this week to talk to Charles Reed Anderson and Danial Mausoof about AI and emerging tech in the Middle East. It seemed like after 45 minutes we were still only scratching the surface of what's going on around the region!
Listen to the podcast (45 minutes)
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