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Saudi to train 300,000 school students; Intella nets $3.4m funding
Middle East AI News weekly digest...
Welcome to this week’s Middle East AI News!
The Saudi Data and Artificial Intelligence Authority announced its biggest education initiative to-date this week, involving 300,000 school students in the National Olympiad for Programming and Artificial Intelligence.
Meanwhile, there were a couple of interesting VC deals this week. Firstly, Hala Ventures and Wa’ed Ventures investment in Egyptian AI voice startup Intella, which brings another foreign AI developer into the Kingdom. Also SVC’s funding of IMPACT46’s Fund III, to allow the tech fund to support late-growth stage and pre-IPO ventures. I wouldn’t be surprised if SVC and IMPACT46 had a new scale-up investment already in the pipeline! It will be interested to see what is announced next.
And lastly, TII in Abu Dhabi have released FalconLite2, a resource-light version of the Falcon40B large language model open-sourced earlier this year.
Thanks for reading!
#Saudi #olympiad - Saudi Arabia will train 300,000 school students in artificial intelligence, as part of the preparation for the National Olympiad for Programming and Artificial Intelligence, which will take place in January 2024. The olympiad is organised by the Saudi Data and Artificial Intelligence Authority (SDAIA), in partnership with the Ministry of Education and Mawhiba. (Middle East AI News)
#Saudi #education - Saudi Data and Artificial Intelligence Authority (SDAIA) has launched a new interactive “Data and AI Radar” app on its website, with the aim of providing users continuous updates on the latest data and AI technologies. (Maal)
#Qatar #training - Doha-based MENA Executive Training has just introduced a new 'Artificial Intelligence Governance Professional' course, beginning in November. The two-day course is split into six modules, and can be delivered online or in-person. (MENA Executive Training)
#Egypt #funding - Egyptian AI voice startup Intella has closed a $3.4 million Pre-Series A funding round, led by Saudi venture capital firms HALA Ventures and Wa’ed Ventures, an Aramco company. The new funding will fuel Intella’s expansion into the Saudi market. (BusinessWire)
#UAE #LLMs - Abu Dhabi's Technology Innovation Institute (TII) has released FalconLite2, a highly optimised version of the Falcon40B language model that has been fine-tuned to process long input sequences. This fine-tuned model can process up to 24K input tokens (or approximately 18K words) on a single AWS g5.12x instance. (LinkedIn)
#UAE #emergency - Abu Dhabi big data analytics powerhouse, Presight, has been awarded a contract by The National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority (NCEMA) - to develop a platform for an AI-driven emergency response, for use in humanitarian, medical, emergency and crisis situations. (Emirates News Agency)
#Jordan #facialrecognition - The Municipality of Greater Amman plans to use facial recognition technology starting next year. The government aims to use facial recognition to help to improve security, reduce crime, and make the Capital more efficient. (Jordan News)
#Saudi #GenAI - Saudia, the national airline of Saudi Arabia, has revealed that its generative AI virtual assistant, will enable guests to complete the entire transaction of booking a flight by the end of the year. The plan was announced as part of the airlines rebranding announcement. (Yahoo!)
#Saudi #digitisation - 53 percent of IT decision makers in Saudi Arabia in a survey, conducted by Censuswide on behalf of Juniper Networks, indicated that the driving factor for digital transformation within their organisations is benchmarking competitors and peers performing better at digitisation. (Zawya)
#GCC #digitisation - A new study from IT infrastructure services provider Kyndryl, conducted by IDC, revealed that 70% of surveyed Chief Information Officers within financial institutions in the GCC plan on changing their organisations into a digital business model to ensure future business resilience. (Intelligent CIO)
#UAE #innovation - 63% of UAE CIOs, IT decision makers, and developers surveyed by Cisco plan to invest on average 14% of annual revenue in innovation projects over the next 12 months. The findings were part of the Cisco State of Global Innovation Report 2023. (Zawya)
#UAE #FDI - Global tech solutions provider Endava has joined the Ministry of Economy’s NextGen FDI programme, which it will use to extend its footprint in the UAE. It now plans to build on its existing team and relocate senior leadership and technical teams to the country. (Zawya)
#Saudi #Pakistan #innovation - Saudi Arabia and Pakistan have signed an M.O.U, to expand bilateral cooperation in communications and I.T., by accelerating digital transformation, promoting innovation, and developing digital infrastructure. The two countries will also explore funding for entrepreneurs and enterprises. (SPA)
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