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The world’s largest Arabic NLP model; First UAE SPAC to be tech-focused
Here’s your weekly roundup of Middle East AI News!
The UAE reinforced its commitment to the digital economy this week, creating a new council to support its efforts and setting a goal of a 20% digital contribution within 10 years.
Meanwhile, Wamda released its March 2022 MENA funding report, which indicates that less than 1% of funding was focused on AI, deeptech or IoT.
And the UAE's first SPAC has been announced, and it will be focused on tech investment. It's just one of a growing number of investment vehicled funneling funding into the tech sector.
And Abu Dhabi's applied research centre TII launches 'the world's largest Arabic NLP model'!
Scroll down for these stories and more! Stay safe and have a great day!
#UAE #digitaleconomy - The UAE Cabinet met this week and approved a new Digital Economy Strategy that aims to increase the contribution of this sector to the GDP to 20 percent over the next 10 years. The cabinet also approved the formation of a new UAE Council for Digital Economy. (Gulf Business)
#UAE #venturecapital - The formation of the UAE’s first SPAC (special purpose acquisition company) by ADQ and Chimera Investments will provide another sizeable source of funding to help further Abu Dhabi's ambitions to become a global technology, R&D and tech investment hub. (Linkedin)
#MENA #funding - Startups in the Middle East and North Africa region (MENA) raised $299 million across 79 deals in March 2022, according to WAMDA. According to the study, ess than 1% of funding was focused on AI, deeptech or IoT. (WAMDA)
#Egypt #funding - Egypt-based infrastructure management platform Pylon, has raised $19 million in a Seed funding round led by Endure Capital. on’s platform uses data and AI to improve revenue collection, reduce losses and achieve a more efficient environmental footprint. (WAMDA)
#India #Kuwait #funding - Pune-based Rises AI, disclosed that it has raised seed funding led by Angel Investors from Kuwait and the USA. Rises Analytics Solutions is an AI and blockchain integrated health tech start-up. (TechGraph)
#UAE #R&D - Abu Dhabi's applied research centre Technology Innovation Institute (TII) has announced the world’s largest Arabic natural language processing (NLP) model. Called NOOR, the model carries out varied, cross-domain tasks simply from natural language instructions. (Zawya)
#UAE #Israel #R&D - Weizmann Institute of Science (WIS) has just concluded two days of meetings with MBZUAI (Mohamed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence) in Abu Dhabi to deepen artificial intelligence research and innovation collaboration between the two institutions. (Emirates News Agency)
#Qatar #Covid19 - Researchers at Qatar Computing Research Institute (QCRI), part of Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU), believe that AI has a major role to play in both preparing for, and responding to, future pandemics. (HBKU)
#Qatar #training - Elev8, part of the YNV Group, has joined forces with Microsoft and the Qatari Ministry of Communication and Technology (MCIT) to launch the Digital Center of Excellence in Qatar. The company will facilite skilling programs and boot camps in key areas of tech including AI and data science. (Elev8)
#UAE #robotics - ASPIRE, the technology programme management arm of Abu Dhabi’s Advanced Technology Research Council (ATRC), today announced that Open Robotics will be providing the open-source simulator for the Simulation Phase of the MBZIRC Maritime Grand Challenge. (Emirates News Agency)
#UAE #IoT - Dubai-based IoT Platform company Disrupt-X has signed an MoU with system integrator Al-Futtaim Technologies to implementation of IoT platforms to support smart sustainable cities. The two firms will also soon open an IoT lab to demonstrate cutting edge technologies. (EIN News)
#Israel #AVs - Intel-owned Mobileye has previewed its True Redundancy self-driving sensing system for the first time in this video of a Mobileye robotaxi, which drives Johann Jungwirth, vice president of mobility-as-a-service, from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv. (WIRED ME)
#Kuwait #regulation - Kuwait's Directorate-General of Civil Aviation has stopped issuing permits for the use of drones to individuals and private entities due to the danger they pose to the movement of aircraft. (Times of Kuwait)
#UAE #drones - Sharjah Police are successfully using drones to save lives in emergency situations. In May 2020, a raging fire swept a 48-storey tower in Sharjah. The police force used DJI's Mavic 2 drone to search the building for people in danger, allowing the authorities to save three more lives. (The National)
#Egypt #Sudan - The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the Wageningen University & Research (WUR) in the Netherlands have launched a new project using AI technologies to improve the identification and measurement of fish species and stocks in the Nile Basin. (Arab News)
#Qatar #WorldCup2022 - FIFA has been trialing the use of limb-tracking offside technology, which uses AI along with a series of cameras around the stadium. The technology has so far been used at the Club World Cup and FIFA Arab Cup, and FIFA expects it to be used at Qatar 2022. (Forbes)