Microsoft Invests $1.5 Billion in UAE's G42

Microsoft Invests $1.5 Billion in UAE's G42

Microsoft has announced a strategic investment of $1.5 billion in G42, a leading AI technology company based in the United Arab Emirates. This partnership aims to enhance the development and global expansion of AI technologies while ensuring adherence to world-leading standards in safety and security.

G42 has quickly established itself as a regional leader in AI, championing their technology as a force for good, and applying it across industries from healthcare and finance to space exploration. The company has released several AI models, including Jais, an open-source Arabic language model developed in collaboration with Cerebras Systems.

G42’s Inception Unveils Jais, A Cutting-Edge Arabic Language Model
Jais achieves the world’s best performance for an open Arabic LLM while matching performance in English LLMs, despite having been trained on significantly less data.

The collaboration between Microsoft and G42 comes amid increased scrutiny of G42's alleged ties to China. As part of the deal, G42 has agreed to divest from China and align itself with American technology, following negotiations with the U.S. government. This pivot is seen as a crucial step in curtailing Chinese access to AI technologies and aligning a key Middle Eastern firm with the United States.

Under the partnership, G42 will run its AI applications and services on Microsoft's Azure cloud platform, leveraging the tech giant's extensive partner ecosystem and cloud capabilities. The two companies will also work together to introduce advanced AI solutions and digital infrastructure to countries in the Middle East, Central Asia, and Africa, providing equitable access to services while maintaining the highest standards of security and privacy.

The investment will also support the development of a skilled and diverse AI workforce in the UAE and the broader region, with the establishment of a $1 billion fund for developers. This initiative aims to drive innovation and competitiveness in the AI sector.

A unique aspect of this partnership is the involvement of both the UAE and U.S. governments. The commercial partnership is backed by a first-of-its-kind Intergovernmental Assurance Agreement (IGAA) between G42 and Microsoft, developed in close consultation with both governments. This agreement ensures the secure, trusted, and responsible development and deployment of AI, with both companies committing to comply with U.S. and international trade, security, responsible AI, and business integrity laws and regulations.

Microsoft President Brad Smith, who will join G42's board of directors, emphasized the importance of this partnership in bringing world-class technology and responsible AI standards to the global market. "We will combine world-class technology with world-leading standards for safe, trusted, and responsible AI, in close coordination with the governments of both the UAE and the United States," Smith stated.

The Microsoft-G42 deal is expected to give a significant boost to the UAE's tech ambitions, as the country seeks to establish itself as a key technology hub in the Middle East, particularly in areas such as artificial intelligence and cryptocurrency. Microsoft will take a minority stake in the company.

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