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Report: US and UAE Plan AI Partnerships

The United States and the United Arab Emirates are reportedly strengthening their artificial intelligence ties.

Omar Sultan Al Olama, the UAE’s state minister for AI, said his country and the U.S. are strategic partners and have plans to make future joint investments in AI, Reuters reported Tuesday (May 21).

The UAE has discussed the use of small modular nuclear reactors (SMRs) to help power data centers with relevant parties but has no concrete plans for their development at the moment, the report said.

Al Olama’s statement follows reports from last month that the White House was campaigning for American AI companies to form partnerships in the UAE, allowing the U.S. to gain an advantage over China in the race to develop new AI projects.

Countries throughout the Middle East are working to establish themselves as global AI leadersFor example, Saudi Arabia earlier this year created a $40 billion AI investment fund, the type of thing that — as PYMNTS wrote last month — spotlights “AI’s potential to reshape industries and fuel economic expansion.”

By the end of the decade, the Middle East could grab hold of 2% of AI’s total worldwide benefits, or about $320 billion, according to a PwC study.

In August, Mastercard announced it was working with the UAE government to promote AI adoption in that country, with the company opening its newest Center for Advanced AI and Cyber Technology in Dubai.

Mastercard said the center would develop AI-powered financial crime prevention tools, focus on “securing the digital ecosystem and driving inclusive growth,” and act as a hub for fostering and hiring local AI talent.

The same month saw G42 subsidiary Inception, California-based AI research firm Cerebras and the Mohamed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence join forces to unveil their Arabic language-trained AI software.

Dubbed Jais, the model uses a dataset of 116 billion Arabic tokens and 279 billion English word tokens, aimed at capturing the complexity and nuance of Arabic, the companies said at the time.

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