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Microsoft Invests in AI Partnership in the Middle East

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Microsoft is putting $1.5 billion into Abu Dhabi’s G42, a group focused on artificial intelligence (AI). This partnership is a big step for Microsoft, bringing its AI efforts into the Middle East for the first time.

The plan is for Microsoft and G42 to work together on AI and digital infrastructure projects. But, this move might face close examination from regulators.

G42, led by Peng Xiao, a Chinese businessman, has been under scrutiny for its connections to China. There have been worries that it could share American tech and data with China. However, Xiao denies these claims, calling them “misinformation.”

To address concerns, both G42 and Microsoft say they will follow US and international trade rules in their partnership. Microsoft’s President Brad Smith will even join the board of G42.

The partnership aims not only to benefit the UAE but also to bring AI and digital services to countries that need them.

G42 previously launched an Arabic-language AI model called “Jais,” available on Microsoft’s Azure platform. Microsoft has been teaming up with various AI companies to stay at the forefront of technology. Their collaboration with OpenAI has been particularly important for their growth.

However, Microsoft’s expanding influence in AI has attracted attention from regulators in the US and Europe. They’re concerned that Microsoft might become too dominant in the field.

Despite this, Microsoft has continued to invest in AI globally. They recently partnered with Mistral, a top AI startup in France, and committed significant funding to AI projects in Spain and Germany.

Brad Smith sees this as the dawn of a new AI era, with a whole new sector of the economy emerging.

Source: CNN