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‘To the Future’: Saudi Arabia Spends Big to Become an A.I. Superpower

🌈 Abstract

The article discusses Saudi Arabia's efforts to become an AI superpower by investing heavily in technology, including hosting a major tech conference and attracting investments from tech giants like Amazon and IBM.

🙋 Q&A

[01] 'To the Future': Saudi Arabia Spends Big to Become an A.I. Superpower

1. What is Saudi Arabia's goal in investing heavily in technology and AI?

  • Saudi Arabia is aiming to build a tech industry to complement its oil dominance, and is plowing money into glitzy tech events, computing power, and AI research.
  • The kingdom is seeking to become an AI superpower, as part of an escalating U.S.-China struggle for technological influence.

2. What are some of the key investments and deals made at the Leap tech conference in Saudi Arabia?

  • Amazon announced a $5.3 billion investment in Saudi Arabia for data centers and AI technology.
  • IBM's CEO spoke of a "lifetime friendship" with the kingdom.
  • Executives from Huawei and dozens of other firms made speeches, and over $10 billion in deals were done at the conference.

3. How did the Leap conference attract so many tech executives and companies?

  • The conference offered billions of dollars in Saudi money as the kingdom seeks to build a tech industry.
  • To bypass the massive traffic jams, some frustrated attendees drove onto the highway shoulder, while a few took advantage of a special freeway exit dedicated to "V.V.I.P.s".
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