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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, computing power, and AI research. The kingdom is hosting large tech conferences and attracting major tech companies to invest in the country.

🙋 Q&A

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

1. What is Saudi Arabia doing to become an AI superpower?

  • Saudi Arabia is plowing money into glitzy tech events, computing power, and artificial intelligence research to build a tech industry to complement its oil dominance.
  • The kingdom is hosting a large tech conference called "Leap" where major tech companies like Amazon, Google, TikTok, and IBM have announced investments and partnerships with Saudi Arabia.
  • Over $10 billion in deals were made at the Leap conference, according to Saudi Arabia's state press agency.

2. What are some examples of Saudi Arabia's investments and partnerships with tech companies?

  • Amazon's cloud computing division announced a $5.3 billion investment in Saudi Arabia for data centers and artificial intelligence technology.
  • IBM's CEO spoke of a "lifetime friendship" with the kingdom.
  • Executives from Huawei and dozens of other firms made speeches and announced deals at the Leap conference.

3. What challenges did attendees face in getting to the Leap conference?

  • There was a three-hour traffic jam as cars crawled toward the conference venue, 50 miles outside Riyadh.
  • Frustrated attendees drove onto the highway shoulder to bypass the congestion, kicking up plumes of desert sand.
  • A special freeway exit was dedicated to "V.V.I.P.s" (very, very important people) to help them avoid the traffic.
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