Middle East unlikely to slow down with AI, ChatGPT rollouts

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An open letter with thousands of signatories, including Elon Musk and Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, calls for a global pause in the development of advanced artificial intelligence, but the Middle East stands on its own. We would like to accelerate its development with the standards of Safeguard.

On Wednesday, Astra Tech, backed by Abu Dhabi-based AI firm G42, announced it had created the first Arabic AI chatbot.

what happened: The Future of Life Institute (FLI), a US non-profit organization that has been working to reduce global tech-related catastrophes since 2014, issued an open letter in late March, calling for asked its AI lab to pause “training AI systems stronger than GPT-4.” for 6 months.

The systems it refers to are primarily Language Learning Models (LLMs), capable of thinking, learning and acting like humans, which is seen as a potential risk to humanity. ChatGPT-4 is the latest LLM released by his OpenAI at the institute and launched last month.

Just type your question into the chat box and the AI ​​tool will respond, and you can even write academic reports and poetic sonnets. If allowed, answer questions such as how to make a bomb.

Given their ability to answer questions like humans, LLMs have the potential to replace low- and medium-skill jobs. Also, just like humans, they can insert false information as their answers may be misleading, biased, or simply untrue.

To generate these answers, we train the system by tracking personal data or parameters extracted from the web. This has raised concerns about the lack of data privacy regulation for this fast-growing technology, which was first introduced late last year.

Take Middle East: The number of signatories to the open letter has increased nearly sixfold from last Monday’s 3,000, underscoring growing concerns about unregulated AI. Among the signatories are names from across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). For example, Moroccan data her scientist Fatima Zahra Mouhsini, retired Saudi government general her manager Suleiman Mohammed A Aleisa, and UAE-based artist her May Ali.

Yet the region, especially the UAE and Saudi Arabia, are determined to advance the use of AI to grow their economies and create unique AI solutions to their unique problems.

The United Arab Emirates has set an AI strategy to become one of the world leaders in AI with a digital economy contributing 20% ​​of its gross domestic product by 2031. We have a Minister of State for AI and the Mohamed Bin Zayed University of AI is dedicated to building a national knowledge economy in this field.

Saudi Arabia launched a National Strategy on Data and AI in 2020. This aims to attract her $20 billion in foreign and domestic investment by 2030. They have also built mega-cities such as NEOM and The Line, and their AI is called “Heartbeat”.

MENA Applications: Moe Abeidat, group vice president of technology at Aramex, told Al-Monitor that the region has yet to pioneer new sciences and methods of training algorithms for AI compared to the larger global industry. , said it needed to do so given the high rate of AI adoption. Part of the global conversation.

Especially regarding Arabic language processing, pioneers are needed because “no one outside the region will solve it”. One such candidate is Astra Tech, owner of voice calling app Botim, which said last week it established its first “Arabic ChatGPT” in a pilot test phase.

Abeidat said Aramex is using AI to address the MENA-specific, undefinable or “ambiguous” shipping address problem.

“We’ve invested heavily in using AI to decipher what people type in as an address and determine the exact latitude and longitude,” Abeidat explains. He told his Al-Monitor that Aramex welcomes his ChatGPT improving this process and plans to gradually incorporate it into its internal systems as additional assistance.

“We take advantage of advanced AI and use it in cultural contexts that benefit us.” Real Estate Advertising.

Future risk: Generative AI is the term used for algorithms like ChatGPT that can be used to create new content that didn’t exist before, such as voice, code, text, video, and images.

For example, you can generate a creative video of a unicorn galloping along Saturn’s rings. If desired, you may be asked to create an image of what the Prophet Muhammad would look like. This is prohibited in Islam and can cause social uproar, as was done by French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in 2011 and his 2005 Danish cartoonist Kurt Westergaard. .

Dmitry Mikhailov, Chief Scientific Officer of Farukana, a metaverse gaming platform, said the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) has set precedents with its ethical guidelines, well-managed firewalls, and streamlined top-down governance. I said I was ready to deal with any issues that weren’t there.

“They can create their own regulations and implement them instantly. Like the Qatar World Cup that decided to ban alcohol in stadiums, it was done in one day,” he said.

AI replaces humans: Mihaylov also believes the FLI’s open letter sparked panic around the idea of ​​losing jobs to LLM and generative AI.

“We can actually attract highly skilled talent who can handle generative AI and reduce the number of low-skilled workers in the region,” he said. In some, he is as high as 90%, according to the International Monetary Fund.

Among these GCC populations, Kuwait (75%), Qatar (60%), Saudi Arabia (46%) and the UAE (46%) lack professional skills, according to PwC’s 2022 Middle East Workforce Hopes and Fears. increase. investigation.

Conclusion: Italy became the first Western country to ban ChatGPT last week, but given regional economic interests and top-down regulatory frameworks, it is highly unlikely that any Middle Eastern country, especially one within the GCC, will follow suit. is. It’s quite the opposite. The Dubai Electric and Water Authority enthusiastically announced in February that it would become the first UAE utility company to use conversational AI agents to improve services.

Abu Dhabi-based AI firm G42 has hired former executives from Chinese e-commerce giant JD.com Inc. to manage a $10 billion technology fund to expand its footprint across Asia, according to Bloomberg.

When AI has pauses, Mihaylov said: [the] Saudi sandbox. ”

The Saudi Data and AI Authority (SDAIA) launched the Data and Privacy Regulatory Sandbox in early February to harness the power of data while creating a means to protect consumer rights.

In the 2022 IPSOS global survey, Saudi Arabia ranked second (76%) in that AI has more advantages than disadvantages. Respondents from China rank him first (78%), while Americans (35%) rank last, anticipating future AI failures.

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