G42, a leading United Arab Emirates (UAE) artificial intelligence (AI) agency has vowed to cut ties with Chinese hardware suppliers.
The announcement is another development in the geopolitical struggle between China and the US in the race for emerging information technology in the Middle East, reports The Financial Times.
The Abu-Dhabi company was founded in 2018 and is chaired by UAE National Security Advisor Sheikh Tahnoon bin Zayed. Sheikh Tahoon has been pushing for increased for investment in the UAE from multiple nations.
UAE at the heart of the international AI battleground
The Gulf state has become the focus of multiple expansions by US-based companies in AI and information technology.
Chair of G42 Peng Xiao said; “for better or worse, as a commercial company, we are in a position where we have to make a choice,” Xiao told the Financial Times. “We cannot work with both sides. We can’t.”
The decision to phase out Chinese hardware, most notably chips and processors, comes from the investment and pressure of US corporate partners currently operating in the UAE.
Peng’s announcement marks a crossroad for G42 who have worked with US companies to extend their investment in the Gulf State whilst also working with China and other nations. Most notably Huawei on Chinese-developed processors and data centers, and Sweden’s Ericsson for telecommunications development in the region.
Last month G42 agreed to a deal with OpenAI, the research company responsible for ChatGPT, marking another US-based company providing AI solutions across public, healthcare and financial services in the UAE.
Microsoft also announced the next phase of their collaboration with G42 to offer to “make available sovereign cloud offerings, co-innovate and deliver advanced AI capabilities, and expand the existing data center infrastructure in the UAE.”
AI is becoming an increasingly important topic for nations as can be seen from last month’s gathering of world leaders to address safe AI development. The US has since announced the formation of an AI safety institute within the Department of Commerce.
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