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ChatGPT Is Accelerating The AI Revolution In The Middle East

Discover how ChatGPT, an advanced AI language model developed by OpenAI, is accelerating the AI revolution in the Middle East.

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chatgpt is accelerating the ai revolution in the middle east

ChatGPT, an advanced artificial intelligence (AI) large language model developed by San Francisco-based OpenAI, has been dominating the headlines of tech magazines since its public release in November 2022.

Many believe that the AI’s uncanny ability to understand and generate human-like text has the potential to completely transform how we interact with the digital world and, as a result, usher in an era of unprecedented innovation and progress.

The vision of a future transformed by an AI may still seem somewhat distant and hazy, but it’s the exact future Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 reform plan and Egypt’s and Turkey’s national AI strategies want to create.

Now, with the world’s most advanced AI in the world gaining traction in the region, the AI revolution that has been the topic of countless conversations and proposals is accelerating at an unprecedented rate, with ChatGPT at the helm.

Artificial Intelligence Is The Future Of The Middle East

In recent years, the Middle East has seen an increasing interest in the adoption of AI technologies to revolutionize various sectors, foster economic growth, and drive innovation. With national strategies and ambitious goals in place, many countries are actively working towards embracing AI as a cornerstone of their future development.

Already, AI adoption in the Middle East spans various industries, with the financial sector being a leading adopter. For example, in 2016, Emirates NBD became the first bank in the region to release its own AI-based personal banking assistant, called Eva.

In the wake of the fourth industrial revolution, governments and businesses across the Middle East are beginning to realize the shift globally towards AI and advanced technologies.

Source: PwC

Other sectors actively incorporating AI in the region include healthcare (AI-powered diagnostics tools), education (intelligent tutoring systems), manufacturing (optimized and automated manufacturing processes), and public services (better decision-making and streamlined administrative tasks), among others.

According to PwC, AI has the potential to contribute up to US$320 billion to the Middle East economy by 2030, equivalent to 11% of the region’s GDP. This highlights the immense potential of AI in driving economic prosperity in the region and freeing it from its dependence on oil exports.

Will ChatGPT Be The Spark That Catalyzes An AI-Driven Economic Boom?

Artificial intelligence has been playing a major role in the lives of most people for several years now. It enables Face ID to recognize human faces, makes Google Search more accurate, and enhances the quality of smartphone photos and videos, just to give a few examples.

What these and most other examples of AI technology being put to practical use have in common is that they perform very specific tasks and do so without drawing attention to themselves.

ChatGPT is different. As a large language model, it generates text by iteratively posing the question, “Based on the current text, what should the next word be?” If you ask it, “What is the capital of Lebanon?” it will happily answer, “The capital of Lebanon is Beirut.” Remarkably, ChatGPT doesn’t retrieve this information from Wikipedia or some other source.

Instead, the AI and its approximately 1 trillion parameters were trained on a massive set of data obtained from books, the web, scientific articles, and other materials. All this training and subsequent fine-tuning have allowed ChatGPT to handle a wide range of tasks, such as answering complex questions, translating text between different languages, describing online memes, taking difficult law exams, or programming software applications.

Recently, ChatGPT has gained plugin support, so it can now browse the web, provide restaurant recommendations, do math, interact with over 5,000+ apps through Zapier, and much more.

Though not a perfect analogy, plugins can be “eyes and ears” for language models, giving them access to information that is too recent, too personal, or too specific to be included in the training data.

Source: OpenAI

Because of ChatGPT’s unprecedented and rapidly growing capabilities, researchers are now debating whether it could be classified as an early example of artificial general intelligence (AGI), an AI system capable of performing any intellectual task that a human can. Regardless of whether it can or cannot be classified as an AGI, ChatGPT is already making waves in the Middle East.

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, has asked the authorities to do a study on ChatGPT and how the government can use the technology safely in education, health, and other industries.

The UAE’s AI minister, Omar Sultan Al Olama, has also spoken about the success of ChatGPT, saying that its level of output and engagement is beyond what many AI experts would have predicted just six months ago.

Yanzo, a text-based personal assistant that operates on WhatsApp, has recently become one of the first companies to supercharge their product with ChatGPT. Yanzo was initially considering IBM’s Watson and Netomi, but the moment ChatGPT came out, Mohammed Jaffar, the company’s co-founder and CEO, knew what the right decision was. Now, ChatGPT is the first in line to respond to user requests.

Yanzo provided 33,000 conversations, and after two weeks, the AI had learned its way of dealing with customer requests.

Source: Wamda

However, as with any disruptive technology, there are also concerns about the potential risks and challenges associated with AI. According to OpenAI, around 80% of workers could see their jobs impacted by ChatGPT. The most exposed occupations include mathematicians, tax preparers, financial analysts, writers, and web designers, but virtually all white-collar jobs exhibit some degree of exposure to AI.

There’s also the very important question of privacy and security. For large language models like ChatGPT to function effectively and serve various personal and business use cases, they need access to vast amounts of data, including personal information. This raises concerns about how this data is being collected, stored, and used, as well as who has access to it. Recently, it took just one bug in an open-source library for ChatGPT users to see other users’ chat histories.

Last but not least, readily accessible AIs like ChatGPT could be used to spread dangerous misinformation, propaganda, and hate speech. Therefore, it is crucial that businesses, governments, and civil society work together to ensure that AI systems are being used ethically and responsibly. After all, the real goal of the AI revolution in the Middle East should be to enhance people’s lives — not replace people with machines.

Conclusion

In the coming years, we are likely to see ChatGPT and other similar AI tools play an increasingly important role in transforming industries, driving innovation, and fostering economic growth in the Middle East. With the potential to automate routine tasks, improve decision-making, and provide personalized services at scale, AI is poised to revolutionize virtually all sectors. But with this potential also comes great responsibility, and all stakeholders in the AI ecosystem need to work together to ensure the world-changing technology benefits, not just a select few but the entire Middle East.

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Sabrine Hijazi

    March 25, 2023 at 10:28 AM

    I absolutely agree that AI is going to change the MENA region for the better! Very informative article. 👏

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Initial Trials Of Dubai’s Driverless Evocargo Trucks Completed

Testing was announced on July 17, and the completion is a major milestone towards upgrading the region’s logistics infrastructure.

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initial trials of dubai's driverless evocargo trucks completed
Dubai Media Office

A Dubai-based company has completed the initial trials for the UAE’s first driverless trucks. The groundbreaking achievement by Evocargo, partnering with Dubai South, took place at Dubai South Logistics District, and marked a significant step towards incorporating autonomous technologies into the region’s wider logistics infrastructure.

Announced on Wednesday, July 17th, the trials featured the Evocargo N1 unmanned electric truck navigating a predetermined route within a controlled setting. The test involved interactions with common road obstacles such as cars, trucks, and pedestrians, aiming to evaluate the vehicle’s hardware and software reliability, accident prevention systems, and overall readiness for public road use.

Officials were keen to highlight that this accomplishment aligns with the UAE’s ambitious strategy to position itself as a global leader in innovation and technology adoption. The country aims to have 25% of all transportation in Dubai autonomous by 2030, underscoring its commitment to revolutionizing the logistics sector using advanced technologies.

Mohsen Ahmad, CEO of the Logistics District at Dubai South, emphasized the importance of the collaboration with Evocargo in enhancing the region’s logistics capabilities. He noted that autonomous vehicles are set to increase efficiency, reduce carbon emissions, and establish a sustainable logistics infrastructure that will benefit both Dubai and the wider UAE.

Also Read: Riyadh Developers Reveal New 45,000-Seat Murabba Stadium

Ahmed Al-Ansi, CEO of Evocargo Autonomous Logistic Services, also expressed optimism that the trials will draw new customers and investments across the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries. The partnership aims to lead in innovative tech solutions, further establishing the UAE as a pioneer in autonomous transportation.

The successful completion of the trials marks a crucial step towards realizing the UAE’s vision for a technologically advanced and sustainable future in which autonomous vehicles are expected to play a pivotal role in global logistics.

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