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Google Contributed Billions To The Middle East Economy In 2021

Google contributed over $3 billion to the economy in both the UAE and Saudi Arabia in 2021 alone.



google contributed billions of dollars to the middle east economy in 2021

For better or worse, Google is at the heart of the modern internet. Services like Google Search, Gmail, YouTube, Google Maps, and Google Drive are used by billions of people around the world, helping them find useful information, establish an online presence, and accomplish their goals, among many other things.

Interested to see how much value it contributes to the Middle East economy, the tech giant commissioned independent consultancy Public First to explore how Google’s products helped people, businesses, and workers, and the findings are astonishing: Google contributed over $3 billion to the economy in both the UAE and Saudi Arabia in 2021 alone.

To be more precise, Google helped support an estimated 12.2 billion SAR (or $3.25 billion) in economic activity in Saudi Arabia and AED 11.3 billion (or $3.08 billion) in the UAE.

In both countries, e-commerce played a vital role in Google’s contributions. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, people across the Middle East were fairly reluctant to shop online. Since the first wave of pandemic lockdowns restricted access to physical stores, e-commerce penetration more than doubled both in Saudi Arabia (from 5% to 10%) and the UAE (from 5.6% to 12.1%).

Other drivers of Google’s contributions include the company’s huge developer ecosystem or the various content creators it helped propel to stardom, such as the Iraqi creator known as Chef Shaheen, whose YouTube channel has around 2.4 million subscribers.

Also Read: How To Find Remote-Only Tech Jobs In 2023

“We see from the numbers that the content creator economy is growing massively…same thing for developers,” says Anthony Nakache, Google’s Managing Director in the Middle East and North Africa. “All signs are showing that there is a growth in the [digital] economy — all components are actually growing.”

On the flip side, any economy that becomes largely dependent on a single company can find itself in an unpleasant situation if the company stops being able to deliver its services, just like when the massive Facebook outage shook the internet in 2021.


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Adobe Firefly AI Image Generator Comes To Photoshop

The Generative Fill tool will arrive in the app’s tool palette sometime in the second half of this year.



adobe firefly ai image generator come to photoshop

Adobe Photoshop is the latest app to benefit from the explosion of Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology, gaining a new tool called Generative Fill. The company’s AI image generator Firefly benefitted from the new feature in a web-only update back in March, and today, the Generative Fill tool launches in beta for the popular photo editing program.

Generative Fill is a little like a smarter version of Adobe’s existing Content-Aware Fill feature and works within individual Photoshop image layers. The tool can be used to expand the borders of an image (a feature known as outpainting) or to generate entirely new objects, and contains a text prompt to add direction to the AI technology.

Adobe claims its AI is only trained to work on Adobe Stock images, licensed content, and images without copyright restrictions. Generative Fill also supports a system called Content Credentials, which attaches metadata-style attributes to images before they are shared online, informing viewers that content was created or edited with the help of AI.

“By integrating Firefly directly into workflows as a creative co-pilot, Adobe is accelerating ideation, exploration and production for all of our customers,” announced Ashley Still, the senior vice president of Digital Media at Adobe. “Generative Fill combines the speed and ease of generative AI with the power and precision of Photoshop, empowering customers to bring their visions to life at the speed of their imaginations,” she added.

Also Read: PicSo Review: A Popular AI-Based Text-To-Image App

Generative Fill isn’t yet available in the latest version of Photoshop, but if you’re curious about how the tool works, you can download the desktop beta app or try it out within a module of the Firefly beta. Adobe is still tight-lipped about the exact release date of Generative Fill, but says we can expect the new feature to drop sometime in the second half of 2023.

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