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Microsoft Invests $1.5 Billion In Abu Dhabi AI Tech Firm G42

The collaboration will promote and share the latest AI tech and skills initiatives worldwide and introduce an investment fund for developers.

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microsoft invests $1.5 billion in abu dhabi ai tech firm g42
G42

Abu Dhabi AI and tech firm G42 have announced a partnership with Microsoft that will include a $1.5 billion investment. The huge cash injection will help the collaborating companies bring the latest Microsoft AI tech and skills initiatives to the UAE, as well as the wider Middle East, Central Asia, and Africa.

Over time, G42 and Microsoft aim to empower nations and improve equity by allowing access to services that address vital government and business concerns while promoting the highest privacy and security standards.

H.H. Sheikh Tahnoon bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chairman of G42, explained: “Microsoft’s investment in G42 marks a pivotal moment in our company’s journey of growth and innovation, signifying a strategic alignment of vision and execution between the two organizations. This partnership is a testament to the shared values and aspirations for progress, fostering greater cooperation and synergy globally”.

The partnership will support the creation of a skilled AI workforce and develop a talent pool to drive innovation and boost competitiveness in the UAE and beyond with a $1 billion investment fund for developers.

As part of the newly expanded partnership, Brad Smith, Vice Chair and President of Microsoft, will join G42’s board of directors. In a recent statement, Smith said: “Our two companies will work together not only in the UAE, but to bring AI and digital infrastructure and services to underserved nations [combining] world-class technology with world-leading standards for safe, trusted, and responsible AI, in close coordination with the governments of both the UAE and the United States”.

Also Read: Getting Started With Google Gemini: A Beginner’s Guide

As part of their regional plans, Microsoft and G42 have firmly committed to complying with US and international trade laws. They will also adhere to responsible AI and business integrity regulations governed by a detailed Intergovernmental Assurance Agreement (IGAA).

Peng Xiao, G42’s Group Chief Executive Officer, stated, “This partnership significantly enhances our international market presence, combining G42’s unique AI capabilities with Microsoft’s robust global infrastructure. Together, we are not only expanding our operational horizons but also setting new industry standards for innovation”.

The G42 and Microsoft collaboration has passed several significant milestones over the past twelve months. A joint plan to develop AI solutions for industry and the public sector and industry was unveiled in April 2023, and last September, Microsoft and G42 laid out plans to unlock the potential of the Azure public cloud platform. Finally, in November 2023, Microsoft added G42’s Jais Arabic Large Language Model to its Azure AI Cloud Model.

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Truecaller To Use Microsoft Azure AI Speech For Call Answering

The new service features a powerful speech generation tool to allow users to create AI versions of their voices.

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truecaller to use microsoft azure ai speech for call answering
Truecaller

Truecaller, a well-known app for identifying and blocking spam calls, is enhancing its services by allowing users to create AI versions of their voices. The new feature, available to those with access to Truecaller’s AI Assistant, stems from a partnership with Microsoft and its Azure AI Speech tool, allowing the generation of realistic AI voices that accurately mimic users’ speech patterns and tone.

“This groundbreaking capability not only adds a touch of familiarity and comfort for the users but also showcases the power of AI in transforming the way we interact with our digital assistants,” explained Truecaller product director and general manager Raphael Mimoun in a recent blog post.

The AI Assistant in Truecaller screens incoming calls, informing recipients of a caller’s purpose. Based on this information, users can decide whether to answer the call themselves or let the AI Assistant handle it.

When the feature was introduced in 2022, users could only choose from a collection of preset voices. The ability to record one’s own voice represents a significant step towards the complete personalization of the service.

Also Read: Getting Started With Google Gemini: A Beginner’s Guide

Azure AI Speech, showcased during the last Build conference, only recently added a personal voice feature that lets people record and replicate voices. Microsoft explained in a blog post, however, that Personal Voice is available on a limited basis and only for specific use cases like voice assistants.

To maintain ethical standards, Microsoft’s Azure AI Speech automatically adds watermarks to AI-generated voices. Additionally, a code of conduct requires companies to obtain full consent from individuals being recorded and prohibits impersonation.

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