The latest announcement builds on existing G42-Microsoft partnerships around AI and the cloud. And the two will be working closely with the UAE and US governments to ensure 'responsible AI' across all their joint operations. Image Credit: WAM/Reuters

Dubai: The US tech giant Microsoft is committing $1.5 billion in Abu Dhabi’s AI focused tech entity, G42.

“The investment will strengthen the two companies’ collaboration on bringing the latest Microsoft AI technologies and skilling initiatives to the UAE and other countries,” said a statement.

Brad Smith, Vice-Chair and President of Microsoft, will join the G42 Board of Directors. “This expanded collaboration will empower organizations of all sizes in new markets to harness the benefits of AI and the cloud,” the statement from G42 added.

The partnership will also help develop a 'skilled and diverse AI workforce and talent pool' in the region, with an investment of $1 billion earmarked for a fund for tech developers.

Sheikh Tahnoon bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chairman of G42, oversees signing of agreement between Peng Xiao, Group Chief Executive Officer of G42 and Brad Smith, Microsoft Vice Chair and President. Image Credit: WAM

According to Sheikh Tahnoon bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Ruler of Abu Dhabi and Chairman of G42, “Microsoft’s investment 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.” 

AI compliance with US, UAE government rules

The G42-Microsoft partnership is backed by 'assurances to both governments' through a first such agreement to 'apply world-class best practices to ensure the secure, trusted, and responsible development and deployment of AI'.

The two companies will work to elevate the security and compliance framework of their joint international infrastructure.

"Both companies will move forward with a commitment to comply with US and international trade, security, responsible AI, and business integrity laws and regulations," the statement said.

These are governed by a detailed 'Intergovernmental Assurance Agreement' between G42 and Microsoft that was developed in close consultation with both the UAE and US governments.

Expanded alliance
G42 and Microsoft have already been working on multiple projects over the last year. This includes a joint plan announced in April 2023 to develop AI solutions tailored for the public sector and industry.

In September 2023, the companies entered into an agreement to introduce sovereign cloud offerings and collaborate on advancing the potential of advanced AI capabilities on the Azure public cloud platform.

In November 2023, Microsoft announced the availability of G42’s Jais Arabic Large Language Model on the new Azure AI Cloud Model-as-a-Service offering.

"Our two companies will work together not only in the UAE, but to bring AI and digital infrastructure and services to underserved nations,” said Brad Smith, Microsoft Vice-Chair and President. "We will combine 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."