20240606 google
Each faculty awardee will be matched with a Google researcher Image Credit: Reuters

Dubai: Google is awarding research grants to advance artificial intelligence (AI) at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) in Saudi Arabia.

The full grant is worth $100,000 (Dh367,000), and aims to support distinguished KAUST researchers engaged in projects focused on multilingual and multimodal machine learning, as well as the development of large language models.

These initiatives will be undertaken within KAUST's newly established Centre of Excellence on Generative AI.

Each faculty awardee will also be matched with a Google researcher who will act as their sponsor, according to a statement from KAUST detailing the AI projects funded by Google.

Saudi Arabia is actively investing in AI development. World Wide Technology, a US IT company, has partnered with Aramco Digital, the IT arm of the state oil company Aramco, to enhance its market, projected to grow by 42.6 per cent annually to $3.11 billion (Dh11.4 billion) by 2030.

Aramco's venture capital fund Prosperity7, participated in a $400 million (Dh1.4 billion) investment round for Zhipu AI, a Chinese startup specialising in generative AI. This investment marked the first instance of foreign funding supporting China's efforts to establish a domestic competitor to American artificial intelligence research organisation OpenAI.