UAE launches innovative AI model to challenge tech giants

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Cutting-edge GenAI model Falcon 2 challenges industry titans, says UAE’s TII

DUBAI, UAE, May 13: The Technology Innovation Institute (TII), a prominent government research institute in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), unveiled its latest groundbreaking development on Monday, releasing a cutting-edge open-source GenAI model poised to challenge those offered by major tech giants.

Dubbed the Falcon 2 series, the new release comprises two innovative models: Falcon 2 11B, a text-based model, and Falcon 2 11B VLM, a visionary language model capable of generating textual descriptions based on uploaded images. These groundbreaking advancements mark a significant stride forward in the UAE’s burgeoning artificial intelligence landscape.

Operating under the umbrella of Abu Dhabi’s Advanced Technology Research Council, TII stands at the forefront of AI research and innovation in the region. With the UAE emerging as a key player in the global AI arena, significant investments have been directed towards advancing technological prowess in this field.

The UAE’s ambitious AI endeavors have not gone unnoticed, attracting attention and scrutiny from international quarters. Last year, U.S. officials issued a directive urging a choice between American or Chinese technology, prompting strategic realignments within the Emirati AI sector.

Emirati firm G42, responding to these developments, undertook measures to divest from Chinese entities and hardware, culminating in a landmark $1.5 billion investment from Microsoft, in coordination with Washington. Faisal Al Bannai, Secretary General of the Advanced Technology Research Council and a key adviser on strategic research and advanced technology, underscored the UAE’s commitment to asserting its prominence in the global AI landscape.

The release of the Falcon 2 series underscores a broader trend of global innovation in AI, catalyzed by landmark developments such as the 2022 release of ChatGPT by OpenAI. While some entities opt to safeguard their AI technologies, others, like UAE’s Falcon and Meta’s Llama, opt for transparency, making their code accessible for public use.

Looking ahead, Al Bannai expressed optimism regarding the performance of Falcon 2, hinting at ongoing endeavors to develop the next iteration, Falcon 3. Emphasizing the UAE’s ability to compete on a global scale, Al Bannai reiterated the nation’s commitment to innovation and technological excellence, affirming its position as a formidable force in the AI landscape.

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