Saudi Arabia set to allocate $40bn for AI investment fund

Saudi Arabia looks set to become the next nation attempting to make major waves in artificial intelligence, with the kingdom reportedly planning to create a $40 billion fund to invest in the tech.

According to the New York Times, the Public Investment Fund (PIF) of Saudi Arabia (which also owns English football club Newcastle United) has discussed a partnership with potential US backers over the past few weeks.

The report specifically points to discussions between PIF governor Yasir Al-Rumayyan and Andreessen Horowitz over what role the venture capital firm could play and how the fund would work.

Citing three people briefed on the plans, the AI fund is expected to commence in the second half of 2024.

The PIF has previously touted Saudi Arabia as a potential hub for AI development due to its energy resources and funding capacity. Speaking last month, Al-Rumayyan said that the kingdom had the “political will” to make AI projects happen.

The kingdom has also invested heavily to attract potential partners in the AI start-up space from related areas such as processor development and data centre operation.

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