Saudi Arabia to invest $ 20 billion in artificial intelligence

Riyadh will invest $ 20 billion (around 16.9 billion euros) in artificial intelligence by 2030, the world’s leading crude oil exporter seeking to diversify its economy amid falling gold prices black, authorities said Thursday.

The Arab world’s largest economy launched an artificial intelligence strategy in October to attract investors as part of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s ambitious “Vision 2030” plan to alleviate his heavy dependence on oil. “Saudi Arabia will invest $ 20 billion by 2030,” said Abdallah al-Ghamdi, director of the Data and Artificial Intelligence Authority (SDAIA), created in 2019.

“We aspire for artificial intelligence to be a component of an alternative economy through start-ups and innovative companies,” he explained during a G20 press briefing in Riyadh, chaired this year by Saudi Arabia. “We see artificial intelligence as a source of savings and additional income.”

Actions open to foreign investment

Abdallah al-Ghamdi adds that the shares will be open to foreign and local investment, with the country seeking to create more than 300 artificial intelligence start-ups by 2030. Like other energy-rich Gulf countries , Saudi Arabia is particularly focusing on technologies to diversify its economy hit by the double impact of low oil prices and the Covid-19 health crisis.

The first Arab state to host a G20 summit, the kingdom is nevertheless struggling to shed its bad international image, especially since the rise of Prince Mohammed ben Salman, which has been accompanied by increased repression of dissenting voices. The virtual G20 summit, which is due to bring together the leaders of the world’s largest economies this weekend, remains marked by calls from activists to denounce human rights violations in Saudi Arabia.

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