April 15, 2024


The world could have a new superpower in the Great AI race: Saudi Arabia reportedly has $40 billion earmarked to invest in artificial intelligence technology. A fund that size would be one of the world’s largest to-date targeted toward the development of AI, according to the New York Times.

Individuals familiar with the plans spoke to the NYT about how representatives from the kingdom’s Public Investment Fund — which has long been tapped by Silicon Valley to fund tech start ups and even was once a sought-after funding option for Elon Musk’s Tesla — are working with some top U.S. financiers on the AI fund, including Andreessen Horowitz.

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Globally, corporate investment in AI has been exploding, but such a gigantic investment from Saudi Arabia would make it a key global player in the space. It would also fulfill the kingdom’s broader goals of differentiating its domestic business models (currently heavily dominated by oil) while growing its geopolitical influence.

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The technicalities of how the fund would work, and how much Andreessen Horowitz would be involved with it, haven’t been hammered out yet, the people told the Times. They added that the push could start to take off as early as in the second half of this year.

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