Saudi Arabia plans $40 bln fund for AI investments: Report

Saudi Arabia’s government plans to create a fund of about $40 billion to invest in artificial intelligence, the New York Times reported on Tuesday, citing three people briefed on the plans.

Representatives of Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) have discussed a potential partnership with US venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz and other financiers in recent weeks, the newspaper reported.

Andreessen Horowitz and PIF governor Yasir Al-Rumayyan have discussed the possibility of the US firm setting up an office in Riyadh, according to the report.

PIF officials also discussed what role Andreessen Horowitz could play and how such a fund would work, the newspaper said, adding the plans could still change.

Other venture capitalists may participate in kingdom’s artificial intelligence fund, which is expected to commence in the second half of 2024, the newspaper said.

Saudi representatives have indicated to potential partners that the country is interested in supporting a variety of tech start-ups associated with artificial intelligence, including chip makers and large-scale data centers, the report added.

PIF and Andreessen Horowitz did not immediately respond to requests for comment from Reuters.

Last month, PIF’s Al-Rumayyan pitched the kingdom as a prospective hub for artificial intelligence activity outside US, citing its energy resources and funding capacity.

Al-Rumayyan had said the kingdom had the “political will” to make artificial intelligence projects happen and ample funds it could deploy to nurture the technology’s development.

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