Sam Altman of OpenAI spoke to the AI minister in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) at a virtual appearance during the World Governments Summit about the country’s potential to become a regulatory sandbox for artificial intelligence (AI) technologies. Altman emphasized the need for a controlled environment for experimentation and evidence gathering to inform future regulations. He also stressed the importance of unified global policy to regulate AI advancements and highlighted that the UAE is well-positioned to be a leader in these discussions.
Altman is currently seeking investors in the Middle East for a semiconductor initiative that aims to advance AI, which comes as the UAE has heavily invested in the technology. However, concerns about the UAE’s ties to China have been raised in the United States, with G42, an Emirati AI company controlled by UAE National Security Adviser Sheikh Tahnoon bin Zayed Al Nahyan, having partnerships with OpenAI, Microsoft Corp., and Cerebras Systems Inc. The company announced plans to scale back its presence in China to comply with Washington’s demands.
During his remarks, Altman also mentioned that OpenAI plans to open-source additional large-language models developed by the company and develop tools for poorer nations that cannot afford their own AI systems, with an aim of making AI services accessible to a wider range of countries.