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Soon, UAE will Dethrone OpenAI

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Falcon 180B vs GPT-4 in the AI Race


In the dynamic realm of Artificial Intelligence, the unveiling of the UAE’s Technological Innovation Institute’s (TII) Falcon 180B has sent shockwaves through the industry. Boasting an astounding 180 billion parameters, it stands shoulder-to-shoulder with OpenAI’s latest GPT-4, and even rivals Google’s PaLM 2 in performance. Let’s delve into the intricacies and discover what sets Falcon 180B apart.

The Magnitude of Falcon 180B

Falcon 180B, an amplified iteration of the Falcon 40B, is a testament to the UAE’s commitment to AI advancement. Trained on an unprecedented 3.5 trillion tokens across 4096 GPUs, with approximately 7,000,000 GPU hours on Amazon SageMaker, Falcon 180B eclipses its predecessor by 2.5 times and demands four times more computational power than Llama 2. The sheer scale is both astounding and intriguing, raising questions about the colossal computing power at TII’s disposal.

UAE’s Oil Wealth

The UAE, a nation endowed with oil riches, allocates its abundant financial resources strategically. With 30% of the GDP derived directly from the oil and gas sector, and 13% of exports linked to hydrocarbons, the nation wields substantial economic power. This financial prowess is channeled into ambitious AI projects. The National Strategy for AI 2031, launched six years ago, aims to elevate AI’s contribution to the economy to a staggering 13.6% of GDP by 2030.


In 2020, the UAE government established the Advanced Technology Research Council (ARTC) to galvanize scientific research and innovation in AI. Shortly after, ARTC gave birth to TII, the driving force behind Falcon 180B’s creation. This concerted effort underscores the nation’s bullish stance on investing in cutting-edge AI initiatives. OpenAI’s CEO, Sam Altman, lauded the UAE’s foresight in recognizing AI’s potential, and applauded their early adoption of the technology.

UAE’s Acquisition of NVIDIA Chips

While the global community grapples with NVIDIA GPU shortages, the UAE secured access to thousands of these chips, propelling the construction of the Falcon model in May. This strategic move aligns with the UAE’s vision to independently control their computational power and talent, reducing dependence on external sources, notably China and the United States.

Saudi Arabia’s Strategic Investment

In a parallel development, Saudi Arabia acquired a formidable arsenal of 3,000 H100 chips, each valued at $40,000. Facilitated through the esteemed King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), this acquisition represents a monumental investment of $120 million. This move reinforces the Middle East’s commitment to assertive participation in the global AI race, prompting reactions from AMD and NVIDIA, and even sparking geopolitical tensions with the United States.

G42’s Jais

UAE’s G42 made waves with the launch of Jais, an Arabic-language AI model endowed with an impressive 13 billion parameters. Engineered with the aid of supercomputers from Silicon Valley-based Cerebras Systems, this achievement was the result of a strategic $100 million deal with G42. This innovative approach, borne out of necessity due to NVIDIA chip shortages, showcases the region’s adaptability and resourcefulness.

G42’s Strategic Move

In 2021, G42 secured an astounding $800 million in funding from US tech investment firm Silver Lake, supported by Mubadala, the UAE’s sovereign wealth fund. This financial infusion solidifies G42’s position as a formidable player in the AI landscape, underpinning its ambitious endeavors in the field.

OpenAI’s Financial Landscape

Shifting our focus to OpenAI, the company’s trajectory is intricately tied to the multi-billion-dollar investment it received from Microsoft earlier in the year. However, recent developments suggest that this investment may be reaching its limits. Altman’s communication on X indicated that the release of GPT-5 or GPT-4.5 is not on the immediate horizon, urging patience from enthusiasts.

The Financial Strain on OpenAI

Reports from The Information reveal that OpenAI’s losses nearly doubled to approximately $540 million in the previous year, driven by the development of ChatGPT and GPT-4. Training GPT-3, with its 175 billion parameters, incurred a cost exceeding $4 million. With GPT-4 rumored to boast a staggering 1.76 trillion parameters, the estimated cost balloons to $46.3 billion, assuming a linear increase in cost per parameter.

OpenAI’s Strategy

OpenAI’s guarded approach to releasing the multimodal capabilities of GPT-4 and concealing the parameter size is a deliberate maneuver to evade undue attention. Speculation arises regarding the actual existence of GPT-4, sparking intriguing conversations within the AI community.

OpenAI’s Financial Aspirations

Altman’s inclination towards securing up to $100 billion in the coming years underscores OpenAI’s grand vision of achieving Artificial General Intelligence (AGI). Perhaps, OpenAI might consider diversifying its financial support, drawing inspiration from the UAE’s strategic alignment with its oil resources.

OpenAI’s Developer Conference

In a bid to sustain momentum, OpenAI announced its inaugural developer’s conference, slated to convene in San Francisco on November 6, 2023. The event aims to cultivate a global community of developers, fostering innovation and ideation for ChatGPT and APIs.

This comprehensive analysis unveils the strategic maneuvers and financial landscapes shaping the AI race between Falcon 180B and OpenAI’s GPT-4. The UAE’s ambitious investments and calculated moves underscore their determination to lead the AI revolution. Meanwhile, OpenAI grapples with its financial constraints, navigating a complex path towards AGI. The future promises further intrigue and competition in this dynamic field.

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