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Mideast & North Africa

Google and KAUST: Investing in AI Research for the Future

Two researchers in a lab
Two researchers in a lab

I'm excited to share the news of our collaboration with King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) to support AI research in the Kingdom through US$100,000 in grants. We believe that fostering local talent and investing in research is essential for building a thriving AI ecosystem.

This collaboration with KAUST is a significant step in that direction. We've awarded seed grants to several talented faculty members who are exploring cutting-edge AI research topics. These projects have the potential to make a real difference in areas like healthcare, language understanding, sustainability, privacy, and education.

We believe that AI has the power to transform our world for the better. Earlier this year, we released a report about the ways that collective efforts by governments, the private sector, academia, and civil society can help create a more inclusive AI ecosystem for everyone, including the ever-important role of academic researchers in advancing AI development and upskilling.

The research being conducted at KAUST represents the depth and breadth of possibility from MENA-based researchers. For example, a project, led by Professor Bernard Ghanem, focuses on developing visual computing AI models that continuously learn and adapt to new data over time. Another, led by Professor Tareq Al-Naffouri, aims to create a more flexible and efficient mobile network infrastructure using AI. Assistant Professor Mohamed Elhoseiny is working on AI models that can understand visual and linguistic data across diverse languages and cultures.

We hope that by investing in supporting research in Saudi Arabia, we're helping invest in the next generation of innovative breakthroughs from the Middle East, for MENA and beyond.