Saudi sovereign wealth fund PIF pitches kingdom as AI hub
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Saudi sovereign wealth fund PIF pitches kingdom as AI hub

Saudi sovereign wealth fund PIF pitches kingdom as AI hub

Al-Rumayyan’s comments signal that data centres may be a core part of the kingdom’s strategy to capitalise on the booming demand for GenAI technology

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Saudi Arabia’s PIF pitches kingdom as AI hub

The head of Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) on Thursday pitched the kingdom as a prospective hub for artificial intelligence (AI) activity outside the US, citing its energy resources and funding capacity.

“We are fairly well positioned to be an AI hub outside of the US,” said PIF Governor Yasir Al-Rumayyan, speaking at a Miami investment event sponsored by the sovereign wealth fund.

“AI will consume a lot of energy and we are the global leader when it comes to fossil fuel energy and when it comes to renewable energy,” he said.

Rumayyan said Saudi Arabia, the world’s biggest oil producer, also had the “political will” to make AI projects happen and ample funds it could deploy to nurture the technology’s development.

His comments signal that data centres may be a core part of Riyadh’s strategy to capitalise on the booming demand for generative AI technology, which requires vast amounts of processing power.

AI technology uses clusters of thousands of chips in massive data centres to train algorithms to complete tasks. Tech companies’ electricity costs have spiked as they compete to build increasingly sophisticated AI models and roll out generative products to billions of users.

Rumayyan said PIF allocated more than 70 per cent of the fund to projects and investments inside Saudi Arabia and targeted an international allocation of 20 per cent to 25 per cent moving forward. He said about 40 per cent of the fund’s international investments were in the US.

Al-Rumayyan said that PIF was deploying about $40bn to $50bn annually and would increase that to $70bn a year between 2025 and 2030.

Read: Why GCC wealth funds are becoming engines of regional growth

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