The United Arab Emirates has launched Falcon Foundation today (13 February) alongside the global scientific research group Technology Innovation Institute (TII) to support open source AI development. 

The Falcon Foundation will be a non-profit organisation that aims to support open source AI research projects thrive by convening developers with academia and industry leaders. The TII has already pledged $300m towards the Falcon Foundation. 

The Foundation was announced during the 2024 World Governments Summit in Dubai. 

Beneficiaries of the Foundation will be able to access the TII’s Falcon LLM (large language model), which they will then be able to customise and use to address specific industry needs. 

“We’re committed to fostering transparency and collaboration in AI,” said TII’s CEO Dr Ray O Johnson. “Extending the UAE’s collaborative spirit into AI development, we set new standards for openness, and we encourage all other entities who support open source from around the world to join us,” he added.

The Falcon Foundation has also stated that it will remain committed to creating ethical AI practices and promoting proper regulation of the technology.  

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Creating cooperation and transparency can help democratise access to AI and further its development, the Foundation said, explaining that transparent governance models were needed to keep up with AI’s rapid rollout. 

Generative AI is becoming ubiquitous across a wide range of industries. 

In a 2023 survey conducted by research and analysis company GlobalData, nearly 60% of businesses responded that AI posed a significant disruption to their industry. A further 56% of businesses believed that AI would live up to all its promises. 

Democratising access to and knowledge of AI has never been more important. 

Whilst AI has long existed inside R&D computer labs and academia, its surging popularity outside of tech has placed it into the hands of businesses who may have little to no experience in AI. 

By 2024, GlobalData forecasts that every business will need to be an AI forward business.