Ray O. Johnson

Innovating toward a responsible AI future

Since ChatGPT burst onto the scene last November, the world has been debating the future of digital technology. Artificial Intelligence has many applications, but still the question remains: is AI good for our future or do the potential harms outweigh the benefits?

Such a debate is far from new. But the dystopia depicted in 1980s sci-fi films still seems far-fetched since our modern governments are approaching the new reality with the essential responsible attitude.

When assessing how to best approach new, disruptive technologies, Israel can often serve as a blueprint, and AI is no exception. The Israeli government’s decision to form working groups to inform a national policy is a good start. The topic is also frequently raised in conversations between government officials and businesspeople, building on the government’s principles for responsible AI research published in late 2022. It is precisely this collaborative approach that will ensure responsible AI research is conducted and commercialized to provide the best benefit to our shared culture.

Like the United Arab Emirates and its National Strategy for Artificial Intelligence 2031, Israel’s public and private sectors see great importance in AI research and development. Recently, one Israeli official said the country is aiming to be an AI superpower, underscoring the importance of the field.

Israel’s careful embrace of AI is one that can be modeled elsewhere, yet it is contingent on the continued research into AI models and developing real-world applications that help society.

Just last month, the Technology Innovation Institute (TII) launched the open-source “Falcon 40B” Large Language Model, with 40 billion parameters, which was trained on one trillion tokens. We encourage our Israeli colleagues to learn more about the technology and utilize it to further innovation and research in the sphere. Falcon 40B, which operates royalty-free for commercial and research use, is currently ranked #1 globally on Hugging Face’s leaderboard for large language models, outperforming competitors like Meta’s LLaMA and Stability AI’s StableLM.

TII seeks to cultivate a thriving ecosystem of collaboration, innovation, and knowledge sharing among developers, researchers, and businesses globally. The move promotes transparency, inclusivity, and accelerated progress in AI for the world, unlocking diverse opportunities for its applications across industries and sectors.

I am encouraged to see governments and private sector researchers embrace artificial intelligence and use it to better serve society. At TII, we are also confident that artificial intelligence research and development can help further deepen the academic ties with our Israeli colleagues, and we are expanding our collaboration with researchers across the globe to further develop AI programs that can be a force for positive change.

In AI technologies, researchers are embarking on the first steps towards a better future, providing new and innovative solutions to previously unsolvable challenges. We are happy to see Israel matching the UAE’s commitment to utilizing this technology in a safe, responsible, and effective manner that helps ensure the balance between the opportunity and the unknown.

TII is one part of the vast foray into artificial intelligence, and through Israeli-UAE cooperation, we can continue to explore the technologies of the future.

About the Author
Dr. Ray O. Johnson is the Chief Executive Officer of the Technology Innovation Institute (TII), a leading global research center dedicated to pushing the frontiers of knowledge. In this role, Dr. Johnson leads the Institute and shapes its strategic direction. Dr. Johnson brings to TII decades of experience in global technology leadership, making strategic investments in disruptive technologies, and developing business strategies that resulted in several new billion-dollar lines of business. TII is a part of the Abu Dhabi Government’s Advanced Technology Research Council, which oversees technology research in the emirate. TII's work reinforces Abu Dhabi and the UAE’s status as an R&D hub and a global leader in breakthrough technologies.
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