OpenAI CEO's Visit to Jordan: Is Jordan's Tech Sector the Future of AI?

OpenAI CEO's Visit to Jordan: Is Jordan's Tech Sector the Future of AI?

By Press Release, 14 June 2023

The side talk led by Altman was attended by more than 500 young Jordanians from across Jordan. Image Courtesy: Al Hussein Technical University

AMMAN, Jordan, 12 June 2023 — It’s no secret that Jordan’s tech startup scene is thriving: despite the fact that Jordanians comprise only three percent of the population of the MENA region, Jordanian companies account for 27 of the region’s top 100 startups. Increasingly, Jordan is stepping into the international spotlight as a major ICT epicenter: already, multinational tech companies like Microsoft, Cisco, and Amazon are finding that the Kingdom is an ideal hub for expanding their operations—and enjoying both regional and global growth as a result.

Most recently, Jordan attracted the attention of one of the world’s foremost leaders in the development of artificial intelligence: on Monday, June 6, the CEO of OpenAI—the creators of ChatGPT—Sam Altman paid a strategic visit to the Kingdom as part of his global OpenAI tour. While in Amman, Altman took part in a special event at Al-Hussein Technical University, where he spoke to an audience of more than 500 tech entrepreneurs, innovators, and students. He had the opportunity to engage with the Kingdom’s incredible wealth of tech talents, and the event proved to be deeply engaging and insightful, allowing for a dynamic exchange of ideas on the topic of artificial intelligence.

The potential for AI and its role in future innovation cannot be overstated. Altman himself believes that AI will allow entrepreneurs to tap into unrivaled success—that, with the ability to integrate AI into business operations, he believes that “there will be a one-person, one-billion-dollar company soon.” The possibilities for what AI can achieve are continuing to grow and expand—and Jordanian entrepreneurs and startups are already at the forefront of this untapped potential.

Take Jordanian-owned startup Replit, for example, which recently made international news when it partnered with Google in order to begin integrating AI language models with Replit’s state-of-the-art software for code writing. The potential for this partnership is enormous: Replit’s Ghostwriter app users will be able to harness the capabilities of Google’s language-generation artificial intelligence in order to receive complex suggestions for blocks of code, create complete programs seamlessly, and even have their development-related questions answered quickly and effectively.

And Replit is far from the only Jordanian-owned startup making waves in the world of AI: Amman-based startup Xina AI has created the world’s first Arabic interactive voice assistant and chatbot, using artificial intelligence and natural language processing to deliver intuitive, automated, omnichannel customer service solutions. Xina AI’s technology is capable of working across all regional Arabic dialects—making AI solutions accessible and applicable to an Arabic-speaking audience that encompasses over 400 million people.

These innovative startups are not flukes or aberrations: they reflect the Kingdom’s robust entrepreneurial ecosystem, the culture of innovation, and the incredible wealth of highly educated, tech-savvy youth. Each year, more than 8,000 young Jordanians graduate from ICT-related university programs, adding to this rich tapestry of ingenues and innovators. And with a huge number of startup incubators, accelerators, and angel investors across every corner of the Kingdom, people with great ideas have myriad opportunities to receive support, funding, guidance, and exposure.

Jordan Source, a program operating under the Ministry of Digital Economy and Entrepreneurship, has been playing a strategic role in helping provide local tech entrepreneurs with a global platform. The program’s partners have joined Jordan Source at major international events like Web Summit (in Lisbon, Portugal), South by Southwest (in Austin, Texas, USA), and on a roadshow across the United States that included stops in Silicon Valley and Washington, D.C.

And Jordan Source has also been doing its part to provide greater opportunities for young, tech-savvy local talent: the program works tirelessly to attract international companies to expand operations into the Kingdom and hire local talent. The program has even forged partnerships to help provide further training opportunities for these young talents.

All of these factors work together to create an ecosystem full of the kindling necessary for the sparks of creativity and ingenuity to flourish—and in the field of artificial intelligence, Jordan could very well be on the precipice of igniting the world.

Related: 62 percent of Businesses in GCC Are Using AI


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