Sovereign AI: NVIDIA CEO’s Vision for Data Ownership 2024

At the World Governments Summit in Dubai, NVIDIA CEO Jensen Huang spoke about the concept of sovereign AI, a term that refers to a country’s ownership and control over its data and the intelligence it produces from it. Huang was joined by His Excellency Omar Al Olama, the UAE’s Minister of AI, for a fireside chat that highlighted the opportunities and challenges of AI for the world’s leaders.

What is Sovereign AI?

According to Huang, sovereign AI is the idea that every country should own the production of their intelligence, rather than relying on foreign or third-party sources. He said that sovereign AI would enable countries to codify their culture, society, common sense, and history into their large language models, which are powerful AI systems that can understand and generate natural language.

“Sovereign AI codifies your culture, your society’s intelligence, your common sense, your history – you own your data,” Huang told Al Olama during their conversation, which was attended by more than 4,000 delegates from 150 countries.

Al Olama agreed with Huang’s vision and said that the UAE was moving aggressively toward creating its own large language models and mobilizing computing resources. He said that the UAE was aiming to become a global leader in AI and transform itself from an energy powerhouse into a digital hub.

Why is Sovereign AI Important?

Huang explained that sovereign AI was important for several reasons. First, he said that sovereign AI would allow countries to preserve and protect their cultural identity and values, which could otherwise be lost or diluted by foreign influences.

Second, he said that sovereign AI would enable countries to leverage their data and intelligence to solve their problems and create their opportunities, rather than depending on others.

Third, he said that sovereign AI would foster innovation and collaboration among countries, as they could share and exchange their intelligence with mutual respect and trust.

Huang also urged leaders not to be mystified by AI, but rather to embrace it and infuse it with their local languages and expertise. He said that AI was not a mysterious or magical technology, but rather a tool that could take directions from ordinary humans and amplify their capabilities.

“AI is not something that you have to be afraid of, it is something that you have to use,” Huang said. “AI is the most powerful technology that humanity has ever created, and it is also the most accessible technology that humanity has ever created.”

How to Achieve Sovereign AI?

Huang emphasized the importance of building infrastructure and investing in education and research to achieve sovereign AI. He said that building infrastructure was not that costly or hard and that the key was to have a clear vision and a strong commitment. He also said that education and research were essential to develop the talent and the knowledge that would drive AI innovation and adoption.

Huang also praised NVIDIA GPUs as the platform of choice for AI and accelerated computing, as they were available to everybody on any platform and supported a wide range of applications and domains. He said that NVIDIA GPUs had democratized AI and facilitated a wave of innovation that spanned from cloud computing to autonomous systems and beyond.

“NVIDIA GPU is the only platform that’s available to everybody on any platform,” Huang said. “This ubiquity has not only democratized AI but facilitated a wave of innovation that spans from cloud computing to autonomous systems and beyond.”

Huang also challenged the conventional wisdom that young people should study computer science to compete in the information age. He said that the opposite was true and that it was NVIDIA’s job to create computing technologies that nobody had to program and that the programming language was human.

“Everybody in the world is now a programmer — that is the miracle,” Huang said.

What’s Next for Sovereign AI?

Huang’s fireside chat was not the only highlight of the World Governments Summit, which featured panels on smart mobility, sustainable development, and more, showcasing the latest in AI advancements.

In a move that further underscored the regional momentum behind AI, Moro Hub, a subsidiary of Digital DEWA, the digital arm of the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority, announced that it had agreed to build a green data center with NVIDIA, which would provide cloud services, cybersecurity, and smart city solutions.

Later in the evening, Huang and Al Olama took the stage at the ‘Get Inspired’ ecosystem event, organized by the UAE’s AI Office, which featured 280 attendees including developers, start-ups, and others. The event was a platform for sharing ideas and experiences on how to leverage AI for social good and economic growth.

The World Governments Summit was a testament to the growing interest and enthusiasm for AI among the world’s leaders and to the vision of sovereign AI that NVIDIA CEO Jensen Huang shared with them.