Through partnership with IBM, Saudi Data and Artificial Intelligence Authority (SDAIA) launches a groundbreaking Arabic AI model to the Middle East

SDAIA’s Arabic Large Language Model ‘ALLaM’ is now fully operational on IBM watsonx
May 21, 2024
His Excellency Dr. Esam Alwagait, Director of the National Information Center at the Saudi Data Artificial Intelligence Authority (SDAIA), and Arvind Krishna, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, IBM

Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, 21 May 2024: Saudi Data and Artificial Intelligence Authority (SDAIA) and IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced the launch of SDAIA’s open-source (with optional AUP) Arabic Large Language Model (LLM), ‘ALLaM’, on IBMs’ enterprise AI and data platform, watsonx. Clients will be able to access the model through the studio and leverage advanced artificial intelligence capabilities to train, tune, and deploy ALLaM, with industry leading governance capabilities to help enable responsible deployment that adheres to IBM’s ethical AI guidelines.

The news was announced on the main stage at Think Boston 2024 during a discussion between H.E. Dr. Esam Alwagait, Director of the National Information Center at the Saudi Data Artificial Intelligence Authority (SDAIA), and Arvind Krishna, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, IBM. The conference also featured Dr. Yaser Alonaizan, CEO of the National Center for AI at SDAIA.

The availability of ALLaM in watsonx broadens the reach and application of Arabic LLMs, all while delivering the necessary AI governance needed for organizations. This means that enterprises and government entities can now deploy Arabic generative AI confidently and with the full support of watsonx, creating space for more innovation.

“Since the announcement of ALLaM last year, our objective has been to enhance Arabic language capabilities within AI development, reinforcing the Kingdom’s position as a global leader in AI. This collaboration will serve as a catalyst for further technological advancements. At the heart of this transformation is the adoption of generative AI, with Saudi Arabia taking the lead in partnership with IBM to propel the region into a new era of digital excellence.” stated H.E. Dr. Esam Alwagait, Director of the National Information Center at the Saudi Data and Artificial Intelligence Authority (SDAIA).

“This collaboration is a significant milestone in promoting the Arabic language within the realm of generative AI. It ensures that both public and private sectors can benefit from deploying Arabic language models, aligning with the cultural and linguistic needs of the region,” said Ayman AlRashed, Regional Vice President, IBM Saudi Arabia. “This progress empowers businesses across the Kingdom and the broader Arab world with unique services and strengthens Saudi Arabia’s position as a leader in AI technology tailored to the unique requirements of its market.”

This development, now fully realized, further solidifies IBM and SDAIA’s strong partnership and paves the way for future collaborative efforts. By successfully integrating advanced technologies and innovative solutions to address emerging challenges and opportunities, the new offering exemplifies a commitment to shared goals and a vision for continued progress within the region.



The Saudi Data and AI Authority (SDAIA) is the competent authority in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for data and AI. SDAIA is also the national reference in all matters related to the data and AI ecosystem. It is mandated to regulate and promote the sector, enable innovation and capacity building, and operate national data and AI-related platforms and infrastructure.

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