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Aramco launches new AI model, innovative R&D network

Saudi oil giant Aramco has unveiled the company’s new large language AI model, aramcoMETABRAIN, and also establishment of an innovative R&D network, the Saudi Accelerated Innovation Lab (SAIL), that aims to advance the digital economy.
Announcing the launch, Aramco President & CEO Amin Nasser said the aramcoMETABRAIN was a groundbreaking, industrial-grade generative AI model based on 90 years of accumulated company data.
It represents a strategic investment in generative AI by the company, which plans to use it to power disruptive, cognitive applications across its business.
SAIL is expected to focus on challenge-based R&D, product development and digital ventures building through creating a national and global ecosystem of partners to strengthen its capabilities.
It has been cofounded by Aramco with the Saudi Research, Development and Innovation Authority, and partners King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology, the National Industrial Development and Logistics Program and Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, he stated.
These projects were discussed during Nasser’s keynote speech on “Digital Leadership in the Energy Sector” at LEAP 2024, a global technology event underway in Riyadh.
LEAP is an annual event that brings together over 172,000 members of the world’s tech ecosystem to learn, network, make discoveries and innovate.
The third edition of the event runs from March 4 to 7 and focuses on the theme “Into New Worlds.” Over 600 startups, 1,300 investors and 800 cross-industry specialists are attending, with the event featuring talks by globally renowned tech experts from major companies.
On the aramcoMETABRAIN large language AI model, the top official said: “We believe METABRAIN has the potential to raise both productivity and growth as well as transform the way we work… Clearly, the power of generative AI is something most companies are keen to tap into. What is also clear is that with any major innovation, there are obvious risks. For Aramco, developing our own generative AI model enables us to realize the benefits while reducing these risks.”
On the formation of SAIL, Nasser said: “SAIL is not just a project. It is a journey with our national and private partners, and it is a commitment to the future. Together we intend to establish a preeminent digital ecosystem that attracts global leaders, top talent and breakthrough innovation to incubate what is needed now and invest in what’s next.”
“We aim to enable Saudi businesses to outperform in their industries, growing the digital economy and keeping the Kingdom at the forefront of market-driven digital innovation. Through SAIL, our goal is to create new digital products, new digital ventures, breakthrough IP and global consortiums to tackle major challenges,” he added.
On Aramco’s technology strategy, Nasser said: “Aramco is constantly moving forward in our tech journey. We are doing so in three ways: through integration, through innovation and through investment. In terms of integration within our operations, we continue to see benefits from our ongoing digital transformation…”
“It is a transformation that is touching every part of our company, from managing projects to improving logistics to calculating reserves… Our dedicated digital and AI-driven centers are also playing an important role in helping increase efficiency and decrease costs,” he stated.
On the importance of technology innovation, Nasser said: “It all comes down to creating value. For society in general, the latest technology can help reduce emissions. For our shareholders large and small, it can help us maximize returns. For current and future generations of Saudis, it can help us optimize the Kingdom’s resources.”
“For Aramco’s customers around the world, the latest technology can help us deliver the highest possible reliability and energy security. And for our employees, it can help all of us do our jobs efficiently and safely. Indeed, creating value for people is the ultimate reason for any technology journey, ours included,” he added.
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