Technology Innovation Institute announces launch of NOOR, world’s largest Arabic NLP model

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Technology Innovation Institute (TII), a global research centre and applied research pillar of Abu Dhabi’s Advanced Technology Research Council (ATRC), today announced the launch of NOOR, the world’s largest Arabic natural language processing (NLP) model to date.

TII’s team of advanced researchers and Artificial Intelligence (AI) specialists at its AI Cross-Centre Unit, joined forces on this initiative with LightOn, a technology company that unlocks extreme-scale machine intelligence for businesses, to revolutionise Arabic NLP models.

The NOOR model carries out varied, cross-domain tasks simply from natural language instructions. Its training dataset is the world’s largest high-quality Arabic dataset, combining web data with books, poetry, news articles, and technical information to significantly widen the applicability of the model.

Dr. Ray O. Johnson, CEO, TII and ASPIRE, said, “With this development, we are on track to boost our research capabilities and credentials in AI, as well as elevating the status of Abu Dhabi and the UAE as a serious research ecosystem. Our expert teams have demonstrated yet again that this region can achieve breakthrough R&D outcomes that impact the world.”

Dr. Ebtesam Almazrouei, Director, AI Cross-Centre Unit, TII, commented, “Large language models have taken the world of natural language processing by storm, and we are proud to introduce this cutting-edge model with 10 billion parameters, the world’s largest Arabic NLP model. The uniquely large Arabic dataset collected to train the model is the result of months of work that included curating, scrapping, and filtering of varied sources.”

Speaking on the upcoming launch, Prof. Mérouane Debbah, Chief Researcher, Digital Science Research Centre and AI Cross-Centre Unit, TII, said, “With NOOR, TII has expanded the scope of the modern standard Arabic model by leveraging know-how in large language models to build cross-disciplinary, cutting-edge expertise in this new generation of AI research. This is only the first step in TII’s efforts to contribute to the wider UAE Strategy for Artificial Intelligence, through supporting AI integration across key sectors of the economy.”

The model is named for the Arabic word “light”, and it represents the UAE’s global contribution to advanced technology and artificial intelligence.

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