Three Top Tips for AI Investing

We just wrapped Step 2024, Dubai’s biggest startup conference of the annual calendar, where I had the pleasure of sharing some of my top tips for successful Artificial Intelligence investing.

If you’re a startup Angel, Venture Capitalist, or a business manager who is looking at AI investment, read on. By the end of this short article, I’m hoping to give you a little clarity on how to make a cursory assessment of the opportunity you’re looking at. 

First for some Context.

I’ve been an AI Investor and startup Founder for five years. During that time we’ve made mistakes that’ve cost us. And we’ve made some clever decisions that have proven to be almost prophetic. 

One of the best early decisions we made was to treat Artificial Intelligence as a financial asset class in its own right. As you would Stocks or Real Estate.

From that vantage point, any investor can make sense of an AI investment, with these 3 tips.

1. Boring is Sexy.

One of the simplest ways to detect whether someone’s pitching you a genuine AI investment or AI Snake Oil, is to probe their knowledge of AI.

You’ll be surprised how many people are pitching you something they barely understand. Many an investor has parted ways with precious capital in exchange for promises of glory and sackfuls of BS.

AI is a broad term. It is many intelligent automation methodologies. Generative AI is one. There are others. Anyone talking to you as though all AI is GenAI, is a hard pass. 

AI is not all things for all instances. You want to invest into AI use cases that operate in the background, performing their specific tasks to a high standard in a narrow domain. An unsung operational hero. 

Narrow, boring AI beats Sexy AI for investment security, every day of the week.

2. Is it a Bird or a Plane? 

Investing into Artificial Intelligence is not the same as investing into an AI-enabled business. This is critical to understand for any would-be startup investor or business looking to commit capital to AI. 

AI is a tool. Many startup investment opportunities present themselves erroneously as Artificially Intelligent when they aren’t. They’re just AI-enabled businesses, using the tool to do what they do. 

Whereas investing into AI technology is an intellectual property play. Investing into an AI-enabled business is a revenue play. The former is asset-backed. The latter is not. 

In real estate terms, when you invest into AI it’s as if you’re buying a property. Its value is inherently the bricks and mortar that it comprises, making your investment asset backed. Meaning it can not collapse to zero worth. It’ll always have residual value no matter what. And it’s yours. You own it, together with the benefits derived from it.  

When you invest in an AI-enabled business, be under no false illusion. As successful as the business may potentially be, it’s not AI that you are investing into. 

To use the real estate analogy again, AI-enabled investment is like buying a structured product that pays you a non-securitised yield from the rent of a property. It’s not asset backed. There’s no AI ownership to it. If for some reason the AI which the business uses fails, so does your money. 

Golden rule. When you’re investing into AI, you’re a Landlord. When you’re investing into an AI enabled business you’re further downstream, with rental revenue but no recourse or underlying asset in your name. Both are investable, so long as you know where you stand. 

3. Risk On. Risk Off. 

I say it often. Sound investment is not about maximising profit. It is first and foremost about mitigating risk. Understand where the risks to your investment are. If the business you’re investing into depends on the functional integrity of an AI system it doesn’t own, then your business is at the mercy of someone else. 

Most investors don’t realise just how exposed their investment is to third party dependency risk. Whether you’re investing into new technology, or a startup business, there’s already plenty of risk involved. Don’t unnecessarily compound it with a lack of knowledge as to where your risks lie. Do your homework. And if needed, look for people who have been in the AI trenches to help you define risk and mitigate for it.

The Price of Perfection.

Millions of MENA investment capital was squandered during 2023 because of the hysteria around Open AI’s ChatGPT, and it’s ok because that’s how mistakes are made and learnt. 

As a result today we’re seeing more deliberation, a greater understanding of the applicability of AI, and more targeted, efficient capital investment decisions.

Like I said at the beginning of this piece. I’ve made my own mistakes. Learned lessons from them. Lessons I’m hoping can be of use to you. 

Ayman Alashkar is the Founder and CEO of, and the Ex Head of Real Estate for Emirates NBD’s Private Bank.

He is a recognised AI industry pioneer and a regular speaker on the MENA region’s Artificial Intelligence and Entrepreneurial speaking circuits. develops proprietary Artificial Intelligence to solve for inefficiencies in MENA’s +$2.4 Trillion dollar real estate industry.

For informative news and views on the world of real estate, proptech and AI, follow overwrite on Instagram and LinkedIn, and keep up-to-date with our weekly NewsBites blog

overwrite | real estate content creation, reimagined

OpenAI will now let you create videos from verbal cues

Say hello to a new era of efficiency and innovation in real estate marketing, courtesy of Sora by OpenAI.

Imagine this: you’re a busy real estate agent, constantly juggling client demands and property listings. With Sora at your fingertips, generating captivating property videos becomes as simple as typing a quick text prompt.

Artificial intelligence leader OpenAI introduced a new AI model called Sora which it claims can create “realistic” and “imaginative” 60-second videos from quick text prompts.

In a blog post on Wednesday, the company said Sora is capable of generating videos up to 60 seconds in length from text instructions, with the ability to serve up scenes with multiple characters, specific types of motion, and detailed background details.

“The model understands not only what the user has asked for in the prompt, but also how those things exist in the physical world,” the blog post said.

OpenAI said it intends to train the AI models so it can “help people solve problems that require real-world interaction.”

This is the latest effort from the company behind the viral chatbot ChatGPTwhich continues to push the generative AI movement forward. Although “multi-modal models” are not new and text-to-video models already exist, what sets this apart is the length and accuracy that OpenAI claims Sora to have, according to Reece Hayden, a senior analyst at market research firm ABI Research.

Check out the OpenAI’s text-to-video model:

Hayden said these types of AI models could have a big impact on digital entertainment markets with new personalized content being streamed across channels.

“One obvious use case is within TV; creating short scenes to support narratives,” Hayden said. “The model is still limited though, but it shows the direction of the market.”

At the same time, OpenAI said Sora is still a work in progress with clear “weaknesses,” particularly when it comes to spatial details of a prompt – mixing up left and right – and cause and effect. It gave the example of creating a video of someone taking a bite out of a cookie but it not having a bite mark right after.

For now, OpenAI’s messaging remains focused on safety. The company said it plans to work with a team of experts to test the latest model and look closely at various areas including misinformation, hateful content and bias. The company said it is also building tools to help detect misleading information.

Sora will first be made available to cybersecurity professors, called “red teamers,” who can assess the product for harms or risks. It is also granting access to a number of visual artists, designers and filmmakers to collect feedback on how creative professionals could use it.

The latest update comes as OpenAI continues to advance ChatGPT.

Earlier this week, the company said it is testing a feature in which users can control ChatGPT’s memory, allowing them to ask the platform to remember chats to make future conversations more personalized or tell it to forget what was previously discussed.

This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of and its owners.

This story has been published from an article in CNN BUSINESS published on February 2024.

For informative news and views on the world of real estate, proptech and AI, follow overwrite on Instagram and LinkedIn, and keep up-to-date with our weekly NewsBites blog

overwrite | real estate content creation, reimagined

When Ayman met Jensen Huang

A Founder’s journey is never easy. 

One of the greatest joys of mine with, has been to have our work validated by the AI industry’s undisputed leader. We are the only AI Proptech startup from MENA to be a member of NVIDIA’s prestigious Inception accelerator programme.

This week NVIDIA shot past Amazon and Google-parent Alphabet to a market cap of $1.83 Trillion, becoming the third most valuable US company after Apple and Microsoft, thanks to the strategic vision of its Founder & CEO Jensen Huang and his leadership team. 

Jensen was in Dubai attending the World Government Summit. And I had the pleasure of meeting him, together with His Excellency Omar Sultan AlOlama (UAE Minister of State for AI).

It was an evening filled with inspiration and game-changing insights.

My key takeaway? Listening to a man with such unmatched intellect. Whose vision is so expansive, it seems almost impossible that it’s contained within the mind of a single individual. 

As Jensen spoke about the symbiotic future of humanity and technology, I got a sense that the scale of his ambition is matched only by that of the Middle East, it’s leaders, and the people that are driving its future, forward. 

Nearly 20 years older than me, and with far fewer wrinkles; the legendary Jensen Huang

There are worse ways to spend an evening than getting mobbed on stage with none other than Jensen Huang

Having a giggle withthe one and only Jensen Huang

For informative news and views on the world of real estate, proptech and AI, follow overwrite on Instagram and LinkedIn, and keep up-to-date with our weekly NewsBites blog

overwrite | real estate content creation, reimagined

Listen In: Top Real Estate Podcasts 🎧

From Bloggers to Vloggers to Tik-Tokers, the real estate industry has ridden every social media wave. But this week, we’re diving into the world of Podcasts. While it’s not the freshest face in the crowd, savvy agents are turning to this medium in growing numbers and unlocking the secrets of success in the ever-evolving real estate world.

1. Dubai Property Podcast

Dubai Property Podcast provides you valuable information about the real estate market in Dubai. Including property investment, property management, market trends, legal requirements, and comprehensive information if you are looking to buy or sell property in Dubai, as well as for real estate agents and investors.

Continue reading “Listen In: Top Real Estate Podcasts 🎧”

From Crypto Mines to AI Gold

Ayman Alashkar, the founder of, is an active public speaker and leader in AI. He believes that the trend around the business application for generative AI “lies in outcome-oriented content, where high accuracy is important”. He developed in 2019, a highly efficient real estate generative AI.

Since generative AI exploded into global consciousness in 2023, an unprecedented demand for computing power has emerged alongside the demand for apps utilising the technology.

Tool’s like OpenAI’s ChatGPT require thousands of Nvidia GPUs (graphics processing units) to smoothly process all the information being fed in and output. Nvidia last week compared GPUs to rare earth metals for AI, saying they’re “foundational” for the operation of generative AI today.

The energy required to power all this hardware is the equivalent of a small country, according to a report released by French energy company Schneider Electric last year. On Wednesday OpenAI’s CEO, Sam Altman, told an audience at Davos that an energy breakthrough was needed to power AI advances. “There’s no way to get there without a breakthrough,” he said, suggesting it was motivation for investing more in nuclear fusion.

Fortune Business Insights estimated earlier this year the global GPU market size was valued at US$2.39bn in 2022 and is projected to grow from US$3.16bn in 2023 to US$25.53bn by 2030. Nvidia claims more than 40,000 companies use Nvidia GPUs for AI and accelerated computing.

To meet the demand, Nvidia announced in August it would be tripling its production of GPUs. In November, Microsoft signed a multi-year deal with Oracleto supply computing power for its Bing Chat AI functionality.

Now companies that once serviced the boom in cryptocurrency mining are pivoting to take advantage of the latest data gold rush.

Canadian company Hive Blockchain changed its name in July to Hive Digital Technologies and announced it was pivoting to AI.

“Hive has been a pioneering force in the cryptocurrency mining sector since 2017. The adoption of a new name signals a significant strategic shift to harness the potential of GPU Cloud compute technology, a vital tool in the world of AI, machine learning and advanced data analysis, allowing us to expand our revenue channels with our Nvidia GPU fleet,” the company said in its announcement at the time.

The company’s executive chairman, Frank Holmes, told Guardian Australia the transition required a lot of work.

For others, like Iris Energy, a datacentre company operating out of Canada and Texas, and co-founded by Australian Daniel Roberts, it has been the plan all along. Iris did not require any changes to the way the company operated when the AI boom came along, Roberts told Guardian Australia.

“Our strategy really has been about bootstrapping the datacentre platform with bitcoin mining, and then just preserve optionality on the whole digital world. The distinction with us and crypto-miners is we’re not really miners, we’re datacentre people.”

The company still trumpets its bitcoin mining capability but in the most recent results Iris said it was well positioned for “power dense computing” with 100% renewable energy. Roberts said it wasn’t an either-or situation between bitcoin mining and AI.

As with cryptocurrency mining, the massive computing power required by AI systems means massive amounts of energy and carbon emissions for some of the centres.

AI companies like OpenAI keep their carbon emission figures a secret, but it has been estimated that the training of the previous iteration of GPT, GPT-3, consumed 1,287 megawatt hours of electricity and generated 552 tonnes of CO2 – the equivalent of 123 fossil-fuel-powered cars driven for one year.

Iris Energy views its use of renewables not just as better for the environment, but a cost saver.

While there is much hype, some are viewing the shift in the market with a level of scepticism, suggesting some might be jumping from one fad to the next.

Institutional Investor reported in August that a “penny stock” company known as Applied Sciences had reinvented itself as a bitcoin miner hosting company in April 2022 as Applied Bitcoin, but by November 2022 – perhaps sensing the shift in investment – renamed itself Applied Digital with a focus on AI.

This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of and its owners.

This story has been published from an article in The Guardian published on February 2024.

For informative news and views on the world of real estate, proptech and AI, follow overwrite on Instagram and LinkedIn, and keep up-to-date with our weekly NewsBites blog

overwrite | real estate content creation, reimagined