ChatGPT is still hot, but who else is playing the generative AI game?

The generative AI (GAI) arms race has begun, and the fear of missing out has its grip on everyone.

Yunqi Li writing for Wired magazine

Ayman Alashkar, Founder and CEO of UAE AI startup, talks to Middle East’s Wired Magazine about “high accuracy, outcome-oriented content” and trends around the business application for GAI.  

At the end of 2022, social media was stirred up by a chatbot that could produce text responses or create content guided by simple prompts in a stunningly human way. We’re of course talking about ChatGPT, a generative AI (GAI) that can create text based on training data it has received.  

When ChatGPT’s flickering cursor moves across the screen and types out text in a few seconds, or when artworks generated by DALL-E (an AI image generator also developed by OpenAI) win art competitions, many of us are both thrilled and scared. A future where AI can undertake increasingly complicated tasks and eventually replace humans seems ever more possible. According to research by Gartner in 2023, by 2025, the global market for GAI is expected to reach $18.5 billion, with 75 percent of enterprises using some form of GAI technology in their businesses. Naturally, the GAI arms race is becoming fierce among the tech giants, and no one wants to be left out.

The Game Players

All in the race: Microsoft, OpenAI, AWS and Hugging Face, Baidu, META

Read more on these.

A Healthy Competition

For the public, it is reassuring when a top AI scientist like Yann LeCun, a Turing Award recipient, says that GAI like ChatGPT has “no knowledge of the world around them” and that they are merely “typing, writing aids.”

“I agree that at this point, ChatGPT is best to be seen as a typing and writing aid, and also one that requires a lot of attention,” said Professor Preslav Nakov, Acting Deputy Department Chair of the NLP department at the Mohamed Bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence.

For smaller players in the GAI game, the competition is a healthy sign. “It promotes research and development and provides more options for businesses and developers to leverage AI,”

Prof. Nakov also thinks of it as a stimulation of development. He compared the situation to how the iPhone revolutionized smartphones and sparked the development of similar technology,

“I expect several ChatGPT-like projects to flourish in the coming years and even months, and there are already serious competitors eager to catch up and improve,” he says.

“My big concerns are around the ethics we have to deal with,” says Senese. The ethical dilemmas linked to GAI may result in a tumultuous human-AI relationship.

The Middle East’s take on generative AI

The tornado of GAI has swept across the globe.

“A 2023 survey of 1,000 US business leaders found that 49 percent of companies currently use ChatGPT, and another 30 percent plan to,” Prof. Nakov pointed out.

The Middle East is not isolated from this. ChatGPT has been a topic of discussion within the UAE government leadership, with some entities like DEWA (Dubai Electricity and Water Authority) already adopting it.

The region’s blossoming startup culture is embracing increasing numbers of AI startups.

Other industries, such as real estate, oil and gas, and healthcare, are also steering toward an AI-powered future.

Ayman Alashkar, the founder of, is an active public speaker and leader in AI. He believes that the trend around the business application for GAI “lies in outcome-oriented content, where high accuracy is important”.

With a background in UAE’s real estate industry, Alashkar developed, a highly efficient real estate-themed GAI.

Dr. Hector Ren, Director of Engineering and Production at Inception Institute of Artificial Intelligence (IIAI), also observed this trend. “It is believed that smaller companies will lead the trend by providing specialized tools and services that support the development and deployment of language models,” he says.

The Middle East to become a major player in AI development

In the UAE, breakthroughs in Arabic LLM are also happening quickly, creating opportunities for the Middle East to become a major player in AI development. Engineers at IIAI, a G42 company, have created the largest Arabic LLM with 13 billion parameters to date. Dr. Ren viewed it as a milestone for the Arabic NLP field that will significantly benefit the Arab world.

The GAI arms race is only just beginning. Indeed, the competition will foster revolutionary changes in our society across various industries. 

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

This story has been published from an article published in WIRED May, 2023.

Only the article length, headline and images have been edited to fit this blog. The original article is linked below.

More about is a Foundation Language Model. A pioneering themed generative AI, delivering engagement-oriented content for the real estate industry, creates the marketing content that powers the real estate industries of the UAE, KSA, Egypt and Lebanon.

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AI will not remedy all our real estate woes

Is rent-seeking in the property sphere about to come under attack from robots?

This winter, American realtors have a plethora of problems to ponder. Surging interest rates have created a frozen residential housing market and shifting working practices will push office vacancies to 55 per cent above their pre-pandemic peak by 2030, according to new research from Cushman & Wakefield. The prospect of stranded assets looms.

But if you listen to the chatter among realtors right now, there is another topic sparking even more debate: ChatGPT, the chatbot equipped with generative artificial intelligence launched last November by OpenAI, with backing from Microsoft.

The explosive spread of this tool has already sparked a noisy debate about the impact of AI on sectors such as education, science and the media. The real estate world, however, has attracted less investor focus. That is a mistake.

AI disruption of traditional real estate is well underway

A wave of AI experimentation in this sector is already under way: brokers are using ChatGPT to write listings and social media posts, calculate mortgage payments, scour real estate databases and amass expertise on new fields, such as agriculture. As these experiments accelerate, they prompt a bigger question: will an AI-equipped realtor really need as many human realtors — and brokerage fees — in the future?

Or to put it another way, is rent-seeking in the property sphere about to come under attack from robots? Not in the literal sense of involvement in leases, but as described by economists: when powerful incumbents rig a market, by making it opaque or complex, to extract high fees.

Realtors themselves do not believe they will lose their jobs. “A common feeling [in the property sector] is that it will help rather than replace real estate professionals,” the Cushman & Wakefield report insists. “Some tasks will be automated [but] it’s more about helping to make people really good at what they do.”

Maybe so. Robots, after all, cannot sense the intangible qualities of a building, in a way that humans can. Nor can they read the body language of purchasers and sellers, and provide the necessary encouragement or reassurance. Given the extreme anxiety involved in many property trades, this is a serious shortcoming.

Moreover, the AI tools such as ChatGPT that are sparking such excitement do not always function well without human oversight. To understand the risks, consider an experiment recently carried out by Sarah Bell, an AI specialist focused on real estate. When she asked ChatGPT to evaluate the desirability of different tenants based on nationality, she discovered that the python computing code inside the bot was profoundly prejudiced against Australians.

More alarming still, it was impossible to determine exactly why it disliked Australians, because the system was a black box. A real estate principal who unknowingly deployed the anti-Australian python code would be “responsible” for violations of anti-discrimination legislation, Bell notes.

What the industry really needs is not so much AI in the sense of artificial intelligence, but another type of AI: augmented intelligence — ways to help humans to think smarter. The only way to achieve that is to add in a third AI, anthropology intelligence, which would imbue the process with vital cultural context.

New levels of transparency

Even if humans are needed to make sense of AI, it is not clear that the industry needs as many of them today. After all, in the past decade, the internet has already introduced new levels of transparency into the business: non-professionals can now use property websites to value properties, see listings, arrange mortgages and connect sellers and buyers.

Despite this, the number of residential real estate brokers and dealers in America (some 562,000 at last count) has not declined, but appears to be on the rise: the number is projected to expand by another 5 per cent over the next decade. Employment in the commercial real estate sector is almost 4mn — and is rising.

Neither has the new era of digital transparency dented sky-high brokerage fees. In 2020, average commission rates on residential property sales were 5.66 per cent. That was less than the 6.02 per cent level seen in 1992 — but higher than the levels recorded between 2011 and 2018. This is utterly perverse. Or, as an economist might say, a strong sign of rent-seeking.

Might this now change? Realtors obviously hope not. But entrepreneurs are sensing an opportunity for disruption, particularly given the other macroeconomic pressures now bearing down on the market.

“Technology entrepreneurs have a unique advantage to start a real estate tech company in AI today [since] most incumbents have had a challenging last two years,” argues Kunal Lunawat, one such wannabe challenger.

Investors — and economists — would do well to watch what happens next, not least as a test case for whether tech innovation can challenge rent-seeking.

After all, if robots can make the industry more efficient and bring down commission rates, many property owners will be thrilled.

Rightly so: with or without AI, the sector is overdue for reform.

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

Gillian Tett writes for Financial Times.

This story has been published from an article in Financial Times published on March 3, 2022. is a pioneering Themed Generative AI, creating engagement-oriented content for the real estate industry. 

We create the marketing content that powers the real estate industries of the UAE, KSA, Egypt and Lebanon.

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.

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