The Nation of Spain and IBM Partner to Advance AI The Nation of Spain and IBM Partner to Advance AI
IBM and the Spanish Government have agreed to a collaborative partnership to further AI strategy while building Spanish language AI models.... The Nation of Spain and IBM Partner to Advance AI

IBM and the Spanish Government have agreed to a collaborative partnership to further AI strategy while building Spanish language AI models. This move marks Spain’s ambition to become a global powerhouse in the ethical and responsible advancement of AI and comes months after the EU’s passage of its own AI framework.

The announcement came following a high-profile meeting at the Moncloa Complex, attended by Spanish President Pedro Sánchez, IBM Senior Vice President and Director of IBM Research Darío Gil, alongside other key figures including José Luis Escrivá, the Minister for Digital Transformation and the Civil Service.

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The partnership is encapsulated in a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed by Gil and Escrivá, underpinning Spain’s strategic initiative to cultivate a suite of foundational AI models. These models are unique, being native in Spanish as well as Spain’s co-official languages. Director of AI, Armand Ruiz also was happy to make the announcement on LinkedIn where he laid out the focus of the collaboration.

AI positions us at the threshold of a new industrial revolution, with a very significant potential impact in terms of productivity gains for a large number of economic sectors and in providing better public services to our citizens,” noted Minister Escrivá, emphasizing the potential for AI to revolutionize productivity across economic sectors and enhance public services.

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This sentiment was echoed by IBM’s Darío Gil, who highlighted the shared vision of accelerating Spain’s AI capabilities through this partnership. This collaboration is not just about technological advancement.

At the heart of this agreement is a commitment to ethical AI research and development. The largest sign of this is IBM’s open-source AI framework, which promises to foster innovation, transparency, and safety.

It also aims to incorporate AI-enhanced techniques for new materials, contributing to the sustainability of the semiconductor industry, and thereby addressing global challenges of bias and competition in the AI sector.

Moving on, the agreement shows that outside of the EU bloc, member states still want to cut their paths forward when it comes to AI. This is seen with Spain’s proactive move to partner with IBM.

Overall, it seems that the strategy involves investment in human capital, community-driven AI adoption, and ensuring that the benefits of AI innovation are widespread, touching everything from SMBs to large enterprises and the public sector across Spain.

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The Memorandum of Understanding revolves around five core principles:

  1. Promote the development of a suite of foundation models, including both large language models (LLMs) and small language models (SLMs), proficient in the Spanish language and co-official languages.
  2. Collaborate on the research and development of a full stack generative AI platform, including software built on open-source frameworks and tools as well as infrastructure enabling hardware diversity.
  3. Promote national and regional AI strategies through a cooperative approach that promotes responsible use of the foundation models and the associated generative AI platform. This collaborative effort aims to benefit the public sector and SMEs throughout Spain.
  4. Foster an ecosystem of AI creators and builders, utilizing assets developed through this collaboration, to establish Spain as a global leader in AI.
  5. Develop AI-enhanced techniques to accelerate the discovery, development, and validation of new materials to advance the sustainability of the semiconductor industry value chain.

How this MoU will develop will take time to see. As AI continues to scale rapidly across industries and sectors, governments are working tirelessly to keep up with the changing pace of AI.



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