IBM, Saudi's King Saud University sign MoU to advance skills development
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IBM, Saudi’s King Saud University partner to advance skills development

IBM, Saudi’s King Saud University partner to advance skills development

IBM will work with KSU to support AI education and awareness while maximising partnerships with academia, the public, and private sector

Divsha Bhat
King Saud University IBM

King Saud University (KSU), the first public university in the Saudi Arabia has announced its collaboration with IBM aimed at advancing skills development through artificial intelligence (AI) across the kingdom.

A Memorandum of Understanding was signed by senior leaders from the two organisations with the goal of advancing fundamental AI research. IBM will also work with KSU to support AI education and awareness while maximising partnerships with academia, the public, and private sectors.

The signing ceremony was attended by Prof Badran bin Abdulrahman Al-Omar, president, KSU and Prof Khaled Alhumaizi, vice-rector for Graduate Studies and Scientific Research, KSU and Dr Hebah ElGibreen, director of AI Center of Advanced Studies. From IBM, Jonathan Adashek, chief communications officer and senior vice president, Marketing and Communications, and Saad Toma, general manager, IBM Middle East and Africa were also in attendance. The Memorandum was signed by Alhumaizi and and Fahad Alanazi, general manager, IBM Saudi Arabia.

IBM will collaborate closely with KSU to make use of AI-driven technologies in the fields of research, curriculum development, and skills to provide the young of the kingdom the abilities they need to excel in the occupations of the future.

IBM aims to provide the KSU faculty, students, researchers, and employees with the opportunity to explore educational resources, tutorials, and experiment with quantum devices through access to the IBM Quantum Composer and IBM Quantum Lab tools. As part of the initiative, it will also offer specialised training and technology. For instance, IBM will give KSU faculty and students access to IBM tools, software, courseware, and cloud accounts for non-commercial research. Along with customised AI curriculum, KSU will also have access to lectures, laboratories, industrial use cases, design-thinking workshops, and an AI practitioner certification.

“Addressing the current AI skills gap is one of the most pressing challenges that we are currently witnessing especially when addressing real world problems,” said Alhumaizi. “We are pleased to collaborate with IBM to equip our students with the fundamental skills to develop the next generation of leaders and support our faculty members and researchers to develop advanced AI solutions with practical and tangible applications in the real world.”

“Our collaboration with KSU is part of IBM’s commitment to equitably skill 30 million people worldwide by 2030 and support the kingdom’s efforts to build the skills and expertise needed for the marketplace said Alanazi. “With the rapid technology acceleration we have been witnessing, the need to upskill and reskill the workforce is getting more urgent, and we are happy to leverage our programmes to develop the future skills of the kingdom.”

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