Video: Abu Dhabi launches world’s first AI university

Located in Masdar City, the university will offer graduate level and PhD programmes



Abu Dhabi has launched the world’s first graduate level artificial intelligence (AI) university, it was revealed on Wednesday.

Located in Masdar City, the Mohamed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence (MBZUAI) will offer Master of Science, Msc, and PhD level programmes in key areas of AI such as machine learning, computer vision, and natural language processing.

MBZUAI has partnered with the Abu Dhabi-based Inception Institute of Artificial Intelligence (IIAI) for the supervision of PhD students and curriculum development. IIAI will also serve as a principal partner for collaborative research.

MBZUAI will also bring together experts from the AI community by hosting regional and international conferences, seminars and workshops, a statement said.

The university will provide all admitted students with a full scholarship, plus benefits such as a monthly allowance, health insurance, and accommodation. It will also work with local and global companies to secure internships and assist students in finding employment opportunities, officials said.

Graduate students can now apply to MBZUAI via the university’s website with registration set to open in August 2020. The first class of graduate students will commence coursework in September 2020.

Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, minister of State has been appointed chair of the MBZUAI board of trustees and is spearheading the establishment of the university.

The board of trustees will also include MBZUAI interim president, Sir Michael Brady, professor of Oncological Imaging at the University of Oxford, UK as well as academics from the US and China.

It will also have an advisory board chaired by Omar bin Sultan Al Olama, UAE’s minister of State for Artificial Intelligence.

“AI is already changing the world, but we can achieve so much more if we allow the limitless imagination of the human mind to fully explore it,” said Al Jaber.

“The university will bring the discipline of AI into the forefront, molding and empowering creative pioneers who can lead us to a new AI empowered era,” he added.

AI is booming is expected to add roughly $15.7 trillion to the world’s gross domestic product by 2030, according to PwC. In line with that, the UAE also made AI a strategic national priority in 2017 and announced a strategy for Artificial Intelligence 2031 with the appointment of the world’s first Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence.

“The invention of electricity, the railroad, smartphones all transformed the world as we knew it. AI can lead to an ever greater societal and economic transformation, but first we must ensure we have the right infrastructure, talents, and academic institutions,” said Al Jaber.

“The launch of the Mohamed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence is a clear demonstration of the UAE’s commitment to encouraging innovation and empowering younger generations in the UAE and around the world.”

Professor Sir Michael Brady added: “Following decades of research into machine learning and artificial intelligence, we are now at a turning point in the widespread application of advanced intelligence. That evolution is – among other things – creating exciting new career opportunities in nearly every sector of society. At MBZUAI, we will support students to capture those opportunities and to magnify their contribution to the field of AI globally.”