OPN 191017 MBZUAI ABU DHABI -4-1571308182837
Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE Minister of State and Chariman of the MBZUAI Board of Turstees with professor Sir Michael Brady, Professor Anil K. Jain, and Professor Andrew Chi Chin Yao addressing media at the opening of Mohamed Bin Zayed University of Artificial Intellengence in Abu Dhabi. Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News

From the very earliest days of its inception, the UAE has always looked to the future, ready to embrace the coming days as an opportunity. It’s part of the national fibre and builds a strong foundation to step forward with confidence. So when Abu Dhabi announced on Wednesday that the world’s first dedicated artificial intelligence (AI) university is to be established and open for students come 2020, it’s just a logical progression.

Located in Masdar City, the Mohammad Bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence (MBZUAI) will offer both two-years’ masters and four-years PhD programmes for local and international graduates across three main specialised fields — machine learning, computer vision and natural language processing.

Strategically, MBZUAI will look to equip the next and future generations of students with the expertise, train and research skills needed to fully exploit the largely untapped potential of AI.

Indeed, that the new facility is located within Masdar City is certainly symbolic, given the importance of being able to develop a smarter and greener future for all — with our ability to harness AI playing a key role in embracing the future.

When AI is combined now with the internet of everything, there’s seemingly no limit to what can be done, improving lives, increasing prosperity, making significant medical, scientific and technological improvements in ways we have yet to dream of — or develop

- Gulf News

MBZUAI is a world first, another milestone of many laid down by this nation on its march of progress. It’s a sentiment that was expressed by His Highness Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, in a tweet: “Launching of the world’s first graduate level artificial intelligence university echoes the UAE’s pioneering spirit, and paves the way towards a new era of innovation and technological advancement that befits the UAE and a world.”

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We couldn’t agree more given the vast potential and opportunities offered by AI functionality. When AI is combined now with the internet of everything, there’s seemingly no limit to what can be done, improving lives, increasing prosperity, making significant medical, scientific and technological improvements in ways we have yet to dream of — or develop.

MZBUAI now offers a very practical platform to allow students today to realise the dreams of tomorrow, providing them with the opportunity and a formal educational and academic structure to recognise their achievements. Come August, when the first students can register, MBZUAI is opening the door to a brave new world where the future becomes today’s reality.

For the nation too, this new facility is one more sign that the nation’s economy is fast moving beyond the energy sector. Technology is just one area of diversification in which the UAE is expanding — and excelling.