AI Armchair as a concept supports an informed discussion on all aspects of the AI debate. Image Credit: Supplied

Abu Dhabi: Making artificial intelligence (AI) more accessible to the next generation of young people, Mohamed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence (MBZUAI), recently hosted an immersive experience, transporting more than 300 students from UAE schools and MBZUAI into the metaverse to explain generative technology and demonstrate its potential for creativity.

Officially ikicking off its AI Armchair series, a conversation titled ‘How AI Gives You Superpowers’ treated students to an interactive storytelling demonstration on Jais – the Arabic large language model (LLM) – launched last month by G42’s Inception, US-based Cerebras Systems and MBZUAI.

At a survey conducted at the event, the majority (77 per cent) of participating students, aged 12 to 15 years, said that they believe their generation will require AI skills to secure employment after completing their education.

MBZUAI Vice-President of Public Affairs and Alumni Relations, Sultan Al Hajji, who opened the event, said: “We hope the bright young people we met will be among the future students of MBZUAI. As one of the only countries in the world with an AI strategy at the heart of its national vision, increasing AI aptitude and literacy among its young people is a vital aspect of achieving the Emirates’ long-term economic and social goals. Through events such as the AI Armchair, we are elevating the discussion around AI’s benefits with the public, one conversation at a time.”

Al Hajji added, “This forum – we call it the AI Armchair - is conceived to support an informed discussion on all aspects of the AI debate. It’s why we are here today - to explore the extent to which AI can become a truly transformative ‘superpower’ for mankind, a reshaping capability that will redefine our current concept of possibility. That’s where all of us have a role to play because what I see here today is a community of curious minds sharing a dream for a better tomorrow. This is what AI Armchair sets out to encourage.”

History of AI

Associate Professor of Computer Vision and Director of the Metaverse Center at MBZUAI, Dr. Hao Li, shared a brief history of AI, its growth through automation and autonomy, and how this technology is benefiting both consumers and industries.

He demonstrated ways in which AI is making people’s lives better by automating tasks and freeing up human ingenuity for more complex and creative endeavors.

Li demonstrated cutting edge AI-powered software that can help to produce immersive 3D images and avatars for learning opportunities, giving insight into research being done today at MBZUAI to create future AI-based applications around telepresence and language adoption that will benefit the education sector.

Marco Tempest, a creative technologist at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and a director’s fellow alumni of the MIT MediaLab, discussed some of his work with transformative technologies, including metaverse, robotics, and AI, to create unique experiences.

He wowed the audience with a live demonstration using a green screen to highlight how artists have always used emerging technologies to create compelling human experiences. Tempest explained how AI will help people achieve their goals by delivering a personalized level of assistance to individuals of all ages and occupations, from students to engineers and artists, by acting as an enabler of creativity.

Li will showcase MBZUAI’s latest metaverse research and capabilities at the Abu Dhabi Government Pavilion at GITEX Global from October 16 to 20 at Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC).