Abu Dhabi: Taking another bold step in the world of artificial intelligence (AI), Abu Dhabi on Wednesday announced the opening of the world’s first dedicated AI university – Mohammad Bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence (MBZUAI).
Located in Masdar City with the latest state-of-the-art facilities and equipment, the university will offer both masters (two years) and PhD programmes (four years) for local and international graduate students across three main specialised fields – machine learning, computer vision and natural language processing – as the UAE looks to equip the next generation of students with the latest expertise in the field of AI.
Official applications for the university are open from this month, with registrations taking place in August of next year. The first batch of classes will start in September 2020.
How are we going to produce the right number of people with the right mindset [and] the right knowledge ... That is what this university is about — providing that person power over
5 to 10 to 20 years.
“Launching of the world’s first graduate level artificial intelligence university in Abu Dhabi echoes the UAE’s pioneering spirit, and paves the way towards a new era of innovation and technological advancement that benefits the UAE and a world,” tweeted His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.
Dr Sultan Al Jaber, UAE Minister of State and chairman of the university’s board of trustees, speaking at the official press conference opening, said the university is in line with the UAE’s strategy of leveraging the latest and most innovative technologies – namely AI.
“The world has entered a new era of technological advancement and rapid innovation, all driven and underpinned by AI. This new era will pave the way for unprecedented opportunities, AI has become a priority and evident across all industries with new technologies being introduced at an incredibly fast pace.
“The world needs more human capacity in the field of AI to bridge any possible gaps and that is why today the UAE and Abu Dhabi is announcing the launch of Mohammad Bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence – the world’s first graduate level research based AI university,” he added.
“This university will help us to develop the necessary AI eco system that will enable us to leverage the full potential of this very important technology locally, regionally and globally. The university will create an active AI community in the UAE developing innovative applications for businesses and government,” he said, highlighting what the university will be bringing to the community.
Al Jaber called MBZUAI and its concept an open invitation from the UAE to the world in unleashing the latest technological advancements, and said the university was looking forward to collaborating with the world’s foremost experts.
“The UAE clearly sees a phenomenal opportunity ahead where the UAE can demonstrate its unique capabilities in building bridges, extending help, support and collaboration.
“The art of partnership is a very clear model of engagement that the UAE has mastered over the years and this is what we’re doing yet again in a very sophisticated area of business centred around AI,” he added.
Developing human capacity
Bringing a wealth of experience from his own background in AI, robotics and imagery, Sir Michael Brady, who serves as interim president and a member of the board of trustees at MBZUAI, said the institute was a part of the UAE’s move towards a knowledge based economy, which would require the needed human capacity to ensure its success.
“This began with the government of the UAE formulating the strategy to transform the economy to the post oil era… To invest in developing competence in renewable energy, financial services, healthcare, materials technology and others.
“[One of the main] enabling technologies is AI, and then you ask what are the risks in realising that [vision]… and the answer Is people,” he added.
“[So] how are we going to produce the right number of people with the right mindset [and] the right knowledge in order to lead and provide the technical leadership in these areas. That is what this university is about – providing that person power over the next 5 to 10 to 20 years,” he said.
Mohammad Bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence
- Where: Masdar City, Abu Dhabi
- What: World’s first dedicated graduate research level university in artificial intelligence. Three main specialised fields to be taught: machine learning, computer vision, natural language processing.
- Who can apply: Both local and international graduate students.
- When: Applications are currently open through www.mbzuai.ac.ae. Classes to start in September 2020 with the first total batch of students yet to be determined.
- Course level and duration: The university offers a Masters of Science degree which takes two years to complete, and a PhD programme which will take four years to complete.