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Abu Dhabi AI university open for applications

New university in UAE aims to enable students, businesses and governments to increase the use of artificial intelligence technology

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) will host graduate-level courses in artificial intelligence (AI) at a new university in its capital, Abu Dhabi.

The Mohamed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence (MBZUAI) aims to enable students, businesses and governments to increase the use of AI technology.

Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE minister of state, said: “Mohamed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence is an open invitation from Abu Dhabi to the world to unleash AI’s full potential.

“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.”

The university, which will be located in Masdar City, Abu Dhabi, is tapping experience from across the world with a board of trustees from respected universities in the UK, the US and China.

MBZUAI will offer postgraduate (MSc and PhD) courses in computer vision, machine learning and natural language processing. It is now open for admission to the academic year 2021-2022. Registration will begin in August 2020, with the first students starting the following month.

All graduate students admitted will be offered a full scholarship and other benefits, including a monthly allowance, health insurance and accommodation. It will also help graduates find work and internships with local and global companies.

MBZUAI has partnered with the Abu Dhabi-based Inception Institute of Artificial Intelligence for the supervision of PhD students and curriculum development, as well as collaborative research.

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Michael Brady, interim president at MBZUAI, said: “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.”

The UAE is investing in becoming a global pioneer in the use of AI technology in various sectors of its economy. In 2017, it set its sights on developing AI skills as part of a strategy to reduce its economy’s reliance on oil. The country created the world’s first “minister of AI”, along with an AI strategy that is leading the transformation of multiple sectors, such as transport, education and healthcare.

The UAE has poured billions of dollars into AI investment and tech startup incubation funds, including the $270m Dubai Future Endowment Fund.

Globally, by 2021, AI augmentation is expected to generate $2.9tn in business value and recover 6.2 billion hours of worker productivity, according to research firm Gartner.

Countries are investing heavily to keep up with developments that are set to transform industries. For example, the Danish government recently announced it is investing more than €200m in digital and AI research and pilot projects.

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