The roof of the Louvre in Abu Dhabi. Photo by @thomasdrouaultphotography.

The University of Artificial Intelligence

Mohamed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence (AI) is becoming increasingly popular within industry and as a field of study. Therefore it is not strange that this is becoming a growing interest for different academic or business environments around the world. It recently came to my attention that there is a university dedicated to artificial intelligence. The name of this university is Mohamed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence (MBZUAI). The university is to be based in Abu Dhabi. This will article will only be exploring a few aspects of the information currently available online.

Mission and Vision

“Mission: Establish and continually evolve interdisciplinary, collaborative research and development capability in the field of AI, while educating students to be innovators and leaders with the breadth and depth of knowledge to grow technology and enterprise in the UAE and globally.”

Computer science is the current focus of the university leaning towards machine learning (ML) and computer vision. Although ‘interdisciplinary, collaborative research and development’ is mentioned there does not seem to be any other disciplines within this university besides computer science.

Vision: Drive excellence in knowledge creation, transfer and the use of AI to foster economic growth, while positioning Abu Dhabi as a hub for the international AI community.”

AI to Support Data Science

In an article written the 23rd of October Interesting Engineering this new initiative is covered and in this context it is mentioning the growing interest for AI in the context of data science:

“The global business value derived from Artificial Intelligence (AI) is projected to reach over $3,9 trillion by 2022, according to industry analyst firm Gartner. The firm expects that in the next few years, Artificial Intelligence used to support data science and other algorithm-based applications is going to become the most common use for AI, comprising about 44 percent of the total. To face industry projections, the population needs to prepare by promoting education in AI.”

Who Supports This New Initiative?

It is claimed by Dr. Sultan Ahmed Jaber which is the UAE Minister of State and Chair of the MBUZAI Board of Trustees that the research-based AI 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.”

It is proposed that a series of international experts are supporting this initiative. These have been selected to become members of the University’s Board of Trustees:

  • MBZUAI Interim President, Professor Sir Michael Brady,
  • Professor of Oncological Imaging at the University of Oxford, U.K.;
  • Professor Anil K. Jain, a University Distinguished Professor at Michigan State University, USA;
  • Professor Andrew Chi-Chih Yao, Dean of the Institute for Interdisciplinary Information Sciences at Tsinghua University, Beijing, China;
  • Dr. Kai-Fu Lee, a Technology Executive and Venture Capitalist based in Beijing, China;
  • Professor Daniela Rus, Director of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL), USA;
  • and Peng Xiao, CEO of Group 42

What Programs Are Taught?

There are currently four programs that have been announced to start in Autumn 2020. These are:

  1. MSc Computer Vision
  2. MSc Machine Learning
  3. PhD Computer Vision
  4. PhD Machine Learning

There are additionally two programs that have been scheduled to start in 2021:

  1. PhD Natural Language Processing
  2. MSc Natural Language Processing
Screenshot retrieved the 27th of October 2019

What Research Themes are Present?

There are four themes that are currently outlines on the website.

  1. Services and Quality of Life:
    How AI can improve services offered by the government and private sectors, including offering new innovative services, and optimizing current ones.
  2. Industrial and Manufacturing Technologies:
    How AI can be used to improve productivity, increase the quality and efficiency of industrial and manufacturing processes.
  3. Future Game Changers:
    How AI can support advancement in emerging sectors in order to ensure economical prosperity and continued betterment of our lives.
  4. Sustainability of Vital Resources and Environment:
    How AI can support in optimizing the consumption of vital natural resources, and contribute to conserving our environment for the future generations

The Strategic Objectives for This University is to support an AI-based knowledge economy in Abu Dhabi; build skills; attract global talent; achieve research excellence and support UAE’s innovation clusters.

This is #500daysofAI and you are reading article 145. I write one new article about or related to artificial intelligence every day for 500 days.

AI Policy and Ethics at www.nora.ai. Student at University of Copenhagen MSc in Social Data Science. All views are my own. twitter.com/AlexMoltzau