The world’s first artificial intelligence (AI) graduate research university, the Mohamed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence (MBZUAI), has graduated its first students.
Some 52 students from 24 countries, including eight Emirati, obtained postgraduate degrees in key areas of artificial intelligence such as computer vision and machine learning at the event attended by Sheikh Theab bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
The event was also attended by Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, Chairman Designate of COP28 UAE and Chairman of the Board of MBZUAI; Bruno Le Maire, Minister of Economy and Finance, France; Omar bin Sultan Al Olama, UAE Artificial Intelligence, Digital Minister of State for Economy and Remote Work Applications; Sarah bint Yousif Al Amiri, UAE Minister of State for Public Education and Future Technologies and Chairman of the Board of Directors of UAE School Institutions, and Professor Eric Xing, Rector of MBZUAI and University Professor; in addition to board members and university teachers.
Abu Dhabi’s AI Ecosystem
At the start of the semester, 63% of the inaugural class had confirmed employment, Ph.D. Internships, co-ops or startups; of these, 91% will remain in the UAE, continuing to contribute to Abu Dhabi’s AI ecosystem.
In his keynote address, Dr. Al Jaber spoke about the importance of MBZUAI and the potential of new graduates to drive positive change.
He said: “When MBZUAI was founded by our leadership in 2019, its mission was clear: to harness the power of artificial intelligence to drive global progress. MBZUAI is specifically designed to facilitate research in multiple fields, including business, IT , energy, transportation, education and healthcare, and sustainable development—and you, MBZUAI’s inaugural graduates, will be pioneers in helping to turn research into reality.”
With climate change high on the agenda in the run-up to the Year of Sustainable Development and Cop28, Dr Al Jaber also highlighted the importance of AI skills in tackling this global challenge. “We need to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees without slowing economic growth. At the same time, we need to make our planet richer and healthier. I have no doubt that as MBZUAI’s first graduating class , you hold some of the keys to the transformational breakthrough we need,” he said.
Dr Al Jaber added: “COP 28 will be the first COP to formally include a Youth Champion, the appointment of Shamma Al Mazrui, UAE Minister of Youth. Desire to improve. These qualities, combined with your ability, are a powerful combination and I am sure our future together will be brighter because of it.”
He concluded by telling the students: “Remember, progress is driven by curiosity, constructive dialogue, connectedness, hard work, patience and impatience. So, for the sake of human progress, get out there, be impatient, and make an impact. If you got one message from me today, it’s this: Focus on the facts. Focus on the science. Focus on the results. Focus on delivery. Focus on making a positive contribution. You have the strength, the knowledge and the skills to unite a divided world by delivering The solutions the world needs today.”
Le Maire said: “France and the UAE have a long-standing and strong diplomatic relationship built on strong strategic, cultural, commercial and economic ties that will continue to grow in the coming decades as our two countries continue to find ways. The decade will become closer to using technology to improve our country. Artificial intelligence is a key technology that France and the UAE will collaborate in the next decade.”
Professor Xing said: “I congratulate our Class of 2022 on reaching this remarkable milestone. This would not have been possible without the vision and support of our leadership, and the hard work and commitment of our teaching staff. The cornerstone of smart technology competitiveness, MBZUAI is committed to conducting transformative research, developing cutting-edge technologies, and nurturing creative and hard-working talents. We are eager for our graduates to further push the boundaries of knowledge and technology, and pass the knowledge they have acquired from the University Serve the community.” — trade arab news agency