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First batch graduates from Abu Dhabi’s first AI university in the world

91 percent of the 52 graduates from Mohamed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence (MBZUAI) staying back in the UAE to strengthen the AI ecosystem

The first batch from the world’s first research university in artificial intelligence, the Mohamed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence (MBZUAI), has graduated.

As many as 52 students from 24 countries, including eight Emiratis, received their post-graduate degrees in the key AI fields of computer vision and machine learning.

At the time of commencement, 63 percent of the inaugural class have confirmed employment, PhD placements, paid internships or building their own startups. More importantly, 91 percent will remain in the UAE to continue contributing to Abu Dhabi’s AI ecosystem.

Abu Dhabi’s artificial intelligence university MBZUAI

In his keynote address, Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, President-Designate of COP28 UAE and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of MBZUAI, emphasised the significance of the university and the change it can bring to the UAE going forward.

“When MBZUAI was founded by our leadership in 2019, its mission was clear – to harness the power of artificial intelligence to advance global progress,” said Dr Al Jaber.

“MBZUAI was specifically designed as a catalyst for research across multiple sectors, including business, IT, energy, transportation, education and healthcare and sustainability – and you, the inaugural graduating class of MBZUAI will be the pioneers that help turn that research into reality.”

Dr Al Jaber highlighted the importance of AI in tackling the global challenge of climate change and sustainability, adding: “We need to hold back the global rise in temperatures to 1.5 degrees without slowing economic growth. We need to make our planet wealthier and healthier, at the same time. And I have no doubt, that you, the first graduating class of MBZUAI hold some of the keys to the transformational breakthroughs we need.

“Remember, progress is driven by curiosity, constructive dialogue, connectivity, hard work, patience – and impatience. So, get out there and be impatient, and impactful, for the betterment of humanity.”

Professor Eric Xing, MBZUAI President, Member of the Board of Trustees and university faculty, added: “I congratulate our class of 2022 graduates for reaching this remarkable milestone.

“As a bedrock for UAE’s technological competitiveness in artificial intelligence, MBZUAI is committed to performing transformative research, developing cutting-edge technology, and training creative and hardworking talent. We aspire for our graduates to further advance the boundaries of knowledge and technology and be empowered by the knowledge they gained from the university to serve society.”

At the forefront of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, MBZUAI is inspiring the next generation of AI experts as part of the UAE’s national strategy. Their research is solving real-world national and global challenges across many sectors, including healthcare, transport, logistics, environment, energy, smart cities, manufacturing and fintech. Examples include pioneering work with the UAE Genome Project, Arabic NLP research in partnership with IBM, and AI operating systems across industries.

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