World's First University of Artificial Intelligence Opens in 2020

The world's first graduate level AI university opens in September 2020 responding to projections estimating a global business value derived from AI reaching almost $4 trillion by 2022.
Susan Fourtané
AI University devrimb/iStock 

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.

Mohamed Bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence (MBZUAI) is the world's first graduate-level AI university. Named after His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Armed Forces, the AI university will introduce a new model of academia and research to the field of Artificial Intelligence. The establishment promises to provide students and faculty members with access to some of the world's most advanced AI systems in existence. 

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," said His Excellency Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE Minister of State, who has been appointed Chair of the MBZUAI Board of Trustees.

AI University of Artificial Intelligence: An inclusive university 

In his opening words, H.E. Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE Minister of State and Chair of the Board of Trustees of MBZUAI said that the university is "an open invitation from the United Arab Emirates to the world to further harness the potential of Artificial Intelligence." According to Al Jaber, the university is investing in human capital, knowledge, and scientific thinking and the UAE is one of the first countries to define an inclusive and integrated AI vision and strategy that covers multiple sectors.

The university is now open to the world for registration and it expects to contribute to unleashing AI's full potential. Both local and international graduate students are welcome to the unique Campus with state-of-the-art facilities and a lively student community. There are six MSCs and PhDs programs available as well as full scholarships. The study programs offer three main specialization fields in Machine Learning, Computer Vision, and Natural Language ProcessingAll admitted students will receive a full scholarship, monthly allowance, health insurance, and accommodation. The first will commence on September 2020.

Top international experts such as 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 have been selected to become members of the University's Board of Trustees reflecting the international high-profile of the university.

AI creates new career opportunities 

With the current advancements of automation and robotics, many jobs will cease to exist as a logical consequence of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. It happened before in the history of mankind and it will happen again. Resisting change and technological evolution is futile. However, global industry experts and futurists agree on saying that whereas many repetitive jobs will be performed by machines only, there are many other new job opportunities that will be created. This, though, will depend on preparation as well as learning and developing new skills for those new jobs. 

"We are now at the 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," said Professor Sir Michael Brady, Interim President of MBZUAI. According to Brady, the MBZUAI is going to support students in order to capture those opportunities as well as magnifying their contributions to the emerging field of AI globally. Professor Brady founded the Oxford University Robotics Group before switching his interest to cancer image analysis in the early 1990s. 

Within the next decade, AI is going to transform the global economy in an exponential manner. Industry experts are estimating that by 2030, AI could be contributing nearly $16 trillion to the global economy. Being the second-largest economy in the Arab world only after Saudi Arabia, the UAE could easily see nearly 14 percent of the UAE's gross domestic product (GDP) coming from AI. In perspective, with a third of the GDP coming from oil revenues in the UAE, in 2018, the GDP reached $414 billion.

AI education: Upgrading skills to prepare for the jobs of the future  

To be prepared for future jobs that will be created in just a few years' time, you first need to upgrade your current skills. The University of Artificial Intelligence in Abu Dhabi is going to be the first but certainly not the only one. Other specialized AI universities will be created as well as many other AI programs offered by universities around the world.

You can also start upgrading your AI skills by joining one of the many online courses in Artificial Intelligence currently available. These will give you some experience with the AI programming of intelligent agents including search algorithms, games, and logic problems as well as Data Science, Robitics, and Machine Intelligence. Some of the courses are free, such as the following: 

Although not free, in the U.K., the six-module online Oxford Artificial Intelligence Program offered by the University of Oxford explores the mechanics of AI and its implications for businesses. The program also focuses on the understanding and critically examining the social and ethical implications of AI. 

Futurists and industry leaders have agreed that in times of change the best one can do in order to prepare for a future where humans and machines need to learn to co-exist and collaborate is to learn new skills. This also means to dive into new careers that are developing and into new study programs, the ones that will shape the future of humanity.

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