MBZUAI Executive Programme will help achieve UAE’s ultimate goal to be global AI leader: Official

ABU DHABI, 7th September, 2021 – An executive programme introduced by the Mohamed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence (MBZUAI) will help achieve the UAE’s ultimate goal of becoming a global AI leader, a senior official told Emirates News Agency (WAM).
“By extending AI access to leaders across the economy, besides facilitating collaboration between government, business and the scientific community, the MBZUAI Executive Programme is helping to deliver on the UAE’s ultimate goal of becoming a global AI leader,” said Professor Fakhreddine Karray, Provost of MBZUAI, a graduate-level and research university focused on AI.
“The MBZUAI Executive Programme aims to provide a practical grounding in AI and raise awareness of its implications for business and policymaking. It will also provide access to an exclusive community of senior leaders and AI experts in the region and abroad,” he revealed.
Professor Karray added, “One of our strategic objectives at MBZUAI is ensuring that government and businesses have the people, skills and resources to excel in the deployment of AI.”
The Programme, which has been announced on Tuesday, will comprise six courses, each delivered by instructors from “world-leading academic institutions, executives from global multinationals and the university’s faculty,” according to the university. “It will promote greater engagement on AI between government, business and the scientific community to accelerate the future industries in the UAE.”
The UAE has effectively deployed AI to drive economic growth across sectors such as healthcare, education, energy, transport, defence and many others, Professor Karray said, adding that unleashing the full potential of AI requires both more AI experts and business and government decision-makers to be aware of the opportunities the technology can bring.
“Hopefully, this will drive economic value creation, support the UAE’s national priorities, and advance the Fourth Industrial Revolution,” he noted.
This programme goes beyond conventional classroom instruction by combining traditional coursework with interactive modules, engaging forums, high-level networking opportunities and seminars on AI’s business, ethical and policymaking dimensions. Participants also gain access to some of the AI industry’s most respected names, Karray revealed.
The programme’s first cohort of around 40 senior executives will undergo 12 weeks of online and in-person practical training, starting in October and running until next January, he said.
Its curriculum is broad enough to allow its participants to gain a solid understanding of the basics of AI while being sufficiently targeted to address the needs of its C-suite audience.
Six courses in the programme cover the fundamentals of AI; the economic impact of AI and machine learning; the anticipated impact of AI on industries such as agriculture, manufacturing, smart cities, healthcare, defence and others; and the future of AI-powered communications driven by lingual cognition and intelligence.
“In addition, we have also introduced a course that addresses the interaction between human beings and machines, as well as some of the ethical questions arising from the technology,” Karray explained.
“We have designed a practical, personalised and immersive programme, combined with exclusive access to a community of senior leaders and AI experts from the region and abroad.”
Tailored to the needs of some of the UAE’s most senior government and business executives, the MBZUAI Executive Programme empowers decision-makers in all industries to harness the benefits of AI in forging the future success of their respective organisations, the provost said.
“We want to play a leading role in supporting UAE’s efforts to build and sustain an AI-based knowledge economy. Numerous initiatives at the federal and emirate level have identified AI as an enabling technology to drive growth. Both UAE’s Operation 300bn and the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) Strategy have AI as a foundational technology for reinventing the industrial sector while expanding the sector’s contribution to the country’s GDP,” the official noted.
Smart City projects in Dubai and Abu Dhabi are using AI with other related technologies such as IoT (Internet of Things) to deliver more efficient energy, water and waste management, reduced pollution, noise and traffic congestions, he pointed out.
“The potential to accelerate all these projects using AI is massive, and we want to position MBZUAI and the Executive Programme as the go-to platform for these industry leaders for their AI upskilling and engagement.”

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