Abu Dhabi: First batch of AI students graduate; 52 students from 24 countries get degrees

At 15 per cent, Emirati graduates represented the largest single nationality, followed by India, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Morocco, Nigeria, Russia, Canada, and Egypt


Ashwani Kumar

  • Follow us on
  • google-news
  • whatsapp
  • telegram


Supplied photos
Supplied photos

Published: Mon 30 Jan 2023, 7:52 PM

Last updated: Mon 30 Jan 2023, 10:22 PM

The inaugural graduation ceremony of the Mohamed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence (MBZUAI), the world’s first graduate research university in AI, saw 52 students from 24 countries, including 8 Emiratis, bag postgraduate degrees in computer vision and machine learning.

At 15 per cent, Emirati graduates represented the largest single nationality followed by India, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Morocco, Nigeria, Russia, Canada, and Egypt.

“You have the power, the knowledge and the skills to unite a divided world in delivering the solutions the world needs today,” said Dr Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology and Chairman of MBZUAI’s board of trustees.

Sheikh Theyab bin Zayed Al Nahyan graced the occasion along with Bruno Le Maire, French Minister for Economy and Finance; Omar bin Sultan Al Olama, Minister of State for AI and Digital Economy, and Remote Work Applications; Sarah Al Amiri, Minister of State for Public Education and Advance Technology and Chairwoman of Emirates Schools Establishment; and Professor Eric Xing, MBZUAI President. Sheikh Theyab handed the certificates to the graduates as other faculty members, parents, friends and relatives cheered during the ceremony held at the ADNOC Business Centre.

Dr Al Jaber felt “prouder” and was “optimistic” about the career choice made by the graduates.

“The career path you have chosen is set to change the course of humanity.”

The minister noted that artificial intelligence will transform every aspect of human life.

“When MBZUAI was founded by our leadership in 2019, its mission was very clear: and that is to harness the power of artificial intelligence to advance global progress. The pursuit of progress is core to the UAE principles, values and identity. We stand on the verge of technological revolution that will be unlike anything we have experienced before.”

Dr Al Jaber said MBZUAI is at the forefront of “what comes next”.

“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.”

The President-Designate of COP28 UAE said that artificial intelligence will reinvent the relationships between people and machines.

“As you step out of the classroom, you are stepping into a very special year. This year is very special for the UAE and for the whole world. 2023 is the Year of Sustainability for the UAE, and the year when UAE will host the COP28, the Emirates Climate Conference.”

Highlighting the importance of AI skills in tackling global challenges of climate, he said: “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 that we all need in the world today.”

AI, Dr Al Jaber pointed out, will play a critical role in making the breakthroughs that will deliver human, climate and economic progress.

“You are graduating from the right institution, at the right time, with the right degree and at the cutting edge of what’s to come. Coming from 44 countries and over one-third female, your class is very diverse. I know that you will make a significant contribution both to the focus and development of the UAE and the entire world.”

Be impatient, impactful

Concluding his address, the minister urged students to focus on facts, science, results, delivery and making a positive contribution.

“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,” Dr Al Jaber said. “Aim for the stars.”

Bruno Le Maire noted that artificial intelligence is a key technology on which France and the UAE will collaborate in the coming decade.

“France and the UAE have a long and well-established diplomatic relationship, one built on strong strategic, cultural, business, and economic ties, that will become even closer over the coming decades as our two nations continue to find ways to leverage technology for the betterment of our countries.”

Professor Xing added: “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.”


More news from UAE