Abu Dhabi's AI university appoints permanent head

Professor Timothy Baldwin sets out vision to cement capital as a global leader in the sector

Professor Timothy Baldwin has been appointed as head of the Mohamed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence. Photo: MBZUAI
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Abu Dhabi's dedicated artificial intelligence university has named a new permanent head to help guide its cutting-edge vision for the future of higher education.

Mohamed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence said the appointment of Professor Timothy Baldwin as provost, who previously served as acting head, will help usher in an 'exciting chapter' for the high-tech institution.

Prof Baldwin has played a key role in the growth of the university, which was established in 2019 to help harness the potential of young people seeking to carve out careers in the growing sector.

His achievements include setting up three academic departments focused on robotics, computer science, and statistics and leading the expansion of the university's talent pool by recruiting 25 new faculty members.

He has overseen the accreditation of new masters and PhD courses in computer science and robotics and jointly led the technical development of Jais, an open-source bilingual Arabic-English model.

“I am delighted to formally take on this position, and work alongside the current and future generation of AI front-runners in leading the academic development of this truly unique institution and contribute to establishing Abu Dhabi as a global leader of AI,” Prof Baldwin said.

Prof Eric Xing, MBZUAI’s president, believes the appointment will support the university's ambitions.

“We are confident that Professor Timothy Baldwin's leadership, dedication, and expertise will continue to propel MBZUAI to new heights of excellence,” he said.

“His appointment as Provost brings an exciting chapter for our university, and we look forward to the continued growth and success with his guidance.”

Supporting rise of AI

The first batch of students to enrol at Abu Dhabi's artificial intelligence university graduated in January 2023.

Nearly two thirds of the students planned to go into employment, PhD placements, paid internships or start-up businesses – and of those, 91 per cent were set to remain in the UAE, the university said at the time.

A total of 52 students graduated from MBZUAI – 20 with a master's in computer vision, a strand of AI that trains computers to understand the visual world – and 32 in machine learning, the popular field that trains computers to mimic human intelligence.

Updated: April 01, 2024, 8:59 AM