Abu Dhabi's AI university launches online lecture series open to the public

MBZUAI Talks will begin July 7 by delving into medical imaging with the university's president Prof Sir Michael Brady

The UAE was among the first nations to see an opportunity in AI for its economy. Chris Whiteoak / The National
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Abu Dhabi's Mohamed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence is launching MBZUAI Talks on Tuesday, a monthly online lecture series open to the public that will delve into some of the most promising areas of AI.

The first will focus on the technology's potential in medical imaging, from diagnostics and interpretation to opportunities ripe for development. Dr Ling Shao, executive vice president and provost of the university will moderate, joined by Professor Sir Michael Brady, MBZUAI's interim president.

"AI is becoming increasingly prevalent in everyday life, and yet the public understanding of exactly what AI is – and what it can do – is still relatively limited," Dr Behjat Al Yousuf, who leads outreach and engagement at the university, said.

MBZUAI Talks will aim to increase public knowledge while offering an opportunity for its incoming students to connect with industry professionals and senior members of faculty. The virtual sessions will emphasise practical experiences and research, as well as career prospects for the burgeoning industry.

AI is expected to add 14 per cent to the world’s gross domestic product by 2030, equivalent to $15.7 trillion (Dh57.7tn), according to business consultancy PwC. Experts estimate that AI’s contribution to the UAE economy will match the global increase of 14 per cent – the largest GDP share in the Middle East – in the same time frame.

Prof Brady will discuss his work using AI to diagnose critical health issues like recoveries from Covid-19, breast cancer and fatty liver disease. He will also offer his views on potential opportunities for innovation in the health imaging sector.

Future sessions will focus on transportation, education and energy.

MBZUAI is the world's first AI-dedicated research university. Its inaugural class will begin at the new Masdar City campus in January 2021, starting four months later than originally planned as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The university will provide all admitted students with a full scholarship, plus benefits such as a monthly allowance, health insurance and accommodation.

Graduate students can still apply to MBZUAI through the university’s website for the 2021 class.