The Mohamed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence (MBZUAI) appointed a world-renowned computer science professor as its president.
Eric Xing is an academic specialising in machine learning at Carnegie Mellon University, a private research university in the United States.
His research encompasses how automated learning can be used to solve complex problems in reasoning and decision-making.
Prof Xing's appointment came as the Abu Dhabi university – the world's first dedicated to artificial intelligence – prepares for its first batch of graduate students in January.
"It is a privilege to have this opportunity to lead such a ground-breaking establishment, and to do so in the UAE, a country that has made AI a strategic national priority," said Prof Xing, who was born in Shanghai, China.
"As president of MBZUAI, my vision is to build and enable a generation of leaders who have the necessary understanding, expertise and skills to unlock the full potential of artificial intelligence through academic research and industry applications," he said.
“Artificial intelligence is one of the most transformational technologies of our time, with the potential to have an immeasurable positive impact on economies, industries, and society.
“We are determined to make the UAE a hub for the international AI community."
Prof Xing holds a doctorate in molecular biology from Rutgers University, and a PhD in computer science from UC Berkeley, a public research university.
He has served as visiting associate professor at Stanford University and a visiting research professor at Facebook.
The MBZUAI was accredited by the UAE academic authority in March.
The university, in Masdar City in Abu Dhabi, will offer Master of Science and PhD-level programmes.
Dr Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology and chairman of the MBZUAI Board of Trustees, said the university was excited to welcome Prof Xing.
"He is one of the world's foremost academics in the field of artificial intelligence and an exceptional business leader who understands its practical application."
Prof Xing will take the reins from interim president, Prof Michael Brady.
The university will focus on building the capabilities of artificial intelligence and other advanced technologies, and is open to researchers and innovators from across the world.
MBZUAI will provide all admitted students with a full scholarship, plus benefits such as a monthly allowance, health insurance and accommodation.