MBZUAI hosts ‘AI for Leadership’ training course tailored for government sector

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ABU DHABI, 19th December, 2020 (WAM) — The Mohamed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence (MBZUAI), the world’s first graduate-level, research-based artificial intelligence (AI) university, in collaboration with the Abu Dhabi School of Government (ADSG), the learning and development arm of Abu Dhabi Government, held a specialised ‘AI for Leadership’ immersion training course tailored for government sector leaders seeking to master the key concepts behind Artificial Intelligence and how to incorporate it into their respective organisations.
The ‘AI for Leadership’ course empowered leaders to contribute to the success of the UAE Strategy for Artificial Intelligence 2031, key initiatives aimed at diversifying the economy, and delivering improved government services. Designed by AI experts at MBZUAI, the course equipped Abu Dhabi government leaders with the necessary knowledge, skills and competencies to leverage AI applications effectively through exposure to AI applications in various business cases. The four-day course was open to all senior decision-makers in the government sector who sought to develop a better understanding of the applications of AI technology within their respective sectors.
Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, and Chairman of the MBZUAI Board of Trustees, said, “In line with the wise leadership’s vision to leverage the capabilities of AI, through platforms like the ‘AI for Leadership’ training course, MBZUAI aims to build a thriving AI community in the UAE, encourage deeper dialogue and closer cooperation between the university and government stakeholders, attract leading experts to the region, and share expertise and knowledge in the field of artificial intelligence. ‘AI for Leadership’ is a showcase of MBZUAI’s efforts to build this ecosystem by empowering government leaders to apply AI in their respective organisations in order to better support the UAE’s national priorities and strengthen its knowledge economy, and advance the Fourth Industrial Revolution.”
Omar bin Sultan Al Olama, Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy and Remote Work Applications, and Chairman of MBZUAI’s Advisory Board, said, “It is important to empower national leaders in government and economic sectors with the latest technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, expanding their expertise and knowledge, and introducing them to the most prominent future opportunities stemming from AI-enabled solutions. Our government is committed to accelerating the adoption of AI in various vital areas to achieve the National Artificial Intelligence Strategy 2031 and strengthen the country’s position as a global leader in AI.”
The inauguration ceremony of the course was attended by high level speakers from public and private sector organisations such as the Abu Dhabi Digital Authority (ADDA), the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), the ADSG, the Advanced Technology Research Council (ATRC), EDGE, Group 42, IBM, and numerous others. The speakers shared their experience in applying AI across various industries of relevance to the UAE National priorities including energy, healthcare, technology, agriculture and capacity building.
MBZUAI faculty members Dr. Mohammed Yaqub, Assistant Professor, and Dr. Fahad Khan, Associate Professor, led the course, alongside leaders in AI from the government sector and the industry.
‘AI for Leadership’ included workshops covering key AI concepts like Machine Learning, Artificial Neural Networks, Deep Learning and Reinforced Learning, in addition to Natural Language Processing, Computer Vision and Remote Sensing among many others. The course focused on use cases of government and industrial case studies of AI implementation and strategy. Among these were: ADNOC’s Panorama Digital Command Centre and the impact of AI in the Oil and Gas sector; using Machine Learning to advance cryptographic technologies; computer vision for healthcare and automation of medical screening to accelerate disease detection; leveraging AI to combat emerging pathogen epidemics; computer vision to make cities safer and boost quality of life, and the Abu Dhabi AI Lab platform for advancing AI in Abu Dhabi government entities.
Ali Rashid Al Ketbi, Chairman of the Department of Government Support – Abu Dhabi, said, “The Department of Government Support is committed to empowering the Emirate’s future leaders by investing in education, artificial intelligence and tools that will enhance government services and contribute to advancing the country’s progress.”
Al Ketbi added, “As part of our mandate to enhance Abu Dhabi government employees’ capabilities, we are in the midst of developing an integrated system that aims to meet the requirements and needs of other government departments. This is being made possible through the efforts of the Abu Dhabi Digital Authority, which focuses on creating an infrastructure that utilises artificial intelligence to serve individuals and entities. It is also supported by the Human Resources Authority, which helps to enact policies, procedures and regulations that align with our vision, such as promoting the use of artificial intelligence in the workplace. We are proud of the achievements made by the Abu Dhabi School of Government, which plays a pivotal role in training the Emirate’s future workforce and helps them prepare for the future by equipping them with necessary tools needed for artificial intelligence.”
Al Ketbi also affirmed the Department’s readiness to utilise its resources to realise the vision of the nation’s wise leadership by championing innovative practices and granting senior public sector officials the opportunity to strengthen the efforts of the Abu Dhabi government.
“Through the use of artificial intelligence and other related tools, we can further diversify the UAE’s economy and become more efficient in our processes. It is imperative to support these initiatives to showcase Abu Dhabi’s position as a global hub for innovation and expertise,” he added.
Dr. Behjat Al Yousuf, Executive Vice President for Outreach and Engagement said, “AI is changing lives and businesses. The UAE has pioneered future applications of AI through strategic adaptation of AI. As the UAE continues to digitize its economy, this course, delivered through our strategic collaboration with ADSG, sought to empower decision-makers to understand and adapt AI applications within their businesses. Government services will only fulfil their AI advancement through the support of their leaders and executives.”
Dr. Nama Salmeen Alameri, Dean of the Abu Dhabi School of Government, said, “We are delighted to collaborate with the Mohamed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence to offer senior-level leaders within Abu Dhabi’s government sector access to the latest training and perspectives on how to effectively incorporate AI into business strategy and operations. Artificial Intelligence technologies are going to change the lives of millions of people across the globe and it is essential that the government sector is prepared to benefit from their deployment.”
“Home to some of the world’s AI pioneers, the UAE has recognised and anticipated the impact of AI on its economy and growth, and has already worked to incorporate AI into its short and long term strategies and plans,” she added.
“ADSG is committed to developing an empowered and skilled government workforce capable of navigating the challenges and opportunities of the future, and ensuring that government sector leaders are equipped with the necessary knowledge and skills to make effective use of AI is crucial to the future success of the Abu Dhabi government,” added Dr. Alameri.

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