The Mohamed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence (MBZUAI) commencement ceremony celebrated its second batch of 59 students representing 25 nationalities graduating with a master’s in computer vision and machine learning, along with its first-ever natural language processing graduates.

The event was held in the presence of Sheikh Hamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and attended by Dr Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, President-Designate of COP28 UAE and chairman of MBZUAI’s board of trustees, and professor Eric Xing, MBZUAI president and university professor, in addition to members of the board of trustees and university faculty.

In his address, Al Jaber noted that MBZUAI is empowering the next generation of AI experts.

“I am confident that the Class of 2023 will make a profound social and economic impact and develop tangible AI solutions that will help to overcome some of society’s major challenges, particularly in the areas of climate, healthcare, and education,” he said during the event held at Hosted at the Abu Dhabi Energy Centre.

In preparation of hosting COP28 UAE, Al Jaber pointed out that AI is one of “most powerful tools” to make transformational progress across the climate agenda.

Among the 59 students who graduated, 32 majored in machine learning, 20 computer vision, and seven in natural language processing. The Class of 2023 comprised 25 nationalities, hailing from countries including China, UAE, India, Pakistan, Kazakhstan, Hungary, Italy, and Jordan, highlighting the university’s commitment to cultivating a diverse and inclusive learning environment that attracts top talent from around the world. More than half the graduating class undertook a voluntary industry internship to prepare them to go on and become creators and change makers in healthcare, technology, energy, transport, and government.

“In a world that has never been more complex or more open to opportunity, you – the Class of 2023 – are ready to drive forward solutions that will advance the UAE and the world,” Al Jaber added.

The Class of 2023 also had 17 academic papers published or accepted at major conferences and journals of international standing, and also bagged top honours at national and international hackathons.

The ceremony included an MBZUAI Research Showcase, where faculty and students presented current projects highlighting the university’s three key research pillars – health, climate, and education.

Xing urged graduates to embrace curiosity, explore new frontiers, and make a difference in the world by leveraging the potential of AI to bring about meaningful and positive change.

“This is a pivotal time as wider public interest turns its attention to AI – and with the UAE’s pace, scale, and ambition as a young nation, it offers a cosmopolitan hub of innovation that attracts the world’s greatest minds in the field. I extend my congratulations to the Class of 2023 as they embark on the next stage of their journey.”

Today, 46 per cent of the graduating class have confirmed employment, Ph.D. placements, or paid internships. Employment has been secured with organisations such as Abu Dhabi Transmission and Despatch Company, Abu Dhabi National Oil Company, Abu Dhabi Police, G42 Healthcare, Inception Institute of Artificial Intelligence and SnapChat UK.

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