• University launches Artificial Intelligence course in Dubai

      July 18, 2018    

    The university also offers full and 50 per cent scholarships worth over Dh4.5 million a year.The British University in Dubai launched the first Bachelor Degree in Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the country on Tuesday, to educate the young generation to implement technologies across all sectors of life.

    Omar Al Olama, Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, inaugurated the new specialisation offered as part of the computer science programme, which will teach undergraduates related sciences, coding and programming.

    The Telecommunication Regulatory Authority's ICT Fund will offer unlimited scholarships to Emiratis who wish to enroll in the programme. The university also offers full and 50 per cent scholarships worth over Dh4.5 million a year for students who wish to enroll in any of its programmes.

    During the launch, Al Olama said AI, if put in the right hands, will solve the humanity's challenges. "We live in an era where technology has introduced big fundamental changes. Today, we turn darkness into light by a click of a button, we access knowledge and communicate with anyone by a click of a button." He added that AI will develop a positive future and introduce opportunities, as well as challenges to be addressed.

    Abdullah Al Shamsi, university's vice-chancellor, said the foundation year of the new AI programme will introduce undergraduates to every science subject related to AI, before moving to coding and implementing AI in different courses of life.

    "There is no escape from AI now. It exists in all fields of life - whether in the kitchen, at home, university, or the workplace," said Al Shamsi.

    As the government works to integrate AI in cars, roads, schools and airline manufacturing in the future, Al Shamsi said it is important to educate the youth on these technologies. He added that a lot of demand on the programme is expected.

    The university also introduced seven new bachelors programmes for the first time after 15 years of offering masters and doctorate degrees. The programmes include bachelor's degrees in architecture, accounting and finance, business management, industrial engineering and electro-mechanical engineering.

    Students willing to receive bachelor's degree in electro-mechanical and industrial engineering will have the chance to complete their last two years in University of Edinburgh or University of Glasgow to get a dual degree from the British University in Dubai and one of the UK-based universities.

    Al Shamsi said the university will offer 24 students with full and 50 per cent scholarships (12 students in each category). Anyone with over 95 per cent high school score is eligible for a full scholarship, and those with over 90 per cent score can apply for 50 per cent scholarships.

    He added that the new programmes focus on sustainability, innovation, climate change and AI. "The programmes speak to the future. In today's world, we need electrical and mechanical engineering knowledge in some sectors, and that's why we offered a programme that integrates both," he said.

    AI to address climate change, says minister

    The Ministry of Climate Change and Environment will implement artificial intelligence (AI) in three projects to combat climate change.

    Present during the launch of Bachelors Degree in Artificial Intelligence at the British University in Dubai, Dr Thani Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, said the three projects to be launched by the end of summer will tackle air quality, sea pollution and solar energy.

    He said AI will enable people to measure the air quality in any place they are present in. The second project, related to sea pollution, will use programming to help the country detect the source of pollution and suggest ways to reduce it.

    AI will also be used in solar energy to reduce electricity generation and enable residents to access specifications, conditions and details of the solar technology. "The project will allow residents to know the performance of the technology in any place in the country," he said.

    The three projects will be launched in collaboration with different universities, local entities and the International Renewable Energy Agency (Irena).

    "Today more than ever before, the young generation has the responsibility to address challenges," he said.

    "Summer brought heat waves that caused drought, and that's all due to climate change. People continue dying of drought and we need collective efforts to change that," added Al Zeyoudi. In Somalia, 110 people died of drought in 48 hours last year.

    He highlighted the importance of investing in a well-educated generation who can be the major drive for change.

    Al Zeyoudi stressed that industrial sciences is vitally needed to achieve the economic diversity the government is working on, while reducing air pollution.

    "Factories are the main pollutants in big countries like China, India and the US. When students carefully learn and analyse environmental concerns, they will play a big role in reducing the carbon footprint," said Al Zeyoudi.

    He added that transforming the current technologies that consume electricity to more efficient technologies is the way forward.

    The ministry has been working closely with schools to provide strong environmental education. Al Zeyoudi said the authority succeeded in introducing a strong curriculum that tackles the field of environment to all school grades. "The chapters mainly address food diversity, planting techniques and water scarcity. Students also get to learn about bird species and details of marine life," said Al Zeyoudi.


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