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Abu Dhabi is already planning for the time when the oil wells of the Emirate will have run dry and is working towards a more diversified economy. The recently founded Mohamed bin Zayed University of AI (MBZUAI) , where experts in artificial intelligence are going to hone their skills, is part of this future concept. The study course is closely dovetailed with the planned economic development of the country and will be focused on machine learning, image recognition, and natural speech comprehension. To this end, one of the university’s partners is the Inception Institute of AI (IIAI) in Abu Dhabi, which is run by Oxford graduate, Professor Ling Shao. There is also a collaboration with the AI company Group 42, likewise based on site. The curators of MBZUAI include Sir Michael Brady, Professor of Oncological Imaging at the University of Oxford, who will also be holding the position of Interim President during the establishment phase of the university. He is joined by Professor Anil Jain of Michigan State University, Kai-Fu Lee, Technology Manager and venture capitalist from Beijing, as well as Daniela Rus, Professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Director of the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL).

The first-year group will contain 50 students, selected from 3,200 applicants worldwide. The number of students will increase dramatically over time. All of them receive a full scholarship, which covers study fees, accommodation, health insurance and other services such as a monthly allowance for living costs.