This week has been marked as special due to the ongoing and groundbreaking Abraham Accord. With Israel. Bahrain, and the UAE all working towards normalization, we’ve already witnessed the first investment from a Dubai-based VC in an Israeli startup, and just like your first year at college, expect there to be a lot of ‘firsts’ over the next couple weeks.
Which brings us to the Mohamed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence (MBZUAI) in the UAE and Israel's Weizmann Institute of Science signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), which will see the two institutes work together to advance the development and use of artificial intelligence (AI) as a tool for progress.
The MoU, which is the first of its kind to be signed between two higher education institutes from the UAE and Israel, covers a range of opportunities for collaboration, including student and postdoctoral fellows exchange programs, conferences and seminars, various forms of exchange between researchers, sharing of computing resources, and the establishment of a joint virtual institute for AI. Furthermore, it continues one of the most important aspects of these normalization processes, especially as we continue to battle COVID, which is the exchange of ideas and innovation, which seems like a good bet to continue leading us post pandemic as well.
Professor Alon Chen commented: "We are thrilled to have the opportunity to collaborate with this unique, pioneering institution and to advance the field of artificial intelligence together. As a neuroscientist, I believe that AI is the extension of the power and intricacy of the human brain into the digital realm, and the implications will be vast, affecting our lives and our health, and the global economy. It is said that science knows no borders. I have every hope this collaboration, between scientists in the same region will be a shining example of this expression, and will extend the boundaries of human knowledge."
The MoU was signed virtually by His Excellency Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology and Chairman of the MBZUAI Board of Trustees, and Weizmann Institute President Professor Alon Chen, and was attended by officials from MBZUAI and Weizmann Institute.
MBZUAI is the world's first graduate-level, research-based AI university. Based in Abu Dhabi, the University offers MSc and PhD programs in computer vision, machine learning, and natural language processing. MBZUAI is introducing a new model of academia and research in AI, providing students and faculty access to the world's most advanced AI systems to unleash the technology's full potential.
The Weizmann Institute of Science is one of the world's top-ranking multidisciplinary research institutions and offers masters' and doctoral-level degrees across five faculties. It is noted for its wide-ranging exploration of the natural and exact sciences. Institute scientists are advancing research on the human brain, artificial intelligence, computer science and encryption, astrophysics and particle physics.
Dr. Al Jaber said: "As a pioneering university, MBZUAI seeks out partnerships with leaders in their respective fields to further our collective scientific understanding and push the boundaries of technological innovation. Therefore, I welcome the opportunity to collaborate with such a renowned establishment as the Weizmann Institute of Science. Through this MoU we can leverage the expertise of both our institutes towards using artificial intelligence to address some of the world's most pressing challenges, from COVID-19 to climate change, and beyond."