January 19, 2023

IBM and MBZUAI advance AI for climate and culture

categories : technology

A new AI Centre of Excellence, which will focus on finding carbon neutral solutions for existing energy resources and improving access to new AI technologies for Arabic speakers, has been created.

Mohamed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence (MBZUAI) has teamed up with IBM to formally launch the AI Centre as part of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week’s World Future Energy Summit. The Centre aims to advance collaboration to improve the adoption of AI technology and help drive sustainability.

Experts from IBM and MBZUAI plan to focus on decarbonisation, with advanced research into climate change mitigation and adaptation. Joint research teams will work on the development of foundational AI models, which could help inform the deployment of clean and renewable energy in the electrification of multiple sectors across the economy. This approach will set the stage for use of carbon neutral solutions while also enabling adaptation and resilience.

NLP for Arabic dialects

The AI Centre of Excellence will also work to improve NLP for Arabic dialects, making AI more accessible and flexible for Arabic speakers. Improving NLP capabilities in Arabic dialects will help to address civic, social, and business challenges, while providing real-life applications such as personalised customer care, AI-powered assistants, improved search, and fraud detection, to name a few.

“The only way to Net Zero is through disruptive technologies and innovations that fundamentally re-program our energy production and consumption — harnessing big data to help drive more effective decision making and problem solving. In line with the vision of our leadership to benefit from the most advanced technological innovations, we are delighted to launch the Centre of Excellence. This partnership between MBZUAI and IBM underscores the commitment of both organisations to develop AI solutions that work for the benefit of humanity,” said Dr Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, President-Designate for COP28, and Chairman of MBZUAI.

“IBM’s collaboration with MBZUAI will leverage AI to address some of the most pressing issues of our time including sustainability and net zero strategies,” said Arvind Krishna, IBM Chairman and CEO. “The new Centre of Excellence will also develop local digital skills and attract leading researchers that will help deliver the UAE’s National Artificial Intelligence Strategy 2031.”

Clean energy solutions

The deployment and use of clean energy solutions is one of the main pillars of the UAE’s model of addressing the challenge of climate change and reducing GHG emissions, in line with UAE Net Zero 2050 strategic initiative. The AI Centre of Excellence plans to leverage the talents of IBM researchers with expertise in data science, machine learning and NLP, in collaboration with MBZUAI faculty and students. The teams will work together towards the advancement of both fundamental and applied research objectives.

Through IBM SkillsBuild platform, IBM will provide MBZUAI students and faculty with access to IBM tools, software, courseware and cloud accounts for teaching, learning, and non-commercial research. In addition, MBZUAI will have access to curated AI curricula, lectures, labs, industry use cases, design-thinking sessions, and an AI Practitioner certification.

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