Forty-two leaders from organisations in the UAE have become the fourth cohort to graduate from Mohamed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence (MBZUAI) Executive Program (MEP). The executives spent 12 weeks with world-leading AI instructors immersed in the potential of AI to transform society, with an emphasis on enhancing sustainability.

The programme’s fourth edition consisted of leaders from diverse organisations, including the Statistics Centre Abu Dhabi, Mohammed bin Rashid School of Government, the Supreme Council for National Security, Zayed Higher Organization for People of Determination, Abu Dhabi National Oil Company, PricewaterhouseCoopers and IBM, to name just a few.

The culmination of the programme delivered a set of capstone projects where participants applied their learnings to enhance sustainability, supporting the UAE’s Year of Sustainability. These include the development of an AI-powered observatory to help secure the UAE’s food and water security; a system for the prevention of online child exploitation; platforms for the screening, early detection, and diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder and other chronic diseases; a system to ensure the sustainability and resilience of critical supply chains; and an initiative to boost productivity, efficiency and informed decision-making through certified training in AI.

Timothy Baldwin, MBZUAI Acting Provost and Professor of Natural Language Processing, who gave the keynote address at the graduation, said: “The fourth cohort of leaders to graduate from the MEP represents a new generation of pioneers and advocates for the ethical and responsible use of AI, a transformational tool that has the potential to become one of humanity’s greatest achievements.

“Your decision to investigate and embrace the opportunities AI offers in the context of sustainability attests to your desire to become leaders in an innovative and ambitious country built on the belief that the future holds even greater opportunity than the past. You are the UAE’s next generation of ambassadors for ethical innovation, and the architects of a future where technology and sustainability work in harmony.”

The MEP teams presented their capstone projects at the graduation ceremony. The judging panel chose the winner for proposals aimed at helping the UAE take a proactive approach to tackling food security and supporting the nation’s 2051 Food Security Strategy. The team pitched the idea of a National Food and Water Security Observatory to use AI to provide real-time insights and proactive decision-making around all key aspects of food security, from weather patterns and their impact on harvests through to supply chain issues, population growth and extreme weather events.

The judges were similarly impressed with the other five projects, including two health-related solutions: Team GovSync proposed Omniya, an ecosystem that uses AI to check and collate data for the early detection and diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder. While team Hayaati proposed an AI solution to assist the healthcare sector proactively detect non-communicable diseases by overcoming current inefficiencies and inadequacies in data collection.

As part of the AI community engagement and the strengthening of the network of the ambassadors of the MBZUAI Community, participants visited the Abu Dhabi Housing Authority (ADHA), Zayed Higher Organization for People of Determination, and Abu Dhabi Public Health Centre (ADPHC) in addition to engaging in classroom-based learning and developing their capstone projects.

More than 166 executives have graduated since the programme’s launch in 2021.