EdTech Concept

University of Dubai’s global AI index to measure growth in learning institutions

The University of Dubai and the Artificial Intelligence Journalism for Research and Forecasting (AIJRF) have launched a new index to track the progress made by Arabian universities in terms of artificial intelligence (AI) integrations.

The Arab Index for Artificial Intelligence offering as the first of its kind that could spell a wave of similar services in other regions, according to local reports. The index measures the integration of AI technologies into humanities and theoretical sciences in Arab universities from Morocco to Qatar.

A closer inspection of the index put forward by the University of Dubai reveals a reliance on six primary indicators. With this, learning institutions with AI in their curriculum will score higher than those without the emerging technology in their courses.

The index pays keen attention to university professors’ educational qualifications and experience in AI for its ranking. The presence of AI and smart laboratories will add to a university’s score on the index, while student skills and the institution’s ranking on the scientific research index will be considered.

Dr. Eesa Al Bastaki, President of the University of Dubai, disclosed that the index will foster healthy competition between universities in the region, which will help improve AI adoption. He argues that improved AI education will deepen the region’s talent pool for global and local AI firms.

“The current index aims primarily to research, monitor and develop the educational process in general in Arab universities, and to enhance the skills of the academic team, students and graduates, to keep pace with all the rapid technological changes year after year,” said Al Bastaki.

The index is the brainchild of the AIJRF, a think tank committed to promoting AI in the region. Aside from deepening the talent pool, the AIJRF says the index will play a pivotal role in localizing AI to match Arabian cultural nuances.

Currently, the index is present in 10 Arab countries, but cross-border information sharing and red-tapism could hinder the progress of the offering. A number of government agencies have pledged technological and funding support to universities, showing promise for AI integration in the region.

Betting on education

Rather than splurge blindly on infrastructure and other white elephant projects, Arab countries are investing a chunk of their resources in AI education.

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) unveiled a massive education initiative to equip citizens with new AI skills, eyeing the conversion of one-third of all STEM graduates to pursue AI careers.

Saudi Arabia is toeing the same path by targeting high schoolers across the country with its National Olympiad for Programming and Artificial Intelligence. A total of 1,300 public and private schools will participate in the initiative, reaching over 300,000 students to “inspire the next generation of programmers” for emerging technologies.

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