MBZUAI welcomes largest-ever cohort to AI internship

The university attracted applications from around the world, including the UAE, the US…reports Asian Lite News

Mohamed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence (MBZUAI) in Abu Dhabi has welcomed 45 international STEM students as part of a month-long undergraduate internship.

A rigorous selection process was undertaken for the second edition of the Undergraduate Research Internship Programme (UGRIP), which is a four-week program for top-flight undergraduate students to develop foundational Artificial Intelligence (AI) knowledge and hands-on research skills.

The university attracted applications from around the world, including the UAE, the US, Canada, Australia, Colombia, Vietnam, India, Egypt, the Republic of Korea, and Kazakhstan.

Many of the aspiring researchers are from leading global computer science universities, including IIT Madras, Harvard University, Yale University, Johns Hopkins University, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Vietnam National University HCM City, and Australian National University.

“A core part of MBZUAI’s mission is to identify and nurture the next generation of innovators and leaders in AI, and the 32% growth of UGRIP in just its second year shows the increasing prominence of our university globally and the attractiveness of studying in UAE,” MBZUAI’s Provost, Professor Timothy Baldwin, said.

He added that the students had the unique opportunity to work alongside world-leading faculty on real-world AI research problems with global impact in areas including health and bioinformatics, robotics, and the use of large language models to detect machine-generated text.

The Undergraduate Research Internship Programme interns chose from various AI research projects based on their interests and academic and career aspirations.

The projects included developing a metaverse prototype for digital healthcare, enhancing the accuracy and robustness of baby cry analysis models using AI, and systematically evaluating the generalizability of large language models across languages and tasks.

“I applied because I wanted to study Arabic and artificial intelligence,” visiting student Ben Lambright, who studies computational linguistics and Arabic at Brandeis University in the US, said. “My focus was to learn more about multimodal models for Arabic and English. This was an interesting opportunity for me to study with researchers from around the world and to collaborate with them.”

Interns also participated in a brain tumor segmentation challenge, which used computer vision techniques to detect tumors in medical images and had the opportunity to engage in an insightful industry panel discussion about the UAE’s AI sector and job market.

To complement their research and interactions with MBZUAI’s expert faculty, the UGRIP interns also experienced the UAE’s rich history and culture through a series of cultural trips facilitated by Abu Dhabi Residents Office and the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi to places such as Qasr Al Hosn, Sheik Zayed Grand Mosque, and Abrahamic Family House.

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