Fast transportation will play a key role in how the Middle East emerges from the current economic situation, according to Sultan bin Sulayem
The UAE-based Mohamed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence (MBZUAI) has penned an agreement with California-based Virgin Hyperloop to research a number of high-tech applications of AI, the two announced on Tuesday.
In a statement, MBZUAI and Hyperloop said that they will engage members of both teams to pursue three core objectives: joint fundamental research in several key AI domains such as computer vision, as well as in cloud computing initiatives and commercial projects in the smart transportation industry.
The hyperloop – which was first discussed by Elon Musk in 2012 – is a system in which ‘pods’ carrying goods or people will be moved at over 1,120 kph (700mph) in depressurised ‘tubes’ via magnetic levitation. According to Virgin Hyperloop One, the system will be able to carry more people than a subway, at airline speeds, with zero direct emissions.
“This partnership exemplified the immense capacity of AI to reshape the world around us by breaking boundaries,” said Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE Minister of State and Chairman of the Board of Trustees at MBZUAI.
“Virgin Hyperoloop will change the way we move around the world. MBZUAI will help enable this by providing access to some of the world’s most talented AI professionals, as well as superior research facilities, which can contribute to realising Virgin Hyperloop’s vision.”
Sultan Bin Sulayem, group chairman and CEO of DP World and chairman of Virgin Hyperloop, said that he believes the Middle East the potential to emerge as a “global powerhouse” from the current economic situation.
"The transportation and technology sector – and that includes advancements in AI in particular – will define our regional capabilities in the long-term,” he said.
“Supported by AI, we are ultimately offering time with this disruptive, completely new, and sustainable technology that will help us to create an on-demand economy.”
MBZUAI will also offer Master of Science (Msc) and PhD level programmes in AI, and has begun vetting applicants for the 2021 intake, with thousands of applications received from over 80 countries.
The university will provide all admitted students with a full scholarship, plus benefits including a monthly allowance, health insurance and accommodation. It will also work with companies to secure internships and help in finding employment opportunities.