Strategic Partners

NYU Abu Dhabi to boost artificial intelligence research

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NYU Abu Dhabi (NYUAD) has partnered with the Inception Institute of Artificial Intelligence (IIAI). IIAI will fund up to five NYUAD researchers as part of its Global PhD Fellows program in Artificial Intelligence (AI).

The program focuses on improving the AI research framework within Abu Dhabi, while also promoting collaboration to support its growth in the UAE. Two NYUAD PhD fellows, Hao Huang and Shuaihang Yuan, have received funding and are currently in their first year of the program with an academic focus on applications for AI in three-dimensional (3D) modeling.

Assistant Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at NYUAD Yi Fang, supervisor to both Global PhD Fellows, said: “We have partnered with IIAI following discussions on furthering a research collaboration between both entities on the potential impacts of AI in a range of different industries. We are proud to partner with such an institute to offer this PhD program, and we look forward to working with them closely as the program matures.”

“Through this partnership, we hope to explore the boundaries of research in AI, and position the UAE at the forefront of global adoption of this powerful technology. This falls in line with the UAE’s Artificial Intelligence Strategy goal of establishing the country as a world leader in AI by 2031. By implementing and enabling partnerships and collaborations with key Abu Dhabi education and research institutions, such as IIAI, we will be able to grow and empower the AI research ecosystem in the UAE.”

CEO and Chief Scientist of IIAI Ling Shao, commented: “With over 100 research publications in top conferences or journals in 2019 alone, IIAI is broadly recognized as a global force in excellence and leadership of AI research. This collaboration with NYU Abu Dhabi further reaffirms the leading role of our Institute as a preferred interlocutor, both for academic and industry partners. Beyond funding, we look forward to making our state-of-the-art computational resources and a strong team of internationally recognized scientists available to the participants of this program to magnify their contribution to the advancement of AI research across multiple industries.”

AI is a central research area for the UAE and is expected to add 14 percent to global GDP by 2030. In 2019, the UAE Artificial Intelligence Strategy was launched, and according to research by PwC, the annual growth of the contribution of artificial intelligence to the national economy will be 33.5 percent between 2018 and 2030[1].

NYU Abu Dhabi Global PhD fellow Shuaihang Yang commented: “After my bachelor’s degree from SUNY Stony Brook University, I continued my studies in computer science at NYUAD and started focusing on computer vision and deep learning. During this period, I became a research member at the NYU Multimedia and Visual Computing Lab. I worked closely with Professor Yi Fang leading several projects, some of which have been successfully accepted by conferences, which encourages me a lot. I’m now a PhD student at NYU working on spatial and temporal feature learning and its application in motion prediction and tracking.”

NYU Abu Dhabi Global PhD fellow Hao Huang, commented: “During my PhD period I will study 3D computer vision, which can be applied in various areas to facilitate peoples’ work and life, such as autonomous driving, robotics, game and animation, AR and VR. Beyond deep learning, I’m particularly interested in how to adopt reinforcement learning to vision understanding tasks, which is a promising field but hasn’t been fully explored yet.”

NYUAD’s partnership with IIAI forms part of the University’s wider support for the development and diversification of the UAE’s national economy, in line with the UAE Centennial 2071.

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