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The future of generative AI in education event

  • University of Birmingham Dubai convenes experts from Dubai government, as well as the private sector, academia to address the biggest questions around generative AI’s potential in education.
  • More than 100 students across the Emirates took part in DubAI Student Challenge at the University of Birmingham Dubai’s new smart campus. 

During the Future of Generative AI in Education event, a panel of senior representatives from government, the private sector and academia addressed some of the main trends, opportunities and challenges brought about by generative AI applications in the education sector. They covered the implications of generative AI on academic integrity, research, and teaching, as well as how generative AI can be regulated and harnessed for good.

The panel’s participants included: Hamad Al Shirawi, Director of Dubai Assembly for Generative AI; Dr Ali Nadaf, Head of Data Science & Research at Alef Education; Noshaba Anbreen, Assistant Professor of Education and Academic Digital Lead at the University of Birmingham Dubai; Dr Ruchit Agrawal, Assistant Professor at the School of Computer Science at the University of Birmingham Dubai; and Abdulla Al Blooshi, a 3rd year BSc AI and Computer Science student at the University of Birmingham Dubai. The panel discussion was moderated by Dr Kashif Rajpoot, Deputy Head of the School of Computer Science (for Dubai) at the University of Birmingham.

Panelists on stage speaking in front of an audience
A panel of senior representatives from government, the private sector and academia.

The panel discussion, which took place a week before many of the world’s leading AI experts descend on the UAE for the Dubai Assembly for Generative AI, was preceded by a student hackathon, the DubAI Student Challenge, that brought together 130 high school and university students from across the Emirates.

Groups of students sitting around tables working on laptops
The day-long hackathon provided a platform for bright students to showcase their talent and delve into the world of AI in Dubai.

Al Shirawi said: “Dubai has become internationally recognised not just for embracing new technologies, but racing cautiously towards them. We now expand our digital horizons further, to become a global stage for discussing the transformative impact of generative AI on vital sectors, such as education. Partnering with the world’s leading academic institutions and inspiring young minds is at the heart of Dubai Future Foundation’s work to anticipate trends and foster future trailblazers. We look forward to building on our conversations at the Dubai Assembly for Generative AI on 11-12 October.”

Professor David Sadler, Provost at the University of Birmingham Dubai, commented: “Dubai is an incredibly exciting place to be for young innovators in the field of artificial intelligence. The emirate is at the centre of this truly seismic global trend which will reshape how education is delivered at every level. The University of Birmingham Dubai is proud to be a leader in fields such as computer science, machine learning and artificial intelligence. As a knowledge partner for governments, we are committed to convening the top researchers, brightest minds, and most influential figures to uncover and capture tomorrow’s opportunities.”

Dr Nadaf said: “With the advent of generative AI, we are amid a major shift in education. As one of the leading AI-powered education platforms in the UAE, with more than 11,000 schools and nearly 1 million students, we have seen firsthand the tremendous impact AI can have on education. The key now is to unlock the potential, which will require close collaboration between private sector companies, academia, and government.”

Anbreen said: “Teaching methods will always evolve as new technologies emerge. The pace at which generative AI has developed and come to market has had huge implications for the education sector and it is critical that researchers and teachers are able to navigate this shift and its challenges. Teachers today must be able to fully apply advanced technologies to their work to ensure students are prepared for a future where AI will be embedded within most jobs and sectors, as well as daily life.”

Teachers today must be able to fully apply advanced technologies to their work to ensure students are prepared for a future where AI will be embedded within most jobs and sectors, as well as daily life.

Noshaba Anbreen, Assistant Professor of Education and Academic Digital Lead at the University of Birmingham Dubai

Dr Agrawal said: “Computer science students are the vanguard of AI. They are the future of this truly game-changing technology and will drive the way in which it transforms education, healthcare, industries, and entire economies. Today's hackathon and panel discussion have not only showcased UAE's bright talent pool, but also demonstrated that AI can be a friend, and not necessarily a foe. AI has immense potential to be leveraged for social good, and seeing these young bright minds working in tandem with AI tools such as ChatGPT has reinforced my confidence in the ability and enthusiasm of our youth to harness technology effectively for a better future.”

Al Blooshi said: “Generative AI is making surprising advancements and completing tasks that inspire the global research community to assess AI's reasoning and cognitive abilities. It is a technology that cannot be ignored; the dawn of AI has been compared to the introduction of electricity into society. Changes this significant need to be adopted by both nation and society, and it is the role of youth in schools and universities today to be ready to carry these developments forward.”

A guest speaker gesturing with his hands
Hamad Al Shirawi, Director of Dubai Assembly for Generative AI.