Bahrain Polytechnic, in collaboration with Microsoft and Tamkeen today reiterated its commitment to support Bahrain Economic Board’s (EDB) new pilot that will design guidelines for the procurement of Artificial intelligence in the public sector (AI Academy). The framework, produced by the World Economic Forum (WEF) Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution focuses on the acceleration and implementation of AI in the kingdom, as well as bridge the skills gap to successfully implement the technology.
The ‘AI Academy’, launched in April this year is aimed at schooling Bahraini students on the power of artificial intelligence to accelerate digital transformation and deliver the means to engage citizens and consumers, empower employees, optimise operations and reinvent governance and business models.
“The AI Academy has been carefully designed to hone our youth into the brightest AI minds in the region,” said Dr. Jeff Zabudsky, CEO of Bahrain Polytechnic. “Relevant skills with real-world applicability are the end product of this programme, and we fully expect these new professionals to go on to contribute significantly to the delivery of Bahrain’s Vision 2030. This initiative, in collaboration with trusted organizations like Tamkeen, Microsoft and Fastlane; will be a major catalyst in the digitisation of the nation.”
The Academy’s first batch of 60 students is sponsored by Tamkeen, that is currently undergoing training through an integrated syllabus which covers artificial intelligence, data analysis, data science and machine basics. The programme is widely considered to be a vital strategic step in cementing the regional position of Bahrain in the field of AI. Courses will continue until April 2020, giving trainees exposure to real-world use cases and problems that they will solve using the toolbox of AI.
“One of the objectives of Bahrain’s Vision 2030 emphasizes the need for robust economic growth through several means, such as diversifying the Bahraini workforce to tap into the global knowledge economy, and encouraging investment in non-oil sectors,” said Sheikh Saif Hilal Al Hosni, Country Manager, Microsoft Bahrain and Oman,. “Following the prevalence of AI in recent years, the Academy is designed to help establish a workforce of skilled students with robust knowledge of the field. Such skillsets easily translate to efficiencies across the Kingdom of Bahrain, as these young people take their innovative talents out into the nation’s public and private sectors.”
The AI Academy is also a road map for students to participate in the Khalid bin Hamad Competition for Innovation in Artificial Intelligence, an initiative launched by His Highness Shaikh Khalid bin Hamad Al-Khalifa, First Deputy President of the Supreme Council for Youth and Sports (SCYS), President of Bahrain Olympic Committee (BOC). Students that are enrolled in the academy will develop a capstone project as part of their course, and become eligible to enter the competition.