KAUST launches Lifelong Learning Initiative to support in-Saudi development

King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) is launching the Lifelong Learning Initiative (LLI), a series of hands-on, educational training courses designed to support priority objectives of the Kingdom in key development areas, and mobilize the labor market across governmental and private sectors.

Packaged as micro courses in a three- to five-day format, the program utilizes world-caliber expertise at KAUST in areas such as cyber security, food security and semiconductors, and will be available to Saudi nationals and residents with varying background skills, from recent graduates to business professionals to company executives.

The inaugural courses, centered on the theme of artificial intelligence (AI), are geared for those with basic coding skills who are interested in expanding their knowledge into the AI arena. The first class, Introduction to Machine Learning Bootcamp, will be offered May 10–12, 2022. in Riyadh.

Participants will learn fundamental concepts in machine learning and deep neural networks, developing skills in areas such as network architecture and data visualization, and culminating in an end-to-end machine-learning project using tools such as Scikit-Learn and PyTorch.

Additional courses in AI and other subjects will be added at later dates in different locations across the Kingdom, including KAUST.

LLI is administered by the KAUST Office of the Provost, with AI class material developed under the supervision of the KAUST Artificial Intelligence Initiative (AII) in partnership with the Saudi Data and Artificial Intelligence Authority (SADAIA), a government agency established in 2019 to create a data-driven and AI-supported government and economy.

SADAIA provides related resources in the areas of research, program development, training and continuous education.

The KAUST AII program, directed by “Father of AI” Jürgen Schmidhuber, leverages a network of AI experts worldwide to advance interdisciplinary education, outreach and engagement opportunities globally and within Saudi Arabia.

Artificial intelligence is a topic of importance to the Kingdom for its ability to improve efficiency, decision-making and performance in areas of national impact such as security, medicine, data analysis and digital communications.

KAUST President Tony Chan said, “LLI is not only an educational offering beyond the KAUST academic setting, but also a signal of our national engagement. From the start KAUST’s goal has been to upscale knowledge dissemination in-Kingdom and globally through excellence in our science and technology degree programs.

“The LLI courses are designed to encapsulate and build on this focus to strengthen in-Kingdom expertise in government and business sectors, and invigorate the Saudi economy in support of Vision 2030 goals.”

Participants who successfully complete the courses will receive a micro certificate, the equivalent of one credit hour, based on evaluated assignments that can be used toward employee professional development or an eventual LLI diploma, worth 36 credits.

Visit the KAUST LLI website https://kl3i.kaust.edu.sa/ for course descriptions, pre-requisite requirements and registration details.