UBTECH to Build AI Labs for Primary and Secondary Education in UAE
UBTECH will build AI labs in 1,310 primary schools and middle schools in the seven emirates of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in four years. The total funding amount reached USD 362.4 million (CNY 2.5 billion).
Chinese AI robot startup UBTECH Robotics signed an AI Education Project Cooperation Agreement with Royal Strategic Partners, an affiliate of private institutional investment house Abu Dhabi Capital Group (ADCG).
The agreement involves several cooperation projects of establishing AI labs in 1,310 primary schools and middle schools in the seven emirates of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in four years. The total funding amount reached USD 362.4 million (CNY 2.5 billion).
As one of the Chinese unicorns, UBTECH focuses on humanoid robots. This type of robot is structurally similar to human beings and embodies many AI functions. Different from common AI consumer products such as smart home speakers, humanoid robots require higher technical abilities, including computer vision, audio recognition and other moving and interactive functions that mimic necessary human actions such as walking, dancing and raising hands. Such products are often programmable and incorporate music, audiobooks and so on, permitting education and entertainment use.
Leveraging the interactive robotics technology, UBTECH moves to the education area, launching its education division UBTECH Education to provide facilities in STEM education. As a to-consumer (2C) product provider, UBTech targets to-business (2B) clients, such as schools and colleges, to broaden and connect its product lines.
The UAE, the wealthiest country in the Middle East with a per capita GDP of USD 70,000, has vigorously promoted AI development. In 2017, the emirates appointed the world’s first Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence. In 2018, the UAE Cabinet approved the establishment of the 'Artificial Intelligence Committee'; in April this year, the UAE government officially launched the '2031 National Artificial Intelligence Strategy', intending to become a global leader in AI in 2031.
AI talents are critical to every country amid this stiff AI competition. UAE is well aware of it and has established the first AI university, The Mohamed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence, in Abu Dhabi. The cooperation of UAE and UBTECH is another indicator of its emphasis.
The UAE has closely cooperated with China in AI development. Many Chinese AI startups have businesses and cooperations in this area. Earlier this year, the 35th Anniversary of the Diplomatic Relations Establishment between the UAE and China is celebrated in Beijing. The national officials discussed jointly building the Belt and Road, to promote bilateral trade and investment, and to deepen cooperation on technology innovation like AI, digital economy, and 5G, etc. This July, SenseTime, one of China's most valued unicorns, enters into a strategic alliance with Abu Dhabi, becoming another AI company to cooperate with the city after Sogou.