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Malaysia must push for greater AI adoption

Image Credits: TechNode, Origin, News Report

Malaysia is struggling with AI adoption as compared to its regional peers, according to the Executive Director of Malaysia’s leading AI company. He said that the country should learn from China’s leapfrog success in the field.

Chinese AI company is ramping up efforts to expand overseas presence with its latest deal to help build Malaysia’s first AI research park in a partnership with the local AI company. The park will also include an exhibition zone in which visitors can see AI in action.

It was noted that AI is growing in Malaysia. Hence, it is important that partners are chosen based not only on how much they can help grow local companies but also how they can help spur AI innovation within Malaysia.

The collaboration between the AI company and its partner aims to bring together and build an AI ecosystem in Malaysia. The AI park also plans to be an export centre, where Malaysian AI solutions can be exported to other countries.

The AI park will be an area where visitors, not just industry professionals, can visit to experience AI solutions first hand. It will have autonomous vehicles operating on the road and visitors can check into a condominium equipped with the smart home system.

This partnership also plans to help build the country’s AI capability through an education curriculum; the AI company has designed and developed an AI syllabus that is currently taught in schools across China.

Educating enterprises in Malaysia

Malaysia is trailing behind neighbouring countries in Southeast Asia on AI adoption. One contributing factor could be an AI knowledge gap among Malaysian enterprises. It was noted that more could be done to educate enterprises on the potential of AI, such as improving productivity and increasing revenue generation.

Reach and scope matter

China is massive, and when a proof-of-concept (POC) trial takes place, it is typically carried out on a large scale. In contrast, kicking off a POC trial in Malaysia requires levels of authority clearance, and POC trial areas are just a fraction of what it’s like in China, the Executive Director noted.

AI works best if given large amounts of data sets, coupled with fast, iterative processing and intelligent algorithms. China is able to advance its AI technologies at such a rapid pace due to the enormous amount of data collected through POC trials.

Malaysia’s AI adoption so far

While Malaysia does lag behind its regional counterparts in AI adoption, it is still making AI a key part of its digital transformation.

For example, OpenGov Asia reported that the subject of Design and Technology (RBT) related to Artificial Intelligence (AI), computer programming and robotics will be introduced to Year Four Pupils beginning 2020.

The Ministry of Education’s Curriculum Development Division deputy director stated that pupils will be taught algorithms on how to develop both simple and more complicated computer programmes.

According to another report, the largest highway concessionaries company in Malaysia plans to use artificial intelligence (AI), big data analytics and the Cloud to better predict traffic congestion and monitor the safety of its highways.

The company is partnering with a major American multinational technology company to use its Azure platform, which will allow it to store and analyse traffic data from its closed-circuit television (CCTV) for traffic congestion.

The information will then be relayed to users via the Plus mobile app so they can plan their journey better.

It was noted that the images displayed are based on real-time information and users will be informed on actual situations on location as we will refresh and update the data every 10 seconds

The highway concessionaries company will also be installing more traffic sensors along the highway to help improve its traffic prediction system. Scenarios and trigger points will be analysed to inform researchers if there will be traffic congestion or other unusual traffic movements.

It is hoped that the data provided via the app will help users to make informed decisions such as taking a different suggested route or using the Rest Stop. Moreover, the company is also using machine learning to analyse CCTV footage for stalled cars and accidents, but it’s still in the pilot stage.

With machine learning, the firm’s CCTV will be able to detect certain incidents first and allow analysts to quickly act on it instead of waiting for a user to contact them. In addition, new features such as enhanced traffic information will be added gradually to the mobile app in various stages.


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