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Malaysia Leverages AI to Achieve Economic Goals

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As the world increasingly experiences the impacts of Industrial Revolution 4.0 (IR 4.0), AI technology emerges as a significant player in the global economic and industrial landscape. In a bid to elevate Malaysia into a high-income nation, the government, in line with global sentiment, shares optimism about incorporating artificial intelligence (AI) technology.

However, the primary hurdle arises from the community’s “misunderstanding” and reluctance to adopt transformative changes. A lack of understanding among Malaysians has led to a perception of AI as a threat rather than a positive force.

Experts emphasise that the public’s misconceptions stem from viewing AI as an ‘enemy’ set to replace human functions, potentially leading to increased unemployment. Contrary to this assumption, the transition to AI technology is envisioned to create highly skilled job opportunities for locals, dispelling fears of widespread job loss.

Prof Dr Rusli Abdullah sees the Al For People programme, launched by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, as a crucial initiative to disseminate the importance and benefits of AI, aligning with the government’s vision of building a digital economy.

Embracing AI technology is crucial for societal advancement as it not only facilitates the development of a highly skilled workforce but also opens avenues for individuals to gain proficiency in a diverse range of technological applications. This transformative shift empowers the workforce with the necessary skills to navigate an increasingly digital landscape, thereby enhancing employment opportunities and contributing to the overall growth of the nation.

Understanding AI technology becomes a pivotal stage in rallying the community to embrace digital transformation, creating a workforce capable of leveraging technology applications and increasing employment opportunities. Experts suggest that AI technology should be seen not as a substitute for human labour but as a complement that, if explored effectively, can bring positive effects to various sectors.

The introduction of the Al For People programme is seen as a significant step to bridging the digital literacy gap and enhancing understanding of AI, particularly among urban and rural residents. With the digital divide still prevalent in Malaysia, the programme aims to expose society to the fundamental aspects of AI, ensuring inclusivity and participation in the technological paradigm shift.

According to ‘The Economy Impact Of Generative AI: The Future of Work In Malaysia’ report by the Malaysia Center for 4th Industrial Revolution, Generative AI technology alone has the potential to unlock a productive capacity worth US$ 113.4 billion in the Malaysian economy if fully adopted across all industries.

Malaysia has initiated the “AI for Rakyat (People)” programme, a collaborative effort between the Economy Ministry and a tech giant, aiming to enhance public literacy in artificial intelligence (AI).

Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim stressed the urgency for people to grasp AI basics, dispel fears of new technology, and avoid falling behind globally. The programme’s goal is to bridge the digital divide, counter elitism, and ensure inclusivity. With a four-hour module, the government anticipates that one million Malaysians will acquire fundamental AI skills within three years.

Prime Minister Anwar stresses the urgency for all parties to respond to this paradigm shift, emphasising the programme’s goal to create a digitally literate and AI-literate society by targeting one million users by the end of the year.

Malaysia remains dedicated to equipping its citizens with the indispensable skills and knowledge required for success in a continually evolving and digitally-dominated global landscape. In line with this, the SAYA DIGITAL is a broad campaign to enhance digital skills across urban and rural communities. Beyond mere literacy, the goal is to foster a technologically proficient society emphasising smart living and equality.


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