Artificial intelligence (AI) is the theory and development of computer systems able to perform tasks typically requiring human intelligence, such as visual perception, speech recognition, decision-making, and translation between languages.
Machine learning (ML) is a method of data analysis that automates analytical model building. It is a branch of artificial intelligence based on the idea that systems can learn from data, identify patterns and make decisions with minimal human intervention.
Both AI and ML can be a great addition to STI deployed in Malaysia to boost its economic growth while improving the nation’s quality of life.
As such, the Academy of Sciences Malaysia (ASM) in partnership with Collaborative Research in Engineering, Science and Technology (CREST) held a series of stakeholder engagements in the fourth quarter of 2019. ASM and CREST aim to formulate a position paper to call for a national AI agenda that champions explicitly the deployment of AI and ML through science, technology and innovation (STI) for the benefit of the citizens of Malaysia.
There are pockets of initiatives on AI and ML initiated by government bodies, research institutions and companies. However, they are primarily fragmented and not aligned to any national direction. Therefore, the consensus from the stakeholders was that a national agenda is needed to coordinate all STI-related activities to deploy AI and ML in Malaysia effectively.
The first stakeholder engagement workshop was the “Deploying AI and ML for Common Good – Setting the Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) Agenda for Home-Grown Solutions”, held on 15 August 2019.
The workshop was to identify the focus areas for deployment, strategic interventions and the changes and discontinuities from the adoption of AI and ML.
What followed were a series of focus group discussions, conducted based on the identified areas: Smart Cities, Digital Manufacturing, Precision Agriculture and Connected Healthcare.