Malaysia working on data and AI policy

At Next Big Tech Asia 2019, the anchor of AI and Data Week 2019, minister of multimedia and communications, Gobind Singh Deo, introduced the MYINDUSTRY AI Scholarship Programme, an AI-focused Masters by research certification jointly funded by the industry, universities, and Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC).

“There is a huge market opportunity for Malaysia, and it is important that we collectively build our own AI and Big Data capabilities. As such, to develop a strategic and practical approach to enhancing our AI potential, we will be focusing on AI and technology talent development by closely with industry partners alongside building infrastructure that enables a trusted AI ecosystem,” he remarked.

At a prior event, hours earlier, Gobind had already got everyone excited while speaking about the imminent launch of a policy for data and artificial intelligence (AI) which play significant roles in Industrial Revolution 4.0. He would not pin down a date but said it would be done quick.

Gobind believes Malaysia has the potential to be the centre for the Southeast Asia region, with focus on developing talent to increase knowledge about AI.

The policy is currently undergoing robust discussions with stakeholders together to get input from them as to what they are concerned about.

The pilot scholarship programme will provide a minimum monthly stipend of RM2,500 up to 24 months as well as tuition fees. Participating universities include University of Malaya, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM), and Multimedia University. The pioneer supporting this scholarship are Astro Malaysia Holdings Bhd, CIMB Bhd, Green Packet Bhd, G3 Global Bhd, Intel Microelectronics Sdn Bhd, Iris Corporation Bhd, and Poladrone Solutions Sdn Bhd.

To develop more industry-ready talent, UTM acknowledged the support from 7 industry partners, including 1-year placements for their pioneer batch of students under the 2u2i mode programme for Bachelor of Computer Science (Data Engineering). For this programme, MDEC facilitated the industry review of its curriculum and internship placement.

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The objective of this programme is to provide students with greater exposure to real work experience through more learning time in industry. The industry partners are Datamicron Systems Sdn Bhd, DHL Asia Pacific Shared Services Sdn Bhd, IJM Corporation Bhd, Petronas, PPG, TM ONE, and Top Glove Bhd.

MDEC has also introduced the Data-Driven Decision (DDD) Adoption Programme to ease the adoption of data technology (i.e. data analytics and AI) amongst business enterprises.  The is to provide a structured and accelerated approach to assist business enterprises in making data-driven decisions to enhance business outcomes and drive new business growth.

In support of the DDD Enterprise Adoption Program, MDEC has also established a data technology ecosystem initiative, known as Data Technology Partnership Programme.  This data technology ecosystem will support the data technology adoption journey of business enterprises, providing access to data technology solutions, expert advisory, talent development and use-case sharing.

To date, 16 technology partners and 12 training partners have been appointed under this programme.  The 16 technology partners are ABeam Consulting (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd, Aerodyne Group, Altair, Concorde Technology Sdn Bhd, Dataicons Solutions Sdn Bhd, Datamicron Systems Sdn Bhd, Fusionex International, IBM Malaysia Sdn Bhd, Just BI Sdn Bhd, KewMann Sdn Bhd, Microsoft (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd, Numa Solution Sdn Bhd, Priority Dynamics Sdn Bhd, Quandatics (M) Sdn Bhd, SAS Institute Sdn Bhd, and Speedminer Sdn Bhd.

The 12 training partners include ABeam Consulting (M) Sdn Bhd, Coqnitics, Databyte Academy, Fusionex Academy, Genashtim, iTrain, Iverson Associates, OR Technologies Sdn Bhd, Quandatics Academy, SAS Institute Sdn Bhd, Trainocate, and UCAN Technologies.

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