By LYDIA NATHAN / Pic By ISMAIL CHE RUS
MIMOS Bhd, an agency under the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI), has joined Microsoft Corp in a strategic collaboration to establish an Applied Artificial Intelligence (AI) Centre in Malaysia, also known as the Centre of AI for Future Industry (CAIFI).
According to a statement by MIMOS, the partnership signifies the commitment by both parties to accelerate the nation’s shift to the cloud, which would place Malaysia on the roadmap to be a digital-first nation, as outlined by the National Policy on Industry 4.0 (IR4.0).
The partnership between MIMOS and Microsoft was announced by MITI Minister Datuk Darell Leiking during his visit to the Microsoft headquarters in Redmond, US, for the ministry’s trade and investment mission.
In the same statement, Leiking said among the key findings from countries that have already embarked on their IR4.0 transformation are the need to pay attention and adopt modern technologies into the nation’s digital plan and ecosystem.
“The centre will deliver capacity development for rapid response government policymaking, and tools required to increase intelligence and leverage on modern technologies such as AI in Malaysia.
“It is hoped to create a culture of innovation and continuous learning to enhance the adoption of the cloud,” he said.
The centre will also be equipped with Microsoft’s Internet of Things (IoT) and AI programme, providing access to developmental tools for learning purposes.
“All workshops, training and labs on AI and IoT will be conducted to help train entrepreneurs including small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and graduates from the finance and manufacturing industry to leverage on the power of these emerging technologies,” MITI said.
Microsoft Malaysia MD K Raman (picture) said the nation stands at a new era which is built and based on data-driven technologies.
“We hope to play our part in setting the trajectory of our nation towards being a leader in innovation, as well as technological skills, priming ourselves for IR4.0,” he said.
Microsoft deputy general counsel Hossein Nowbar said Malaysia is strategically placed in playing a leading role in the development of AI and other emerging technology.
He said he welcomes the efforts by the government to have progressive policies and a forward-looking regulatory environment.
MITI added that the collaboration is also in line with the recently launched Asean Digital Skills Vision 2020, an initiative that pledges to equip 20 million workers with digital skills and opportunities in the next two years.
Microsoft said its efforts include providing 15,000 university students with internship opportunities, delivering digital skills training to 2.2 million SME employees and hiring 8,500 digital workers by 2020.