AI and data policy to be developed soon, says Gobind

12 Sep 2019 / 21:06 H.

KUALA LUMPUR: The government plans on formulating a national policy to develop artificial intelligence (AI) and data capabilities, to harness the benefits of the fourth industrial revolution (IR4.0).

Communications and Multimedia Minister Gobind Singh Deo said such a policy was necessary to push Malaysia further in this aspect and to set the nation as the front-runner in the region.

“To me, in the future, a lot will depend on data. How we analyse data, store it, and of course AI is going to be a very critical element as well.

“I believe this whole area is going to be a very significant one in the coming years, so there is a need for us to look at how we can make sure we have the necessary policy in place,” he told reporters after officiating an the 3rd NextBig Tech Asia Conference, here, yesterday.

Gobind mentioned that the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation Sdn Bhd (MDEC) was currently formulating the National AI Framework, which is expected to be completed by year-end, and that the government would then deliberate on the matter further before pushing for the proposed policy.

“We are now in the process of getting input from all the stakeholders. Once the framework is ready, I will look into it.

“From there, we (his ministry) will sit to discuss and decide our official position on the matter before I take it up to the Cabinet,” he said.

However, no specific date or time-frame was stated on when the policy would be put in place as the minister felt we should not rush into it.

“As you know, technology develops day by day. Perhaps by the middle of next year? I’m not sure,” he said.

In May, however, MDEC data economy director Dr Karl Ng Kah Hou had said that it expects to complete development of the National AI Framework (which began in 2018) by the end of this year, aimed to drive the country’s AI ecosystem.

On the implementation of 5G technology in relation to Deputy Foreign Minister Datuk Marzuki Yahya’s statement on Sept 10 that Malaysia was working to fully adopt 5G by 2023, Gobind said that the ministry is currently carrying out tests to identify focus areas and industries that should be given priority.

“The Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) is looking into this and they will come back to me with a full and detailed report. We will take a decision from there,” he said.

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