During his recent Kuala Lumpur visit, Gartner's research director Nick Ingelbrecht took some time to participate in a Computerworld Malaysia 'reality check' interview on emerging technologies
His assertion that, "the concept of 'intelligence' is an overrated generalisation that leads to imprecise thinking," prompted a deeper look at the current levels of understanding of artificial intelligence (AI) among local industry leaders.
First, let's take a look at how AI has fared this year in Malaysia: In March, Microsoft's Asia Pacific youth survey of the most impactful emerging tech trends included a finding that Malaysian youths picked IoT and AI as the top two disrupters.
National agencies have been launching several initiatives at different levels to drive local development and adoption of emerging technologies. At school level for example, Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) in August of this year launched with IBM a digital content creativity initiative - part of the #mydigitalmaker campaign - involving using an IBM Watson Maker coding and AI workshop.
Government to government activities included another partnerships round towards the end of last year with the UK (see - UK, Malaysia dial up digital economy partnership). Commenting at the time, MDEC's chief executive officer Datuk Yasmin Mahmood said the effort focused on cross-cutting technologies, co-organised as part of a UK Technology Trade Mission by the UK Department for International Trade (DIT).
Certainly, international industry players have spotted this activity and ramped up local activities. One example is Bosch, which has selected Malaysia as global manufacturing and R&D centre.
With 2017 having been dubbed by the government as the year of the Internet for Malaysia (see -What's really in store for Malaysia's IT industry in 2017?), analyst firms such as IDC and Gartner have offered predictions on how emerging technologies may actually play out locally in the next two to three years.
Emerging technologies - AI included - are among the potential economic growth catalysts seized on by national agencies, which include NanoMalaysia and MIMOS. The strategy suggested is to view digital disruption positively as a path to the digital economy.
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