Malaysia urged to expand AI education across universities

01 Jan 2024 08:00am
Pix for illustration purpose only. - Photo by Sinar Daily
Pix for illustration purpose only. - Photo by Sinar Daily

SHAH ALAM - A call has been made for Malaysia to establish dedicated artificial intelligence (AI) faculties in universities across the nation, aiming to equip students with deeper understanding and expertise in this crucial technology.

International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM) Faculty of Information and Communication Technology Professor Datuk Dr Mohamad Fauzan Noordin highlighted the need for such expansion during a recent discussion titled "AI: Threat or Opportunity?".

He stressed that with dedicated AI faculties, Malaysia could nurture talent and formulate impactful policies shaping the future of AI in the country.

"While we have one AI faculty at UKM, it pales in comparison to nations like the UAE, which boasts not only clear AI policies but a dedicated ministry overseeing its development," said Fauzan.

He further cited an example in Abu Dhabi, where 25,000 students and 57 public schools are actively monitored using AI-powered systems, prompting questions about data privacy and responsible AI implementation.

He further pointed out that while Malaysia actively pursues digitalisation, the cultural shift necessary to navigate this transformation lags behind.

"Many still lack awareness regarding crucial aspects like password security, resorting to easily guessable combinations like birthdates and vehicle numbers.

"Social media remains littered with oversharing of personal information, location data, and daily activities," he elaborated.

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In light of these concerns, Fauzan stressed the urgent need for regularly updated laws and regulations pertaining to AI.

"Technology evolves every six months, while our law takes a decade to catch up.

"This delay can jeopardise public safety and trust in AI," he warned.

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