Unlocking the value of digital economy through AI and the internet of things

Country Manager of World Bank Global Knowledge and Research Hub in Malaysia Faris Hadad-Zervos, speaks at a forum in Kuala Lumpur February 28, 2018. ― Picture by Hari Anggara
Country Manager of World Bank Global Knowledge and Research Hub in Malaysia Faris Hadad-Zervos, speaks at a forum in Kuala Lumpur February 28, 2018. ― Picture by Hari Anggara

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 28 — The World Bank has projected digital economy will contribute around 20 per cent to the country’s GDP by 2020.

Its Country Manager for Malaysia Faris Hadad-Zervos said while the Malaysian government had introduced measures in Budget 2018 to hasten the growth of the digital economy, the scale of adoption was still lacking.

He said this during the forum titled ‘How can artificial intelligence and the internet of things supercharge growth, innovation and job creation’ which was jointly organised by the World Bank and Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) today.

World Bank’s Lead Knowledge Management Officer Prasanna Das described Internet of Things (IoT) as the “next battlefield” for companies and cities, expressing  the possibility of hundredfold growth in the data flowing from machines by 2020.

“IoT-specific infrastructure remains a barrier even in advanced economies. The lack of advanced broadband technology seems to be a concern even in major economies such as Germany. The lack of consistent standards governing IoT networks such as low-power wide area networks can discourage large-scale investments,” he said during his presentation on IoT being the new government to business platform at the same event.

MDEC chief executive officer Datuk Yasmin Mahmood said Artificial Knowledge (AI) was the engine of transformation and the defining force of the 4th Industrial Revolution.

She also said that AI would be experiencing phenomenal growth in the coming decade, citing the example of the autonomous vehicle industry which is forecast to have a Compounded Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 40 per cent annually in the next 10 years.

During the panel discussion, the panellists were asked about job redundancies brought about by advances in AI and IoT. GE (Malaysia) chief executive officer Datuk Mark Rozario said that the notion that “robots or automatons would replace human jobs in the future was unfounded”.

“It’s true that jobs are being redefined; 65 per cent of children in schools today will end up working in jobs that do not exist now. There needs to be reskilling for the labour force of tomorrow as they face the digital economy,” Rozario said.