MASSA-MyAIRA-ERA-MAJECA Webinar on Robotics & AI – “How AI & Robotics Impacts Your Life” on 25 November 2021

The Malaysia-Japan Economic Association (MAJECA) collaborated with the Malaysian Autonomous Intelligence & Robotics Association (MyAIRA), the Expertise Resource Association (ERA) and the Malaysia South-South Association (MASSA) and the Selangor Human Resource Development Centre (SHRDC) to organise a webinar on AI & Robotics titled “How AI & Robotics Impacts Your Life” on 25 November 2021.

Over 175 participants from various business sectors and countries registered for this event including Malaysia, Chile, Japan, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Ghana, Indonesia, Kenya, Laos, Singapore and Turkey.

In recent years, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and robotics technologies have become an increasing presence in our daily life. With industrialisation, robots have played an important role across many sectors, improving efficiency and productivity.

Although still under development, AI, algorithms and technological applications, combined with proper implementation of ethics, diversity and inclusive design have given rise to an explosion of applications in many areas and into new realms. Now, the AI and robotics fields are working unanimously to provide advanced solutions that can benefit the general public and businesses significantly.

This webinar was aimed at introducing AI and Robotics technologies, its uses and applications to participants.


The webinar programme was as follows: 

The webinar began with welcoming addresses from the leaderships of MASSA-MAJECA and MyAIRA after being introduced by the emcee.
Tan Sri Azman Hashim, President, Malaysia-Japan Economic Association (MAJECA) & Malaysia South-South Association (MASSA), delivering his welcome address.
Mr Yong Chong Soon, President, Malaysian Autonomous Intelligence & Robotics Association (MyAIRA), giving his welcome address.
Ms Ng Su Fun, Executive Secretary, Malaysia-Japan Economic Association (MAJECA) & Malaysia South-South Association (MASSA) was the emcee of the webinar.

The discussion on the applications and impact of AI & Robotics in daily life as well as for businesses was moderated by Ms Hanniz Lam, Communications Director, MyAIRA (pic below). Joining alongside her was a distinguished panel comprising of experts of AI & Robotics field.

The panelists were as follows:
Prof. Ts. Dr. Sim Yee Wai, Dean of the Faculty of Computing & Engineering, QUEST International University (QIU)
Mr Oliver Tian, Advisor, Asia Pacific Assistive Robotics Association (APARA)
Mr Soo Ho Hock MENG, COO, Avant Garde Centre of Excellence Sdn Bhd (AGCOE)
Ts. Dr. Chua Wen-Shyan, Head of Malaysian Smart Factory, Selangor Human Resource Development Centre (SHRDC)

Following the presentations by the speakers, the webinar proceeded into a panel discussion-cum-Q & A session led once more by Ms Hanniz Lam.

The panelists discussed the following:

• Prof. Ts. Dr. Sim Yee Wai – shared on the Turing Test, a test to determine whether machines are capable of thinking like humans. He also provided a brief history of Artificial Intelligence (AI); the 1st Wave (Symbolic AI, 1950s – 1960s) and the 2nd Wave (Expert Systems, 1980s – 1990s), which were not really successful at solving real world problems as they were built based on human reasoning and knowledge. This is where the 3rd Wave, which is the Machine Learning (2010s – Present) comes in. Machine learning is based on the idea of how humans accumulate experiences and learning from trials and errors, so when we encounter a similar situation or problem, we can apply the same solution for it. Machine learning can be used to find the correlation between event features and results based on historical data, using data modelling which can help to classify data and contribute predictions for more accurate decision-making. Dr. Sim also advised that the next wave of AI will be a disruptive one and its impact on us will depend on our understanding about the technology and how we react to it.

• Mr Oliver Tian – Highlighted that the need to plan for collaboration between machines and humans for the future. AI & Robotics should be adopted to augment human capabilities and potential and AI projects does not have to be huge. He believed that AI-powered users will emerge soon, and that robotics plug-and-play is also on the rise. On the other hand, he underscored that we should consider the appropriate applications of the technology, and do not focus on the media hype on the fear of machines taking over humans’ jobs. Instead, we should aim to treat AI and machines as evolving digital co-workers that work alongside us and help us do things better. He believes that treating intelligent solutions as co-workers will make them a sustainable and reliable force in the future.

• Mr Soo Ho Hock MENG – Introduced collaborative robots (Cobots) which are the value proposition enabler in the IR4.0 tool kit, especially for SMEs to improve their processes, drive productivity, reduce dependence on labour intensity and provide the foundation for adoption of newer manufacturing technologies. These Cobots are highly cost effective and have successfully been incorporated into manufacturing processes. In one instance, to reduce cost, programming is very much simplified, with no proprietary codes, from Blockly to the common languages such as Lua, C, C++ and Python. This makes it easier to code once and deploy many times in multiple situations. Cobots also provide increased safety, speed and the ability to work 24/7 with minimal human intervention.

• Ts. Dr. Chua Wen-Shyan – Emphasized that successful AI Adoption begins with the first step. He recognises that the first step is always the hardest, but with the right people, skills, continuous development (training) and effort, the learning and adoption curve would be much smoother. There are many low and no-code AI platforms which are user friendly for citizen developers. Low code AI accelerates AI adoption in the community with increased productivity and implementation speed than traditional designs. Having a people-centric strategy would ensure the sustainability of AI adoption and companies would be able to realize the benefits sooner than expected. He highlighted Start Small and Scale Big as the key of transformation in adopting AI as the solutions in the industries.

Mr Wong Lian Kee, President of Expertise Resource Association (ERA) (pic above) wrapped up the webinar with his closing remarks, highlighting:
• Humans will have to co-exist with Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machines going forward. Both AI and robotics must be adopted to further enhance human capabilities and potentials.
• The applications, possibilities and its benefits should be seen in a positive light, as this technology powered by AI and robots will open up immense business opportunities, especially for SMEs.
• AI and robotics technology is still an evolving instrument. The impact of the future AI and robotics evolution depends on how positively we will receive, react and utilize the technology.

The recording of this webinar hosted by SHRDC can be viewed here:

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