Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC), the lead agency for driving the digital economy in Malaysia, together with Dewan Bandaraya Kuala Lumpur (Kuala Lumpur City Council), and Alibaba Cloud, the cloud computing arm of Alibaba Group, announced a collaboration to develop Malaysia’s Artificial Intelligence (AI) ecosystem through the introduction of Malaysia City Brain. The announcement was in line with Malaysia’s commitment to develop the National AI Framework, as announced by Dato’ Sri Mohd Najib Tun Abdul Razak, the Prime Minister of Malaysia, in 2017.
Alibaba’s City Brain was utilized in Hangzhou, China in 2016, effectively reducing traffic congestion and enabling faster response to illegal parking and traffic accidents, which are automatically detected. According to Reuters, the system produced reports of traffic violations with up to 92 percent accuracy, emergency vehicles reaching their destinations in half the time and overall increase in traffic speed by 15 percent. Malaysia is the first country outside of China to adopt the City Brain. The City Brain is expected to enable city council and urban planners to make better decisions for the community.
During the first phase of the implementation, Malaysia City Brain will be used in traffic management to improve mobility in the city. A three-fold outcome is expected including analysis of traffic conditions, optimisation of traffic signals and detection of accidents or traffic incidents. Malaysia City Brain will begin with a base of 382 cameras feeds and input from 281 traffic light junctions, concentrated within central Kuala Lumpur.
The City Brain can optimise the flow of vehicles and traffic signals by calculating the time to reach intersections. It will also be able to generate structured summaries of data, such as traffic volume and speed according to lanes, which can be used to facilitate other tasks including incident detection.
Datuk Yasmin Mahmood, CEO of MDEC shared, “As a digital economy nation, Malaysia should embrace AI revolution and make the most of the data economy. The collaboration with DBKL and Alibaba Cloud is another leap towards digitising Malaysia, where knowledge-sharing and the crossover of best practices transpire. As we set our sights on the future, we are excited about the prospects this partnership will bring to our community, benefiting millions of Malaysians. The introduction of Malaysia City Brain is just the beginning. MDEC will continue to work on selected high-profile AI initiatives and simultaneously develop the National AI Framework.”
“At DBKL, our main priorities have always been to continuously provide improved services to our communities and businesses. Without a doubt, traffic congestion is one of the major challenges for a high-performing district like Kuala Lumpur. Through the advanced AI technology of the Malaysia City Brain, we will be able to offer real-life information and intelligent solutions to the people of Kuala Lumpur,” said Tan Sri Hj. Mhd. Amin Nordin Abd. Aziz, the Mayor of Kuala Lumpur.
“Cloud computing, data technology and AI has become fundamental tools for all companies and organisations to operate effectively. Building on this partnership, we are happy to see Malaysia become the first country outside of China to adopt the City Brain. Through the program, we aim to empower all Malaysian stakeholders in both the public and private sectors, with the tools to enhance efficiency, advance in innovation and to succeed in the digital age. For Alibaba Cloud, this is the true meaning of inclusive technology,” said Simon Hu, President of Alibaba Cloud.
The Malaysia City Brain initiative is expected to attract and nurture world-class AI talent, and also pave the way for co-creation among other ASEAN nations. Malaysia City Brain is an open platform, which will give businesses, start-ups, entrepreneurs, educational and research institutions the opportunity to access and leverage on the AI tools, and ultimately drive innovations.
In August 2017, Malaysia undertook a proof of concept for the Malaysia City Brain, in partnership with ASEAN Data Analytics Exchange (ADAX). As part of the partnership, four Malaysian students from ADAX’s Data Star program received the opportunity to experience the implementation of the Malaysia City Brain.