Getting on the journey of intelligence revolution 4.0

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New Times

New Times

Big data, cloud computing, artificial intelligence, facial scanning technology, virtual reality, robots, internet of things, and RFID, how much have your enterprises mastered these skills? In other words, how much do you understand these new skills?

In recent years, our government has been making all-out efforts to promote and develop digital economy. Some technical terminologies have been going around like hot buzzwords. The government has in its new budget and also in other announcements talked about Digital FTZ and the creation of a regional hub to provide a new channel for SMEs to take on the world.

Even though many people know and understand a little of the potential of the new policy and also what’s behind these new terminologies, they couldn’t fathom how the Digital FTZ, which has been twice visited by Jack Ma, could dictate their success or failure in the future.

Since it is difficult to imagine, it would be easier to compare technology development in other countries with ours. In Hang Zhou where Jack Ma has his headquarters, when a customer finishes his meal at the KFC, he does not need to use his hand-phone to pay via Alipay. All he has to do is to “swipe” his face against a designated screen and the deal is settled. Malaysia is only beginning to prepare and make adjustments in the early stages of a cashless society. Our most commonly used technology for the last 10 years is Touch n Go.

The New Zealand Airline has recently engaged a “digital employee” to provide face-to-face interactions with its guests. It is a robot which looks exactly like a human being providing in-flight information and images as well as introducing tourist attractions in New Zealand.

We are still talking about minimum pay scheme and squabbling hiring of foreign workers and simplifying the engagement of foreign domestic helpers. Earlier, some of our “smart” politicians are studying in detail the long and short of our air stewardess’ skirts.

Another example is that in Saudi Arabia which is famous for feminist rights the first full citizenship was given to Robot “Sophia” recently. It would be interesting to see whether this female robot, which has artificial intelligence and can differentiate between facial images and imitates human behaviour and expression, has to wear tudung and has to be accompanied by a male guardian to go out into the streets as tradition requires. This is a mockery to religious bigots and extremists who have spent their whole lives bickering over “my race and other races.”

Regardless, hi-tech terminologies have permeated in our lives and based on current technology development, the year 2020 would not be a far-off vision year but the beginning of our journey to the 4.0 industrial revolution which is driven by intelligence.

At present, we are still dealing with infrastructure development and digital FTZ. Various incentives have been provided under the budget focusing more on helping manufacturers to replace their hardware equipment towards the objective of automation and manpower reduction. For example, RM245 million has been provided as allowance for manufacturers to replace their equipment, tax rebates are given on telecommunication equipment between 2018 and 2020. However, what is lacking is allocation for education and training of skills in this area. This may just prolong our existing problems of having various types of equipment but not enough skilled people to operate them.

The intelligence revolution has started but the major problem is our people’s mindset. Technical revolution would not provide more opportunity of development for everyone. For low-tech low-skill enterprises and individuals, their chances for survival may dwindle. Human beings are finding it difficult to compete with machines. Enterprises which make profits dependent on manpower would be greatly affected. If they still refuse to change, their revenue and profit would be eroded.

How should we start? Does it mean that everyone must look for a job in Google and Alibaba? The first step is one must have a new mindset and start learning new skills which are not as difficult as we think. There is an urgent need to equip ourselves to benefit from the intelligence revolution and riding on the waves of industrial revolution.

Original Source: 踏上第四次智能革命