Alibaba Cloud, the cloud computing section of Alibaba Group, today announced the launch of the Malaysia City Brain. This is being done in collaboration with the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) and Dewan Bandaraya Kuala Lumpur (DBKL).
The initative will drive Malaysia’s digital transformation with cloud technology and artificial intelligence. The whole concept has been designed to help the Malaysian government upgrade their decision-making processes and transform the city into an intelligent one. City Brain is powered by Alibaba’s computing engine Apsara.
In the last couple of years, Alibaba has pioneered it’s cloud computing to solve traffic problems in a few Chinese cities. So in the first phase of the Malaysia City Brain initiative, dealing with traffic flows will be the main focus area. By calculating the time it takes to reach intersections, the team behind this project aims to help with cutting down the traffic queues.
Not just traffic flows, City Brain can connect together several public systems, like the ambulance call and the traffic command system. Using real-time data like traffic volume and speed in particular lanes, the AI can calculate the quickest route for the ambulance from and to the hospital.
Along with this initiative, Alibaba Cloud also announced a Big Data crowd intelligence platform called Malaysia Tianchi Big Data Platform. Backed by MDEC, the aim here is to develop 500 data experts and 300 startups within the next two years by leveraging Alibaba Cloud’s AI tools and facilities. Enterprises, start-ups, research communities, and even universities will all fall under this umbrella.
You can find out more about City Brain in the video below:
Our take on this
Alibaba had already implemented this in it’s hometown of China and it’s quite heartening to see them branching out into another Asian country. There is a lot of talk about regulating AI etc., but this is a step in the right direction with machines working in tandem with humans. This will show the skeptics that AI can be used for a good purpose and will affect thousands, if not millions, of lives in the process in a good way.
If successful (and it already is in China), we should expect to see other countries taking up this initiative to help with governance and in making smart data-driven decisions.