Google encourages Malaysian companies to implement AI skills training program

City Noor Afera Abu

KUALA LUMPUR, April 11 (Bernama) — Malaysian businesses can benefit from the immense potential of artificial intelligence (AI) by establishing comprehensive upskilling programmes and adopting advanced generative AI solutions, said Google’s global head of government relations and public policy Karan Bhatia.

In doing so, they can establish themselves as technology leaders and drive economic growth, he said, adding that what makes generative AI different from other forms of AI deployed so far is that it is user-friendly in that it helps solve everyday problems in people’s personal and professional lives.

Not only can people use everyday language to interact with a generative AI chatbot or virtual agent, but it can also answer questions, create content, create images, and summarize documents such as conversations, stories, videos, and music.

“Even better, a single generative AI platform can provide solutions for multiple use cases, creating a network effect.

“As the number of users and applications increases, the models will be exposed to more data and become more accurate and useful, which in turn will encourage more users and in a sense, AI has the potential to increase productivity and innovation in both the public and private sectors,” he told Bernama.

Karan said that as a technology giant, Google is actively working with leading Malaysian companies to adopt Google Cloud’s latest AI technologies.

For instance, Maxis Bhd is leveraging Google Cloud’s enterprise-grade generative AI capabilities to unlock the full potential of its data, while Gamuda Bhd is embracing digitisation and generative AI to drive innovation across its operations, he said.

Meanwhile, Bank Muamalat Malaysia Bhd is leveraging Google Cloud’s capabilities in modern infrastructure, security, data analytics, and generative AI to improve operational efficiency and customer experience.

Google is helping to build a safe and inclusive digital society

Recently, Google announced an initiative to equip Malaysian youth with future-ready skills with a focus on AI and enhance public service delivery with the help of cloud-native, AI-driven productivity tools, a move that is in line with Malaysia’s MADANI economic framework.

Through this initiative, in partnership with the Malaysian Ministry of Higher Education (MOHE), we will provide up to 500 Google Career Certificate scholarships each to 161 public universities, polytechnics, and community colleges in Malaysia by the end of 2024 to upskill local youth from diverse backgrounds.

This strategic initiative with MOHE marks a significant expansion of “Gemilang”, a digital training programme launched by Google in 2022 to enable more Malaysians to acquire digital skills free of charge to access high-demand technology jobs.

Karan said upskilling programmes like those offered by Gemilang and Google offer benefits beyond increased income levels and revenue.

As the capabilities of AI technology expand, new AI-related jobs are emerging, such as prompt engineers and AI research scientists.

“We see AI as an opportunity to create new jobs, improve the quality of work and generate significant benefits. Additionally, our training programs will enable organizations to acquire the latest skills and significantly increase productivity,” he said.

Curran elaborated that organizations that use generative AI to speed up, automate, extend and improve their business processes will see significant benefits.

“Furthermore, with a growing pool of highly skilled talent, local businesses will be better positioned to innovate, develop cutting-edge products and services and expand their reach. This contributes to the overall growth of employees and businesses,” he said.

Since its launch, “Gemilang” has already provided 31,000 Google Career Certificate scholarships to individuals in Malaysia, with 80% of certificate recipients reporting positive career outcomes such as new jobs, promotions and salary increases within six months of completion.

The importance of training programs to close the digital talent gap

Karan noted that Malaysia’s digital economy is growing rapidly and could account for more than 25 percent of the country’s total economic output by 2025, with total merchandise value reaching US$70 billion (US$1 = 4.738 ringgits) by 2030.

“Training programmes targeting the digital talent gap are essential to unlocking this potential, ensuring businesses of all sizes are fully equipped and prepared to seize the growth opportunities,” he said.

In 2022, Malaysian businesses and households reaped RM51.5 billion in economic benefits from the use of Google’s AI-powered products and services.

Curran said Google recognizes that more people are looking to learn new digital skills and get jobs in areas where demand is high.

“That’s why our ‘Gemilang’ programme aims to create an opportunity for all Malaysians to do so free of charge,” he said, adding that Google was committed to supporting Malaysia’s digital growth ambitions.

AI represents a once-in-a-generation opportunity to address some of the world’s most pressing challenges, including meeting climate goals, building sustainable growth, and staying globally competitive.

He explained that running generative AI at scale would require huge amounts of data storage and computing power, necessitating investments in technology infrastructure such as data centers.

“With the support of the Malaysian government, Google is currently exploring the possibility of establishing a Google data centre in Malaysia to cater not only to the growing demand for AI services but also to cater to all of Google’s digital services in Malaysia,” Karan added.

— Bernama

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