Category Archives: Artificial Intelligence

Microsoft in talks to invest $10 billion in ChatGPT-owner OpenAI – Semafor

Microsoft Corp is in talks to invest $10 billion in ChatGPT-owner OpenAI as part of funding that will value the firm at $29 billion, Semafor reported on Monday, citing people familiar with the matter.

The news underscores rising interest in the artificial intelligence company, whose chatbot has dazzled amateurs and industry experts with its ability to spit out haikus, debug code and answer questions while imitating human speech.

The funding could also include other venture firms and documents sent to prospective investors outlining its terms indicated a targeted close by the end of 2022, according to the report.

Microsoft declined to comment, while OpenAI did not immediately respond to Reuters requests for comment.

The software giant had in 2019 invested $1 billion in OpenAI, founded by Elon Musk and Sam Altman. Microsoft’s cloud services arm also provides the computing power needed by the AI firm.

Microsoft last year unveiled plans to integrate image-generation software from OpenAI into its search engine Bing. A recent report from the Information said similar plans were underway for ChatGPT as Microsoft looks to take on market leader Google Search.

According to Semafor, Microsoft will also get 75 per cent of OpenAI’s profits until it recoups its initial investment.

After hitting that threshold, Microsoft would have a 49 per cent stake in OpenAI, with other investors taking another 49 per cent and OpenAI’s nonprofit parent getting 2 per cent, Semafor said.

Reuters reported last month a recent pitch by OpenAI to investors said the organization expects $200 million in revenue next year and $1 billion by 2024.

OpenAI charges developers licensing its technology about a penny or a little more to generate 20,000 words of text, and about 2 cents to create an image from a written prompt.

It spends about a few cents in computing power every time someone uses its chatbot, Altman recently said in tweet that has raised concerns about OpenAI’s cash burn.

A Wall Street Journal report said last week OpenAI was in talks to sell existing shares at a roughly $29 billion valuation in a tender offer that would attract investment of at least $300 million.

Datasonic Enters Metaverse Education Platform Business With Meta Doers World 

(L to R) Datasonic Technologies Sdn Bhd director Md Diah Ramli, Datasonic Group executive chairman Abu Hanifah Noordin, Meta Doers group chairman Professor Willson Lin Wei-Hsien, and Meta Doers chief operating officer Michelle Yong Ling Foung.

Datasonic Group Bhd a security-related integrated ICT solutions provider in Malaysia, has entered into a MOU with Meta Doers World Holding Bhd, to jointly facilitate the venture into the Metaverse education platform business.
 
Datasonic executive chairman, Abu Hanifah Noordin said, “This collaboration marks Datasonic’s foray into the Metaverse focusing on education. As part of the MOU, we will be setting up a joint venture company to facilitate this development. For the first stage, our plan is to tap into the education platform industry in Malaysia across the governmental, primary, secondary and tertiary education sector, and training agencies.”
 
He added that Datasonic could be one of the first publicly listed companies to tap into the Metaverse with a focus on education. The development is also part of the Group’s aspiration to expand to other countries where it is said that demand for online education through the Metaverse is on the uptrend.

According to a report by McKinsey & Company, investment in Metaverse globally more than doubled to US$120 billion (RM527.712 billion) as of June 2022 from US$51 billion (RM224.277 billion) in 2021. 

Meta Doers World is part of Doers Education Group (DEG), a specialist in online and offline education. It also specialises in metaverse’s project consultancy as well as advisory services through the metaverse platform focusing on six 6 business sectors: education, health, food, entertainment, energy and shelter industry. 

With more than 24 years of experience in the education and training industry, Meta Doers World is said to be one of the top 10 companies in the industry, in China. The company has a presence in China, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Brunei, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Canada.

UKM Partners Industry to Develop Learning Platform

The National University of Malaysia (UKM) via its Faculty of Global Business & Digital Economics Faculty of Economics and Management signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with a Malaysian company, specialising in Robotic Process Automation (RPA), Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) to provide a platform for learning about robotic technologies, in particular, Robotic Process Automation (RPA).

The Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Academic and International Affairs at UKM stated that the collaboration provides training and professional development sessions to SME students and academics through Cognitive Consulting in the RPA technology, especially to accounting students in SMEs.

The partnership also intends to develop modules or micro-credential courses for students who have completed the RPA software course. In addition to training, students will also gain experience working while studying or practical training within the company.

It was noted that the timely and appropriate to help the University’s goal of expanding and strengthening partnerships between academic and industry researchers, especially in building talent and enhancing the marketability of graduates nationally and internationally.

The same council also saw the launch Journal of Strategic Digital Transformation in Society and the BuDi platform, a dedicated website provided by the Faculty of Technology and Information Science (FTSM) to help entrepreneurs in Small and Medium Enterprises market their products.

The University was represented by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Academic and International Affairs as well as the Dean of the FEP. Meanwhile, the company was represented by its Chief Executive Officer as well as the Head of Corporate Communications at the firm’s parent company.

Recent research has found that, in 2021, the global robotics technology market size was valued at US$79.5 billion in and is expected to reach roughly US$225.6 billion by 2030 with a registered CAGR of 12.29% during the forecast period 2022 to 2030.

A driving factor in the growth of the global robotics technology market is the increasing number of investments and funding in the field of technology. The growing use of service robots across the globe is also leading to growth in the market.

While the market for robotic technology is incredibly fragmented, the robotic technology industry has significant potential because of regional Industry 4.0 and digitalisation initiatives. Given the number of robotic trade exhibitions that occur across different areas on a regular basis, the level of transparency is considerable. Overall, there is fierce competition between existing players. It is expected that large organisations will collaborate and expand their businesses with fresh players focused on modernisation.

Another report the intersection of technology, engineering, and science has resulted in the production of robots. The main aim of robotic technologies is to enhance the performance of an organisation as well as produce better outcomes. Robotic technologies have a wide variety of applications across many industry verticals including healthcare, domestic, agriculture, and manufacturing.

The COVID-19 pandemic saw the demand for robotic technologies increase among several industries including the supply chain, manufacturing, and healthcare, as a result of robots being rolled out in place of humans. This was aimed at reducing the impact of the virus and led to their market share increasing.

The growth in the need for automation and safety as well as the availability of affordable, energy-efficient robots is driving growth in the market.

While the high initial cost of robots and lack of awareness among SMEs is likely to hinder market growth, the surge in the adoption of robotics technology in emerging economies and the increase in use in diverse applications will likely provide lucrative opportunities for the growth of the market.

Singapore and European Union announce digital partnership on worker skills, AI advancement

SINGAPORE: Singapore and the European Union on Thursday (Dec 15) announced a new partnership in the digital sector, which both parties described as having “transformative potential” for the future of their economies.

In a joint statement, Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said the partnership, to be formally signed and launched next year, would advance cooperation on “the full range of digital issues”.

These include trade facilitation, trusted data flows and data innovation, digital trust, standards, digital skills for workers and the digital transformation of businesses and public services.

The digital partnership will also help Singapore and the EU work together on making supply chains more resilient and advancing new areas such as artificial intelligence, digital identities and 5G/6G.

As a first deliverable, a set of digital trade principles have been agreed on.

“These principles reflect our joint commitment to an open digital economy and provide a common framework to boost digital trade between us and globally,” said the two leaders.

“We aim to build on these principles to enact a set of bilateral digital trade rules.”

Forward-looking digital trade engagements between the EU and Singapore will complement and support ongoing World Trade Organization negotiations to put in place global rules on electronic commerce, they added.

“The digital partnership builds on long-standing cooperation between the EU and Singapore on trade, research and technology,” said Mr Lee and Ms von der Leyen.

“At a time of turmoil and change, we are taking another major step to deepen our strategic partnership for the benefit of our citizens, consumers and businesses.”

Speaking to Singapore media at the end of his trip, Mr Lee said there is potential to do more in EU-ASEAN relations.

The Prime Minister cited the Comprehensive Air Transport Agreement (CATA) signed in October as a major achievement. Under CATA, the world’s first bloc-to-bloc air transport agreement, airlines of ASEAN and the EU will be able to fly any number of passenger and cargo services between both regions. 

“It will mean more air rights, more connectivity, more opportunities for businessmen, for tourists to travel, and therefore, tighter links between the two sides,” he told reporters.

On the EU-Singapore Digital Partnership, he said that with the right standards, Singapore can attract more IT-related businesses to the country, and these companies will be able to have a footprint that covers Europe. 

Besides digital economy agreements, Singapore and the EU are also working on deeper cooperation on the green economy as the EU aggressively pursues carbon reduction to get to net-zero emissions, Mr Lee said. 

Thailand to Develop AI Action Plan to Drive National Growth

Thailand is developing a National Artificial Intelligence (AI) Action Plan as it moves toward Thailand 4.0. The plan will advance and improve the country’s technological competitiveness by nurturing talent and creating an ecosystem. The initiative seeks to generate economic growth and social and environmental impacts. The action plan will prepare the country in social, ethical, legal and regulatory areas.

According to Thailand Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, the action plan aims to promote the development of Artificial Intelligence human resources in Thailand, creating a cadre of at least 13,500 people annually and will also create a central platform for AI services.

“Innovations and technologies are propelling the world forward. As a result, Thailand must expedite the implementation of such matters under the national strategy and various plans. Artificial intelligence, or AI, is a relatively new issue in the industry. In the next phase, the government must accelerate research and collaborate with all sectors to use artificial intelligence to develop and upgrade Thailand’s capabilities,” said the Prime Minister.

The government is keen that the public and private sectors work together to develop AI competencies and qualifications by establishing an international accreditation system and has developed training courses and scholarships to cultivate a skilled workforce.

The AI workforce skill set is classified into high, medium and basic levels. For example, researchers and developers of Artificial Intelligence technology make up high-level AI experts. In comparison, people with intermediate levels of artificial intelligence fall under the category of innovators and engineers. Other occupational groups that can use primary AI skills in their occupational groups are considered basic artificial intelligence personnel.

The government will build an integrated national central platform to create an appropriate ecosystem to support AI innovation across all sectors within the country. It will connect and analyse big data and develop advanced computing and infrastructure.

Additionally, the action plan aims to boost national economic growth and improve the quality of life for Thais. The Prime Minister believes that advances in AI will drive next-generation growth and increase the efficiency of government agencies. The plan is expected to increase employment and job creation in the country from personnel with digital skills and AI from 2023 to 2027.

As a result, it can support new ways of working in the country. The value and services of AI products can potentially increase the country’s GDP while also increasing the number of new technology entrepreneurs.

Likewise, the government will establish regulations that facilitate continuous development to support the growth of AI technology. The plan includes the development of national AI regulations, laws, standards and policies, as well as communication and raising awareness of AI ethics. However, he emphasises the importance of carefully crafting the regulation and proper research to respond to the needs and changes in technology. As a result, collaboration and input from all sectors are required.

The government will develop AI technology to encourage innovation in specific sectors, both public and private. Moreover, another significant issue to enable AI to create more economic value is to develop applications, establish mechanisms and sandboxes for business innovation and make AI startups.

AI implementation in governance also makes the government more transparent, allowing citizens equal access to government services. In the end, AI development requires adapting to changes in the modern era and helping to manage the environment and natural resources efficiently.