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Source: New Straits Times as of 04-03-2020 

Seen here is the Intelligent and Interactive Advertising Panel, that can recognise gender and age by using face recognition technology and deep learning; a project by Universiti Malaya AI specialist Associate Professor Dr Chan Chee Seng with his industry partner.

Although artificial intelligence (AI) has been around for a long time, the field is still in its infancy and has only recently started to gain momentum. AI, said Associate Professor Dr Norisma Idris, is a branch of computer science that aims to create intelligent machines that mimic human intelligence.

“There are varying kinds and degrees of intelligence in people such as decision-making, reasoning, language understanding and learning. AI tries to understand and model intelligence as a computational process. The ultimate effort is to make computer programs that can solve problems and achieve goals in the world as well as humans,” said the head of Department of Artificial Intelligence at Universiti Malaya’s Faculty of Computer Science & Information Technology.

“Most of AI specialists work in applied AI to program smart systems that can think like humans. For example, to recognise a face (face recognition), address questions or instructions (chatbot) and solve problems. AI specialists mostly work at research centres of universities, small AI development companies, banking sectors, automotive industries, healthcare facilities and government agencies,” said Norisma.

There are many sub-areas of AI such as Fuzzy Logic, Neural Network, Machine Learning (ML) and Natural Language Processing (NLP). Many of the popular recent applications of AI in industry have been based on Machine Learning (ML), which gives computers the ability to learn, improve business decisions, increase productivity, detect disease, forecast weather, etc.” Currently, the most hot-trend application is Sentiment Analysis, a type of text mining or text analysis which can be used to review products for business, predict highs and lows of stock markets, and identify views expressed by people in political debates.

Norisma said maths and science are important for those who want to go into AI as these form the backbone of most AI programs. On top of that, they need to acquire knowledge and skills on Cognitive Science, Machine Learning, Neural Computing, Robotics and Natural Language Processing. “Currently, most AI specialists have Master or Doctoral degrees (PhD) specialising in any AI fields. However, due to the current demands from the industry, AI specialists can be those who have a Bachelor Degree with AI as their specialisation,” said Norisma.

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