G3 Global partners China’s AI leader SenseTime, with US$1bil AI park plans
By Tan Jee Yee April 16, 2019
- Plans to develop solutions in computer vision, speech recognition, robotics
- Development of AI talents by penetrating the country’s education system
ARTIFICIAL intelligence is one of the new frontiers of Malaysia – vast, full of potential, and yet not as thoroughly explored.
One of the organisations with its sights set on this new frontier is Internet of Things (IoT) solutions provider G3 Global Bhd, which recently inked a collaboration agreement with SenseTime Group Ltd to develop new AI products and solutions as well as secure strategic key industry players to explore this untapped land.
It may be a new partnership, but it has already bore some significant fruits. Both organisations recently announced that they are looking to set up the first artificial intelligence park in Malaysia, in collaboration with China Harbour Engineering Company Ltd (CHEC).
This will be the first AI park in Malaysia, with a total investment of more than US$1 billion (RM4.1 billion) over the next five years.
The park, G3 said, will serve as a platform for the development of AI solutions in areas of computer vision, speech recognition, natural language and humanoid and robotics.
The park will ultimately enable the development of technology and talent, data management, research and development and the creation of a commercial ecosystem that could assist the government to address in data ecosystem and AI governance.
CHEC’s involvement will focus on providing infrastructure engineering and construction services.
Aiming for new solutions
The development of the AI park isn’t the sole purpose of G3’s and SenseTime’s partnership.
G3, through its owned subsidiary Atilze Digital Sdn Bhd (which they acquired on Dec 31, 2015), will primarily be involved in promoting, managing and executing all business development activities for SenseTime’s products and technology within Malaysia.
SenseTime, in return, will provide its industry expertise and knowledge. This includes technology and tech support, products and technology training as well as periodic updates on new technologies to G3.
The partnership with SenseTime is no small deal. SenseTime is one of the world’s most prominent AI startups, with a valuation of more than US$4.5 billion (RM18.51 billion). The company focuses primarily on computer vision, deep learning and AI for text, vehicle and facial recognition. Since its incorporation in 2014, the company is serving more than 400 well-known companies and government agencies that include Honda, UnionPay, Xiaomi, OPPO, Weibo and others.
Altize chief executive officer Md Radzi Din tells Digital News Asia that the partnership is only natural. “In Altize, IoT is our core area. Now, when we think about our next step, artificial intelligence comes to mind. So we searched for a tech company that can bring AI here.
“SenseTime makes a lot of sense to partner – they are one of the biggest IT and AI companies in the world. They have their own algorithm and their products have already seen multiple use cases, so it’s a proven technology.”
Radzi reiterates the growth potential of AI in Malaysia, acknowledging that while AI adoption in Malaysia is still nascent, the interest for adoption is high.
“The industry first wants to understand what AI can do,” he says. “They may be a bit slow in adoption, but once they mature, the potential growth for AI [in Malaysia] is very high.”
G3 and SenseTime’s partnership also plans to address an issue surrounding the development of AI in the country: Talent. Both companies will be working on developing the capability and capacity of AI talents in Malaysia by penetrating the country’s education curriculum.
SenseTime notably has designed and developed AI syllabus that is currently being taught in schools across China.
“We can just be a user or an agent. That is, we can just bring SenseTime products here and sell it. Then again, that is not what we want to do. The government wants more involvement from industry players to get involved in AI,” Radzi explains.
“In order to do that, we need to invest in terms of skillsets. The ecosystem must be there. And in order for you to pick up the technology to develop and enhance it, we need the talent. And the skillsets of AI in Malaysia is currently still lacking.”
The partnership will allow G3 to share SenseTime’s syllabus in the country to build more talent. However, Radzi says that the details of it have not been fully discussed, though the plan does involve possibly approaching the government with the developed syllabus.
“But the core idea is that the partnership is more than just taking products to sell. It’s more for the long term – more of the sharing of knowledge,” he concludes.