Welcoming Remarks By Tan Sri Dr. Wan Mohd Zahid Bin Mohd Noordin, Chairman, WIEF Education Trust & Chairman, Board Of Advisors, Higher Education Leadership Academy


May  16th


(15 MAY 2017Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre)

Honourable Speakers, Distinguished Guests,
Ladies and Gentlemen.

Welcome to the 7th WIEF Global Discourse, organised by the WIEF education trust.
I am truly excited with the theme for today’s event “Artificial Intelligence and the Future.”

The Global Outlook/Asia
Jack Ma of Alibaba once quoted – “new technologies such as Artificial Intelligence and big data will only broaden the room of imagination for mankind”.

We all have seen the headlines “IBM’s Watson is tackling healthcare with Artificial Intelligence“, “Facebook Artificial Intelligence spots suicidal users“; and so on.

Artificial Intelligence (AI), which is essentially a set of tools and programs that make software ‘smarter’ in a way an outside observer thinks the output is generated by a human, is starting to break out on the global stage.

Innovation is another current buzzword. 15 years ago, the top 5 public listed companies in the world are General Electric, ExxonMobil, CITI, Walmart and Microsoft. In 2016, they are replaced by Apple, Alphabet, Microsoft, Amazon and Facebook. They are all technology companies in the forefront of the innovation. It is no longer the era of finance, oil and gas or real estate.

It is believed the global Artificial Intelligence market is poised to grow at a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of more than 25% through 2014 to 2022, in order to reach approximately USD 40 billion by 2022.

The United States represents the biggest market for artificial intelligence (AI). Highest growth potential is expected to be in Asia-Pacific region.

AI is at the centre of the fourth industrial revolution, attend based on extreme automaton and connectivity.

It’s impact on Asia will be far-reaching over the next few decades, creating an economic value between USD 1.8 trillion and USD 3 trillion a year by 2030 in the region, compared to a negligible impact currently.

Financial services, healthcare, manufacturing, retail and transportation sectors will be the most effected by AI in Asia.

Late Entrant
Asia has been a late entrant in the AI world. The industry and its research efforts have been mainly concentrated in developed countries particularly in the United States.

Japan has been a leader in the industrial robotics segment, Asia’s contribution in the AI industry has been limited from an overall research and AI-based applications point of view.

The good news is that Asian corporates and government realized the importance of AI as a strategic advantage in the long term, and have accelerated efforts to narrow the gap over the past 3-5 years.

According to Zinnov, the are nearly 2,000 start-ups in the global AI industry, which more than half of them based in the US (1,170); China (55) and India (169).

It is interesting to note that outside the US, China and India are attracting the most AI-based capital, which underscore Asia’s significant potential in this field.

It is believed that AI puts 30-50 million jobs in Asia at risk in the medium to long term, particularly to manufacturing-driven economies like China, while services-driven economies like Hong Kong, Singapore and India should be less effected.

Within Asia, AI should also create many new categories of jobs, ranging in the millions, so the net jobless should be far less and manageable.

It is an unstoppable force. Government should start to focus more on occupations that require a high level of personalisation, creativity and craftsmanship, as these jobs will be less effected by AI.

The Malaysian Scene
In Malaysia, efforts have been put in to meet these challenges.


The Centre for AI & Robotics (CAIRO) is one of the leading R & D centres for AI, Robotics and Control & Automation in the country. CAIRO is both a centre of excellence in UTM and an associate Ikohza of Malaysia – Japan International Institute of Technology (MJIIT).

Since its inception in 1997, CAIRO has expanded to include research in intelligent systems & soft computing, pattern recognition, control, instrumentation and process tomography, and is classified under UTM’s research alliance of ACE – Automation, Cybernetics, and Engineering systems. CAIRO has strong linkages and networking with both academic institutions and industrial sectors.

Imagineering Institute

The Imagineering institute is a new research lab funded by the Malaysian government, with the vision “invent the future of internet “. It is colaboration with City University London, Osaka University Japan, Universiti Teknology Malaysia (UTM), and Multimedia University (MMU).

Imagineering Institute (IDM Lab Sdn Bhd) is the first independent multi-disciplinary internet and digital media Research & Development (R&D) institute. It is the first research lab in Nusajaya, focusing on internet, digital media, and mixed reality research, while providing an entrepreneurial incubation space for start-ups.

Global Discourse and WIEF
Since its inaugural event was launched during the 5th WIEF forum in 2009, the WIEF Education Trust (WET) has delivered several Global Discourse series that addressed topical issues relating to business and economics, scientific and technological advancement, that are crucial to the development in the world.

The WET is one the key initiatives that supports the WIEF Foundation in achieving its objective of building bridges through business. This is achievable through creating opportunity to promote dialogue and foster cooperation among the Muslim and non-Muslim businesses.

WIEF Forum
Today’s programme is prelude to the WIEF forum which is taking place from November 21 – 23, in Borneo Convention Centre Kuching, Sarawak. The theme of 2017 WIEF forum is “Disruptive Change – Impact and Challenges”.

The 13th WIEF creates platform to discuss burning issues, find solutions, discover opportunities and develop initiatives that can better prepare us for the technological revolution that is going to change our lives in the 21st century.

Please visit WIEF website for further information about the forum.

With that, I wish you all a productive discourse.

Thank you.