Malaysian Tech Industry Urges Government Support to Address AI Talent Shortage

Malaysian Tech Industry Urges Government Support to Address AI Talent Shortage

KUALA LUMPUR: The technology industry in Malaysia is rallying for increased government support to tackle the growing shortage of talent in artificial intelligence (AI), a critical need in today’s digital economy.

Associate Professor Dr. Mohd Naz’ri Mahrin, Dean of the Faculty of Artificial Intelligence (FAI) at Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM), emphasized the urgency for industry players to collaborate with policymakers in ensuring that graduates are equipped with the necessary skills to meet the rising demand for AI expertise.

With countries worldwide recognizing AI’s potential to drive economic growth, Malaysia’s AI Roadmap (2021-2025) forecasts a baseline GDP growth of approximately 4.4 percent, with an additional 1.2 percent attributed to AI.

Dr. Mohd Naz’ri underscored the need for proactive measures to bridge the talent gap, stressing that a robust AI workforce and supportive ecosystem are vital for attracting foreign investments and bolstering Malaysia’s economic resilience.

In response to these challenges, UTM’s FAI is set to launch a Bachelor of Science in AI program in October, aiming to produce skilled AI professionals through a three-year curriculum.

Highlighting UTM’s longstanding commitment to AI education and research since 1997, Dr. Mohd Naz’ri estimated that Malaysia would require between 100,000 and 200,000 AI professionals within five years to sustain long-term economic growth.

Acknowledging the imperative for collaborative efforts, Dr. Mohd Naz’ri urged all stakeholders, including academia, industry players, and technology providers, to work together towards nurturing a digitally literate workforce and fostering a conducive environment for AI integration.

As Malaysia strives to harness AI’s transformative potential, the call for government support resonates across the tech industry, signaling a collective effort to position Malaysia as a regional hub for AI innovation and talent development.

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