Monash University drives AI education

Artificial Intelligence (AI) can be as simple as a traffic light turning green when it detects a vehicle to as sophisticated as searching for a person in a crowd through facial recognition. AI has served as the primary driver of developing technologies like big data, robotics and the Internet of Things (IoT). It can change the world for the better or worse as it will enable a world with more access to all types of information.

The future of an AI world is not too far-fetched as it is already reshaping industries and how people go about their daily lives. Monash University Malaysia is championing an AI-enabled future through the MyIndustryAI Scholarship Programme in collaboration with Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) and industry players.

The program was initiated in 2018 to train more talents with Applied AI skillsets for solving real industry problems. Monash University Malaysia is one of four higher education institutions and the only foreign brand to be selected to extend this program.

The program will award scholarships to deserving individuals, who in turn is expected to solve an industry problem leading to a Master by Research (Master of Philosophy, MPhil) in AI. The two-year program focuses on AI Computer Vision, Natural Language Processing (NLP) and Voice Recognition.

Through this program, the university is embarking on joint research with Innov8tif Solutions Sdn. Bhd. (Innov8tif), an ISO 27001:2013 certified AI company that helps businesses with identity verification through their innovative AI-based solutions; and Intel, a company engineering solutions with reliable, cloud to edge computing.

Collaboration with Innov8tif 

Associate Professor Dr Wong Kok Sheik and Dr Ian Tan from the School of Information Technology are teaming up with Innov8tif and the scholarship recipient Calvin Yap to work on this project.

Still in its early stages, the project aims to develop an application to verify official documents that can help solve security problems. The idea was conceptualised based on the need for businesses to ensure official documents and proof of identification are valid and not tampered with.

The team is leveraging Innov8tif's precision, experience and data as an industry leader to develop the best solution in ensuring the project's success. For example, the process employs knowledge in image processing and machine learning to attain the best technique that allows the application to recognise whether an individual's identification card has been falsified.

Besides solving a real-world problem, Yap will have the opportunity to work with experts to hone his theoretical knowledge through the application while improving his understanding of how things work.

"The most fulfilling moment when running a business is the opportunity to improve our employee's lives and achieve one's aspirations. Through this R&D collaboration, we are taking progressive steps towards the vision of creating Innov8tif as a research-driven company, which can translate into scalable and competitive solutions for the industry. We wish to form various collaboration models with universities to spur innovations while developing a pool of talents. It's time to dream big and act now", said George Lee, CEO of Innov8tif.

This research collaboration is an excellent opportunity for Monash University Malaysia to showcase its academic abilities in integrating theoretical knowledge with fundamental world skills. It also contributes towards enhancing AI adoption in Malaysia and solving existing problems.

Collaboration with Intel Microelectronics 

Intel Malaysia aims to address any knowledge gaps present in its support platforms. Content on such platforms can generate valuable explicit and tacit knowledge bases, represented as domain-sensitive knowledge graphs. The resulting knowledge graphs could then be leveraged to provide quick, effective solutions by recognising similar problems and powering chatbots.

Knowledge extraction with AI is a challenging task within technical domains for even the most advanced NLP approaches, especially with the unstructured nature of content on support platforms. Dr Lim Wern Han and Dr Soon Lay Ki are hopeful that by working together, they can find a breakthrough by combining the School of Information Technology expertise in the area with the subject matter experts of Intel.

Through this collaboration, the scholarship recipient Tan Kuok Xuen can evaluate the hypotheses on real-world support data provided by Intel under the close guidance of the subject matter experts and their team from various domains. If successful, it would be a robust solution with a global impact on an effective and efficient support system.