By embracing technology we have empowered the people with a sense of responsibility and involvement in the fight against COVID-19, which is instrumental in keeping the pandemic under control, Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office and Minister of Finance and Economy II Dato Seri Setia Dr Awang Haji Mohd Amin Liew bin Abdullah said.
Addressing an event in conjunction with the Teens in AI Brunei Demo Day yesterday, he said BruHealth to date has had more than 24 million scans with 354,366 users, 433,980 members and 14,966 premises signed up to the app.
The minister said this is only one aspect of AI (Artificial Intelligence) that Brunei Darussalam embraced while there are more to come.
“As Chairman of DARe (Darussalam Enterprise), we are always supportive of encouraging innovation, entrepreneurship and building the capacity of our youth. It is also imperative that we connect this capacity and skills with the demand of the industry – which is why having mentors from local start-ups, industries and corporations is a key component of this programme,” Dato Seri Setia Dr Awang Haji Mohd Amin Liew said.
The minister said youth can highlight real-world industry problems to the participants and guide them with insider knowledge and experience.
He said it is an exciting moment with Brunei being the first country in ASEAN to conduct the Teens in AI programme while it is encouraging to know that many organisations and corporations (sponsors) are supporting the programme and seeing the importance of educating the youth in digital skills.
This shows that many organisations are embracing technology and digitalisation to prepare for the future, which is aligned with the Digital Economy Masterplan 2025 that envisions Brunei as a Smart Nation, working towards a digital and future-ready society, a vibrant and sustainable economy and a digitally conducive ecosystem, the minister said.
He said, “One strategy being looked to make this a reality is to prepare the future of all youth for Industry 4.0, which is through the development of education programmes to equip the youth with the right skills so that they can easily adapt to the rapid developments in technology.
“By building a future-ready workforce, we can then begin to see more companies and organisations utilising AI and technology to advance humanity – creating apps, devices and other technology that help keep us safe and make our lives better.”
Taking into example where the world is still facing a pandemic, Brunei has brought the situation under control with the BruHealth app playing a major role in managing the outbreak here.
It has become a routine for everyone to generate one’s own health code and scan before entry to any premises. What may not be realised is that AI is being applied in the background to determine individual risk profile, taking into consideration a multitude of personalised factors in real-time, the minister added.
In Teens in AI, participants are paired with teachers and industry-specific mentors who can help them broaden their perspectives. By being exposed to digital skills and topics such as Design Thinking, Machine-Learning and Ethics in AI, teens have more time to explore them and will be able to create amazing things by utilising and building on this knowledge in the future.
“I heard there are quite a few ideas that the teams have come up within the past week. I have been told that they are providing solutions to address unemployment, financial literacy, mental health awareness and education. All that, within a week. Imagine what you all can do given a longer time,” he said.