Alibaba Cloud on Monday launched its artificial-intelligence-driven City Brain project in Malaysia to help the country’s government better manage urban areas and make its cities “smart.”
The City Brain launch was the first by Alibaba Cloud outside of China. City Brain is used in six cities in China including Hangzhou and Suzhou, uses Alibaba Cloud’s massive computing power and data-processing capabilities to drive that decision-making, delivering improvements in areas such as traffic flows and emergency response.
In Malaysia, City Brain will first be rolled out in the capital city of Kuala Lumpur, where real-time information collected from sources such as roadside video cameras will optimize the change rate of traffic signals, detect traffic accidents and identify the quickest route for emergency vehicles to arrive at the scene in the shortest amount of time.
As its use expands, institutions from universities and private enterprises to startups and other entrepreneurs will be able to access and leverage City Brain to drive innovations of their own, Alibaba Cloud said in a statement.
“Cloud computing, data technology and AI have become fundamental tools for all companies and organizations to operate effectively,” Simon Hu, president of Alibaba Cloud, said. “Through the program, we aim to empower all Malaysian stakeholders in both the public and private sectors with the tools to enhance efficiency, advance innovation and succeed in the digital age.”
The launch was done in partnership with the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation, the country’s digital economy development agency, and Dewan Bandaraya Kuala Lumpur, the capital’s city council. It is part of a larger push by Malaysia to digitize its economy through cloud technology and AI.
“The collaboration with Alibaba Group is another leap towards digitizing Malaysia where knowledge-sharing and the crossover of best practices transpire,” said Dato’ Yasmin Mahmood, the CEO of MDEC. “As we set our sights on the future, we are excited about the prospects this partnership will bring to our community, and benefiting Malaysians with the tangible results of digital solutions.”
Alibaba Cloud also said Malaysia would host its own Tianchi Big Data Program, which is a crowd-intelligence platform launched by the company to bring experts together to find solutions to real-world problems. Backed by MDEC, the Malaysia program will deliver data-intelligence technology and AI capabilities to 500 data professionals and 300 startups in within two years and allow them to engage with about 120,000 developers and 2,700 academic institutes and businesses from 77 countries and regions. By doing so, Malaysian experts will compete with, and learn from, counterparts across the globe to develop best-in-class data technology, keeping Malaysia at the forefront of the global digital economy, Alibaba Cloud said.
Monday’s announcement was the latest in a partnership between Alibaba Group and the Southeast Asian country that has developed steadily over the past year. Last March, the two sides committed to launching the first overseas e-hub the Electronic World Trade Platform, which came online in November. November also saw a groundbreaking for a regional e-commerce logistics hub to be developed by Malaysia Airports Holdings and Cainiao, Alibaba’s logistics affiliate, via a joint venture. In October, Alibaba Cloud opened a data center in Malaysia, which became the first global public cloud platform in the country.