Malaysia is one of the first countries in Southeast Asia to develop a code of ethics and governance for artificial intelligence (AI), which will form the basis of AI regulation in the country.
The code of ethics and governance is expected to be ready by next year, and will be aligned with the Seven Principles of Responsible AI, which are a guideline for the development of trusted and responsible AI that can protect the rights and privacy of individuals.
The code of ethics and governance is being developed by the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI), in collaboration with Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, representatives of government agencies, higher education institutions, and industry players.
The minister of MOSTI, Chang Lih Kang, said that the code of ethics and governance was needed to ensure the responsible and trustworthy use of AI in Malaysia, as AI was a complex technology that involved various aspects such as technical, legal, ethical, policy, and standards.
Creating the Framework
In addition to the code of ethics and governance, MOSTI is also examining the need to create a legal framework and the AI Act, which will complement the code of ethics and governance and provide more clarity and certainty for the AI industry and users. Chang said that relying solely on legal aspects in the regulation and monitoring of AI would slow down the innovation of this technology, and that the use of standards and legislation were complementary to each other.
To come up with national AI standards, the Malaysian Standards Department (JSM) has established a National Mirror Committee, which is chaired by MIMOS, the applied research and development centre under MOSTI, and comprised of representatives from the ministry, agencies, academia, and industry players. The committee will follow the international standards and best practices for AI, and adapt them to the local context and needs.
Leading the Region
By developing a code of ethics and governance and a legal framework for AI, Malaysia aims to position itself as a leader in the region for AI innovation and adoption. Chang said that AI was a strategic technology that could drive the country’s economic growth and social development, and that Malaysia had the potential to become a hub for AI talent and solutions.
He also said that Malaysia was committed to collaborating with other countries and organizations in the region and beyond, to share experiences and insights on AI governance and ethics, and to foster a culture of trust and confidence among the public and the users of AI. He said that by establishing a clear and consistent framework for AI, Malaysia hoped to attract more investments and partnerships in the field of AI, and to leverage the potential of AI for the benefit of society and the economy.