Skymind: Holistic AI helps leaders ‘reimagine their businesses’

According to artificial intelligence (AI) ecosystem pioneer Skymind, a holistic AI ecosystem approach offers opportunities for leaders to reimagine their business models while improving efficiencies.

Industry stalwart and Skymind VP of Growth Rafe Azsnal (pic) recently listed examples of AI revolutionising multiple sectors to Business Today in an exclusive interview.

“Just one example is the case of countermeasures against Covid-19 in Malaysia which included the use of AI is proving to be something of an X factor in healthcare,” he said.

Business Today had previously reported about how Skymind had delivered the Axial AI-based system to Hospital Tunku Azizah Kuala Lumpur. Running on systems from United Imaging Intelligence, the technology to enable machine learning and deep learning applications in the Axial AI system leverages Skymind’s technology Eclipse DL4J. It took less than 30 minutes to install the AI Supercomputer, and was designed to work on-premise.

The system proved to be extremely useful for doctors and clinicians who work with patients’ data. “With the platform, they had the ability to bring all the relevant patient information together, curate the data and use the power of AI to support precision diagnosis, early intervention and greater medical efficiency,” said Rafe.

Well-known in the industry from his nation-building days at Malaysia Digital Economy Corporaton (MDEC), Rafe remains passionate about maintaining the big picture yet is pragmatic about how AI is able to elevate competitiveness.

“We at Skymind estimate that the AI industry could conservatively touch USD2.9 trillion globally by 2021 and USD15 trillion by 2030, which points to a huge opportunity for Malaysia and Southeast Asia,” he said.

“We are working with local partners to accelerate the adoption of AI technology into every facet of society,” Rafe continued.

To create value and drive better optimisation, cultivating a diverse environment will enhance innovation more effectively, he added.

Commenting on the talent conundrum recently, he noted that: “The demand for AI talent is exploding as companies continue to scale. AI talents are needed to drive innovation. But the talent supply is limited.

“And to help the situation, Skymind is planning ways to attract and groom AI talents.”

Moving on, Rafe points out that innovation and the process of reimagining businesses relies on having the right, open ecosystems, access to frontier technologies, and the right talent.

Market analyst IDC’s October 2019 Futurescape: Worldwide IT Industry Predictions foresees an increase in the significance of ecosystems in the coming years.

“By 2023, 60% of the G2000 (Forbes Global ranking of the top 2,000 public) companies will have a digital developer ecosystem, and half of those enterprises will drive 20% of digital revenue through their digital ecosystem.”

Skymind’s holistic mantra delivers the capacity for experimentation, controlled failures, as part of the process of active “reimagine-ering”.

Specifically, the company encourages clients to successfully adopt AI with three practical targets from the outset, Rafe explains.

“Today, the adoption of AI’s main purposes should be to (1) to improve operational efficiencies; (2) to elevate customer satisfaction; and (3) to discover new revenue streams. All of this with people uppermost,” he said.

“‘Technology with a heart’ drives and motivates how we use AI: for the betterment of the way we live and work,” Rafe said in his closing comments.

“For our part, we are looking to heavily expand our R&D team in every area – in order to build the fundamental AI infrastructure including using open-source standards to participating in ethics committees, and working with governments and enterprises to motivate good practices in the usage of AI.”

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