Advances in computational intelligence vital to help country cross tech threshold

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN (Borneo Bulletin/ANN) -Technologies in the field of computational intelligence will empower Brunei “to shape and build a better future” and enable the country “to jump onto the bandwagon of data-driven innovation in order to create new research and development breakthroughs across the economy”, according to Dean of the School of Computing and Informatics, Universiti Teknologi Brunei (UTB) Dr Au Thien Wan.

Dr Au was delivering his welcoming remarks yesterday at the launch of the Third Computational Intelligence in Information System International Conference (CIIS 2018) at Lecture Theatre 2 of the library complex of UTB.

The conference gathers experts from industry, the government and academia who have experience in innovation, design and research in the computing and information systems field, providing them a stage to engage in discussions, share their experience and knowledge, and keep up with recent advancements in the sector.

Themed ‘Data-Driven Innovation: New R&D Across Economy’, the conference was launched by Permanent Secretary (Media and Cabinet) at the Prime Minister’s Office Mohamed Riza bin Dato Paduka Haji Mohamed Yunos and it will run until today.

Also present at the ceremony were UTB Vice-Chancellor Professor Dr Hajah Zohrah binti Haji Sulaiman, senior government officers, UTB principle officers, invited guests and staff and students of UTB.

Dr Au highlighted that the goals that Brunei aspires to achieve in this field are “challenging, exciting and rewarding”, pointing out that the country can “make great contributions and investments to its future if all concerned stakeholders work together in the area”.

“This conference is a platform to better understand the technologies and their applications so that they can be fully utilised to address the complex issues faced by the modern society today,” he added.

Mohamed Riza, meanwhile, noted in his speech that data is becoming an important ingredient in all global functions, offering new knowledge, driving innovation and creating new products, processes and markets.

“We also observe the trend towards networked behaviours such as crowdsourcing and co-creation, and the general use of social networks and increased availability of Open Government Data (OGD). We recognise OGD as a driver to enhance citizen engagement and participation through improved transparency, accountability and service delivery,” the permanent secretary said.

“Brunei is no stranger to this trend, as His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam’s Government has made available an OGD portal that has been active since 2014. With cooperation from participating government agencies, I am pleased to share that over 500 data sets are now available through the web portal, where the public may freely view and download non-sensitive data relating to Brunei’s population, economy, social well-being and sectoral development, among other information.”

This, according to Mohamed Riza, has led to increased responsibility being placed on academic bodies, particularly higher education institutions, to deliver much needed innovations and cutting-edge knowledge to create industries that fit within the fourth industrial revolution.

Following the opening ceremony, keynote papers were presented by two invited academics: ‘The Smart Workforce with AI in Education’ by Professor Irwin King from the Chinese University of Hong Kong; and a paper entitled ‘Open Data Platform for Future Knowledge Eco-Society’ by Professor Choi Jun Kyun from the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology.

The forum also included a panel discussion, poster competition and data analytics workshop. The panel discussion, newly introduced this year, saw representatives from the public sector and academia sharing their local experiences and insights on the field.

Over 41 paper submissions from 14 countries were received for this year’s conference, with 20 eventually accepted after a rigorous review.

The three-day event was organised by the School of Computing and Informatics, UTB with the support of INNS Brunei Regional Chapter, Springer, Bank Islam Brunei Darussalam (BIBD), Authority for Info-Communications Technology Industry of Brunei Darussalam (AITI), E-Government National Centre (EGNC) and the Ministry of Energy, Manpower and Industry Brunei Darussalam (MEMI).

Sponsors include Sprintville Technologies, BIBD, Brunei Shell Petroleum Co Sdn Bhd (BSP), AIA BR-Kelvin Pong and Dynamik Technologies.