January 29, 2018

Alibaba unveils its first overseas AI city in Malaysia

The launch aims to provide urban administrators with critical insights about urban infrastructure by leveraging machine learning tools.

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Chinese cloud giants Alibaba have launched their first overseas AI (Artificial Intelligence) city in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, to help smart cities realize their digital ambitions. With this launch, Alibaba will help the smart city named  ‘City Brain’ to analyze video, image and speech data with the help of machine learning tools, to gather insights that will help urban administrators decide and plan better.

According to Alibaba, the initiative launched by the local ICT agency along with the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC), and city council Dewan Bandaraya Kuala Lumpur (DBKL), seeks to develop smart cities with the help of their AI-backed cloud platform. The platform helps make it possible to analyze data and draw mission-critical insights – which help to build new-age urban ecosystem. Explaining this, Simon Hu Xiaoming, President at Alibaba Cloud said:

Through this programme, 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.

By combining insights from the transportation bureau, observatory, public transportation systems as well as mapping app, City Brain is capable of constructing a virtual digital city model and optimising this through ongoing machine learning to make decisions in areas such as road planning, bus routes and frequency, and the length of time a particular red traffic light should be on, to increase traffic efficiency.

Industry analysts say that Alibaba, with their massive cloud computing and data processing capabilities, will be able to optimize the flow of traffic for Malaysia’s City Brain. They further predicted that with a large number of resources available at their disposal, generating structured summaries of traffic volume, speed in particular lanes and detecting accidents will be much easier.