SUBANG JAYA: With the recent amendment to the Audit Act (Audit (Amendment) Bill 2024) that expands the National Audit Department’s duties, the government welcomes the use of artificial intelligence (AI) to handle and expedite the increased workload, said Communications Minister Fahmi Fadzil.

He was referring to the recent amendment to the Audit Act, where the National Audit Department now expands its duties to include more companies that receive public funds.

“So, we might need AI assistance if it is deemed safe and beneficial. I see an opportunity for us to leverage it there,” he said during a press conference after the launch of the CelcomDigi AI Experience Centre today.

Fahmi said the government also welcomes the use of AI to speed up the preparation of the Auditor General’s report.

“In this day and age, why does it take so long to look through the financial reports of different government agencies or departments? We have the report three times a year. So why should we still have to wait so long? Can that process not be faster? Is there a way to use AI to help the Auditor General in her work?” he said.

Fahmi said the government welcomes any potential collaborations between the AI companies in the industry and government agencies including for the Audit Department.

“By leveraging AI to automate processes such as data entry, application processing, record management, and storage, we can not only save time and resources but also reduce the likelihood of human error.

“If an AI application can meet the needs of the National Audit Department, it could significantly aid in audit processes,” he said.

Fahmi noted the utilisation of AI in some ways in Malaysia’s government departments, but however, he said it is not yet widespread.

“In some countries, for example, during my visit to Dubai in October last year, they are leveraging AI for background operations or behind-the-scenes for their tax department,” he said.

Looking forward, Fahmi expressed hope that AI experience centres would attract a wide range of stakeholders, from students to public servants, to explore customised applications for different ministries.

“For example, one of the applications shown here involves using drones to identify soil movements in slope areas. So, we know that ministries like the Ministry of Public Works, maybe JKR (Public Works Department), Ikram (Institute of Public Works), or DBKL (Kuala Lumpur City Hall) might be interested. So, there are various technologies that can be utilised depending on each ministry, agency, or department’s suitability for their respective tasks,” he said.

Meanwhile, CelcomDigi Bhd launched an Al Experience Centre (AiX) with an investment now standing at RM55 million and more to come.

The AiX will serve as a point for cross-industry collaborations, leveraging emerging technologies such as 5G, AI, Extended Reality, Robotics, Analytics and Metaverse.

This collaborative facility is designed to spur technology advancements and growth of digital startups, enterprises, and skills to build an innovation ecosystem and fuel Malaysia’s digital transformation.