KUALA LUMPUR: Small and medium enterprises can gain a competitive edge by leveraging Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies, which encompass document AI, generalised AI, generative AI, machine learning models and Natural Language Processing (NLP).

These technologies enable SMEs to automate data extraction, analysis and decision-making processes, resulting in heightened efficiency and productivity.

Sanjay Deshmukh, senior regional vice-president of Asean and India at Snowflake, emphasised that these AI technologies and solutions could empower businesses, including SMEs, to harness the power of data and AI to drive growth, innovation and competitiveness in their respective industries.

He emphasised that familiarity with English or simple languages like SQL (Structured Query Language) suffices to utilise these technologies effectively, eliminating the necessity for specialised data science skills.

“You don’t need to be data scientists to use this technology; you need to know English or you probably need to know a simple language like SQL, which is the language that people have been using to interact with data,“ he told Bernama in a recent virtual interview.

He illustrated this point with an example, citing how a manufacturing company in Malaysia could employ AI to enhance efficiency by simply asking questions in English, such as identifying frequently failing parts and their suppliers.

Moreover, Sanjay expressed confidence in the burgeoning knowledge of AI within Malaysia, foreseeing the emergence of citizen data scientists who will facilitate easier access to data insights for businesses.

Regarding Malaysia's digitalisation journey, Sanjay commended the government's efforts in promoting AI adoption, underscoring its significant impact on businesses and the economy.

He also highlighted the potential for businesses to monetise data through collaborations with other industries, thereby enhancing revenue streams.

However, Sanjay acknowledged several challenges hindering the widespread adoption of AI among businesses in Malaysia, including the scarcity of AI skills, misconceptions regarding data and security, and data silos.

He urged business owners to seize opportunities presented by technological advancements to gain a competitive edge.

Sanjay noted that Snowflake, as a cloud computing-based data cloud company, has been assisting Malaysian businesses since 2018 by providing cloud-based data storage and analytics services to address these challenges.

He emphasised the company's efforts in building skills and awareness among customers and partners regarding the utilisation of data and AI in Malaysia.

Sanjay stressed the transformative potential of AI in empowering SMEs and businesses in Malaysia, urging stakeholders to overcome challenges and embrace technological advancements to drive growth and competitiveness in the digital age. – Bernama