IEEE SA CertifAIEd™ Authorized Assessor Training: SIRIM Academy (Malaysia) – Participant Stories – Part 2

Jul 10, 2024

IEEE SA CertifAIEd™ Authorized Assessor Training: SIRIM Academy (Malaysia) - Participant Stories - Part 2

Welcome to the second entry in our blog series, “IEEE SA CertifAIEd™ Authorized Assessor Training: SIRIM Academy (Malaysia) – Participant Stories”.

In this series, we share inspiring stories and experiences of professionals who have recently undergone our IEEE CertifAIEd Authorized Assessor training. We believe that hearing directly from these professionals can provide valuable insights and motivation.

Below, you’ll find testimonials from the Head of Digital Demand Creation Department at MCMC, Malaysia.

Participant 2: Mrs. Jacinta Felix, Head of Digital Demand Creation Department, for Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC)

Firdaus Azman: Can you introduce yourself?

Mrs. Felix: I am Jacinta Felix, the Head of Digital Demand Creation Department for the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC).

MCMC regulates the telecommunication, broadcasting, postal and courier industries. We also govern the Digital Signature Act.

I am currently responsible for three scopes of work: Artificial Intelligence (AI), 5G adoption, and emerging technologies. For the scope of AI, my team and I are looking into policy and strategic initiatives, potential regulation, and the adoption by the communications and multimedia industry. In addition, we are also working on 5G adoption by enterprises to spur Malaysia’s digital economy.

On emerging technologies, we are looking at how AI and other technologies are developing and interconnecting for the end users. Specifically, my team and I are exploring potential developmental work and regulatory developments revolving around AI and Emerging Technologies.

This effort is done with clarity of focus and structured balancing act of development and regulation. To ensure that each segment of focus does not stifle growth and innovation for the Malaysian industry.

Firdaus Azman: What have you gained from the training?

Mrs. Felix: I began my involvement in AI work for MCMC in January 2024, and obviously AI is a relatively new area for me.

I was expediting a self-learning mode for the first few months, absorbing everything and anything on AI that came my way. While on a steep learning curve, I have also made the conscious decision that all the acquired knowledge requires a structure to process these thoughts. Which would later ensure a sound policy and strategy deployment amidst rapid AI development.

This is particularly important, in which the policy and strategy implementation work would benefit from a structural process. Where it makes it so much easier to implement if everyone is on the same page in terms of understanding. Which is crucial for the success of any AI related work.

Hence, a certification course and training like the IEEE CertifAIEd™ Authorized Assessor training is just what we needed. And it came at a timely moment (as they are developing and deploying many policies and strategies on AI for Malaysia).

I am an example of a new entrant to AI, with an expedited learning curve in the first four months, and then came the IEEE CertifAIEd™ Authorized Assessor training that helped me to put things into perspectives. Particularly on what I have learned so far.

Though some would say the four days of training, with an exam at the end, are quite overwhelming. I believe that on the fifth and exam day, everything came together perfectly. Meaning, the lessons from the training made perfect sense at the end of the training (despite initial complexity and steep learning curve). Especially on the practical use cases and criteria suites (principles) that were carried out during the earlier four days.

Even as I am speaking to you now, the criteria suites came easily and naturally to my mind. It may have initially appeared extensive or complex, yet, upon completing the training course, one would find the four criteria suites (principles) easily remembered (perhaps due to its relevance or universality to the domain of AI ethics).

In my honest view, four days of training with a steep learning curve were initially overwhelming. However, it was worth sitting through the hours. Because at the end of the training course, I could still remember the four criteria suites and how they are applied in the IEEE CertifAIEd™ framework.

I would like to emphasize that it is not about the memorization of the suites, rather, the remembrance and comprehension of them. Specifically, how they can be applied in their line of work (particularly for AI professionals). For example, if I am to develop an AI system for the Commission, the training would help me to structure the whole development process according to the four criteria suites (principles).

Even in my current project of developing the AI Code of Ethics for the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia industry, I am able to sync or connect our current work with the four suites. So, there is definitely a high degree of relevance and usefulness with her line of work.

To conclude, I am confident that the four criteria suites are a good runway that helps us to put things into perspective and avoid being out of focus in our work related to AI governance.

I would like to take this chance to thank the Malaysian Ministry of Science, Technology, and Innovation (MOSTI), MCMC, and SIRIM Academy, for the training opportunity. I am humbled and grateful by the fact that I am now one of the pioneering members for the IEEE CertifAIEd™ Authorized Assessor program for Malaysia.

Moreover, I enjoy the exam experience because it does not test your memory. Rather, our understanding of the framework and criteria suites. In which, one must strategize and provide substantive justification for their answers.

Firdaus Azman:  How do you find yourself applying the training in your work?

Mrs. Felix: While some of the training programs that I had in the past would indirectly apply to my work, the IEEE CertifAIEd™ Authorized Assessor training program applies directly to my line of work.

This is from two perspectives; 1) policymaking and regulation development, and 2) AI adoption, for example how to adopt AI systems in a work environment.

In the first perspective, the criteria suites are helpful to me in structuring their policymaking and regulation development (as was deliberated earlier).

In the second perspective, because MCMC is also looking at adopting AI systems in our own organization, we would also later shape the Malaysian industries (telecommunication, broadcasting, postal and courier) on best principles to adopting AI systems (by referring to the criteria suites).

My team and I are very much structured and focused on building guardrails for both internal (MCMC) and external stakeholders (industries) on how to develop, deploy, and integrate AI technology.

MCMC as the regulator for Malaysia is the reference point for these industries in Malaysia for developing guidelines, regulations, and overall policy approaches in governing technologies.

In this context, we need to not only be able to catch up with the rapidly evolving AI technology and field, but also advise and provide timely guidance for industries in Malaysia. Referring to the IEEE CertifAIEd™ training, the criteria suites would help me in advising industries on how to develop, deploy, and integrate AIS in their activities.

Reflecting on my training experience and current application of my training, the criteria suites helped me in both policymaking and implementation. That is, on how to develop ethical AIS policies and implement them for Malaysia.

Firdaus Azman: What are some of the IEEE CertifAIEd™ training benefits that you see for Malaysia and Southeast Asia?

Mrs. Felix: MCMC is currently looking at sectoral governance of AI, specifically for the industries that we are responsible for. However, I strongly believe that it is also ideal for other industries to adopt the same framework (IEEE CertifAIEd™) via the criteria suites.

This is mainly due to the importance of standardization (harmonization) across all industries on the principles (criteria suites) to evaluate AI. Ensuring that all industries have common understanding and consensus on the critical aspect of AI which requires prioritization.

Having a standardised structure would allow a common language that translates well into integrating systems that are similar across industries, countries, and regions/continents.

The CertifAIEd™ framework is so structured that even though there is an emphasis on ‘subjectivity of AIS context’ as part of the understanding in CertifAIEd™ framework, the framework accommodates vastly different players (for example machine learning engineers and policy makers) to have a common platform and language to work upon in building responsible AIS.

I would add that the CertifAIEd™ framework has the potential to unify the currently different approaches across borders and regions (ASEAN to APAC). Because of the structure and standardized approach that everyone can tailor fit to their AIS locality and context. Which is an ideal outcome that I hope to have.

About the Training:

The IEEE SA CertifAIEd™ Authorized Assessor Malaysia training program was conducted from May 13th to 17th, 2024. It involved 25 professionals from notable academic institutions, government agencies, and major private companies in Malaysia.

The program benefited from active collaboration between Malaysia’s SIRIM Academy, the Ministry of Science, Technology, and Innovation (MOSTI), the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Standards Association (IEEE SA), and Verdas AI.

United by a common interest in pursuing ethical AI practice and certification, these professionals spent four days in training followed by one day for the exam, which tested their knowledge of the IEEE CertifAIEd framework.

If you are interested in promoting ethical AI practices and becoming a certified assessor, visit our training website by clicking the button below for more information and to sign up for our next training session. Together, we can responsibly shape the development and integration of AI systems.

IEEE CertifAIEd™ Training Sessions

22-25 July 2024- 09:00 AM SGT
    26-29 August 2024 – 09:00 AM EDT

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