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WEF2018 insights from MDEC CEO Datuk Yasmin Mahmood

AvantiKumar | Sept. 11, 2018
“WEF talks about 65 percent of our children who are going into schools right now will be coming out to jobs that don’t even exist," says MDEC CEO Datuk Yasmin Mahmood, speaking on Malaysia's digital transformation.

WEF2018 - MDEC CEO Datuk Yasmin Mahmood

Photo - MDEC CEO Datuk Yasmin Mahmood (centre) with Deutsche Welle Senior Anchor Amrita Cheema (left) and Professor Annie Koh who is Vice President for Office of Business Development, Singapore Management University (SMU). A Practice Professor of Finance, Annie also holds the position of Academic Director of The Financial Training Institute (FTI), Centre for Professional Studies (CPS), International Trading Institute (ITI) and Business Families Institute (BFI) at SMU.


 Every new era in technology has seen key drivers behind the scenes, acting as catalysts of change. Looking at the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) to date, it is obvious that some key drivers include newer technologies such as Robotics, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Drones, Big Data Analytics, Machine Learning, Internet of Things, Virtual and Augmented Reality, Mobility, and eCommerce among others.

Speaking at the World Economic Forum 2018 (11 September 2018) in Hanoi, Vietnam, Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) CEO Datuk Yasmin Mahmood discussed the concepts behind 4IR, dramatic increases in speed of adoption, how the younger generation should look to the future, and the importance of inclusion as a key measure of success in technological advancement.

Having been engaged previously with heading globally renowned multinationals such as Microsoft, Dell and HP in Malaysia; Yasmin has emerged as an instrumental personality in MDEC and the quest to "Championing Malaysia's Digital Economy". According to her, the role was a national calling through which she was able to shape and give direction to the digital sector in Malaysia.

"MDEC is a government agency and it was started 20 years ago when there was a vision about the Malaysian Multimedia Super Corridor, the MSC. At that time when it first started, I was a very young manager in a multinational," she said.

As an industry stalwart of more than 30 years, she fondly recalls her university days and contrasts the state of technology then and now.

"When I was studying in school, in University, the computing power that is now residing in your smartphone took computers to fill, I would say half of this room. And in the 30 years I was a witness to the evolution, to the revolution that driven when Bill Gates said that there should be "a PC (personal computer) in every home," when Steve Jobs unveiled his first Macintosh, and the Smartphone when the Internet phase came on board," she reminisced.

Having said that, Yasmin feels more excitement at this point of time, more so than ever before, and yet she also is aware of the challenges brought by technology. She mentions how the 4IR will be very much driven by AI in combination with other emerging technologies that are happening, such as in the fields of Nanotech or Neurotech.


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