Gold Medal for MINDS Awards  (ITEX’04)

Gold Medal for MINDS Awards (ITEX’04)

AINI have received Gold Medal for the MINDS (Malaysian Invention and Design Society) Awards. This Award was given for the outstanding inventions and innovations among industry players in all fields; usefulness and industrial application of the invention; presentation and demonstration of the exhibit; and commercial potentialities of the invention; and to encourage every Malaysian to be more inventive and creative.

AINI or Artificial Intelligent Neural-network Identity is notably one of Associate Professor Goh’s significant contributions in the areas of science, engineering and technology. Inspired by studies of the human brain and nervous system, neural networks that simulated a highly interconnected, parallel computational structure that modifies the signals that pass through networks called neurons have been used in the Research & Development (R&D) of the AINI. AINI, as an intelligent agent software robot or chat robot integrated with 3D animated character (avatar) and speech technology, will be the next generation of virtual advisor offered unmanned to humanized services for current websites or mobile services like SMS, MMS and GPRS. The AINI knowledge base is represented in an XML specification called Artificial Intelligent Markup Language (AIML). The advantages of this solution are it reduces and manages the high cost of communication through live agents.

These improve customer service by reducing customer reliance on live agents by using artificial intelligence (AI) to provide better answers to service inquiries. It seems likely that, within a few years, nearly all-major web sites will be capable of hosting and willing to host artificial chat robots for more intelligent and interactive web contents. The system is flexible, customizable and can be utilized by any establishment’s worldwide website that is associated with virtual agent, especially to support Multimedia Super Corridor applications such as Telehealth, E-Business, E-Learning, E-Government, etc. This application has transformed the way in which business has been conducted – it enables businesses to become more adaptive and responsive. The R&D also focuses on effectively and efficiently delivering services from the government to the people of Malaysia, enabling the government to become more responsive to the needs of its citizens by using a Virtual Advisor.

The birth of an idea to create ‘AINI’, which means “eye” in Arabic and “I love you” in Chinese, was inspired by studies of the human brain and nervous system to investigate the question forwarded by Alan Turing “Can Machines Think?” Turing believed that someday machines would be able to perform intellectual operations equivalent to those of an adult human being. This innovation now becomes a focus of research and development (R&D) in Kolej Universiti Teknikal Kebangsaan Malaysia (KUTKM).

AINI’s Engine is a unique intelligent agent framework. It is an artificial intelligence natural language chat robot, which gives computer users the ability to communicate with computers in a natural language. All communication with AINI is through a ‘natural interface’ that uses natural language processing technology and speech technology via a 3D Animated Character called Avatar.

It is a system designed to blend mobile technology with natural language to help humans interact more naturally with devices such as Pocket PCs, hand phones and notebooks. AINI will try to keep the conversation going as long and as naturally as possible. The goal is to create a believable virtual personality that converses in natural human languages. Realism to an extent is also a pre-requisite. Certain AINI avatars will have their own personalities.

AINI is the “personal assistant” of the future – she can chat with human users on almost any topic of interest. AINI will respond with different expressions and gestures appropriate to the conversation, just like a real person would.
AINI can respond to synthesized speech or text-to-speech technology in French, Italian, Japanese, Korean, and even American and British English accents.

Can AINI Think and Learn?
Probably the most frequent question from users and developers is whether AINI can “learn” and “think” for itself. The answer is ‘yes’ to some extent. AINI thinks mostly like humans.

Users can choose their robot’s career path long before it is born. Make it a rock star, an artist or a scientific genius. There is no need for ultrasounds-they decide if they want it to be a male, or a female.
Associate Professor Goh’s goal is to participate in the mobile services. Typically, e-learning is designed to allow the student to learn in his own pace, “anytime, anywhere” etc.With this in mind, he has developed the Mobile Learning System using PDA or mobile devices to suit the learner and pose as his personal tutor, guiding him through the learning process in the future.

Besides getting double awards, AINI also has been recorded into the Malaysia Book of Records, Gold Edition – A Tribute to Tun Mahathir on 4th December 2003, for “her” success as the first “Malaysian Robotic Interactive Program”. This is probably the recognition and push to spark interest and inspiration in the local artificial intelligence field.

Being popular amongst internet surfers, AINI has attracted the eye of local collaborators such as MAYA ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENT Sdn. Bhd. who signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on 1 August 2003, and encouraged entertainment organisations such as KRU MOTION PICTURE Sdn.Bhd. on 18th February 2004 to collaborate with KUTKM and develop the Interactive Multimedia content for use in animation houses, television stations and film production houses.

With local creations like AINI, we are definitely threading on the right track towards Vision 2020. We just need more initiative and encouragement to shape great ideas.

The future of artificial intelligence in Malaysia is indeed uncertain; however, with the knowledge and expertise, we can expose and take AINI to greater heights in the Artificial Intelligence arena, even in the global market place.


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