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Artificial Intelligence For A Future-Ready Nation


December 3, 2020

The future that lies ahead of us is exciting and full of opportunities as we are entering the Industrial Revolution 4.0. It is a world that is moving towards truly intelligent machines, systems and artificial intelligence, which is commonly referred to as “AI”. It touches every aspect of the world around us: healthcare, environment, business, education, engineering, to name only a few.

Brunei Shell Petroleum Company Sdn Bhd (BSP), Shell Deepwater Borneo and Universiti Teknologi Brunei (UTB) celebrated a significant milestone as they announced their cooperation in the field of AI through the initiative ‘Artificial Intelligence (AI): Gift to Nation’. BSP and Shell Deepwater Borneo pledged to contribute AI technology, applications and development to UTB.

This was officialised with the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the three parties at the Lecture Theatre 2, Library Complex, UTB on December 3, 2020. Present at the signing ceremony as the Guest of Honour was Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Hamzah bin Haji Sulaiman, Minister of Education.

Signing on behalf of UTB was Yang Mulia Professor Dr. Dayang Hajah Zohrah binti Haji Sulaiman, Vice-Chancellor of UTB, on behalf of BSP was Agnete Johnsgaard-Lewis, Shell Country Chair and Managing Director of BSP, and on behalf of Shell Deepwater Borneo was Dr. Ivo Verstralen, Managing Director of Shell Deepwater Borneo Ltd.

In her speech, Agnete Johnsgaard-Lewis expressed that UTB’s vision to be ‘A Global University, Impacting Society’ resonates with one of Shell’s Strategic Ambitions which is a Strong Societal License to Operate.

“Shell cooperates with many academic institutions across the globe. It uses its Shell.AI platform that was formed to drive a common approach to data science platform technology, to develop consistent ways of working and build a community of practice which can demonstrate the ‘art of the possible’ and shares best practise across its entire business,” said Agnete.

She then shared that BSP is also using AI to address business problems.

“We have learned that as we increase exposure to digital capabilities, including AI, we’re able to develop more complex skills in this space. For instance, our data scientists have produced a solution to automate the process in identifying anomalies in our equipment using machine learning and to find the best well trajectory in a given area using deep learning. AI is helping us to do our work more efficiently and effectively and helping us to address complex problems,” she continued.

Under the MOU, UTB will initially be provided with AI machinery such as AI developer powerful laptops, AI Edge computing, Augmented and Virtual Reality devices, Do It Yourself Voice and Vision kits, as well as Conversational Interfaces. In addition, Shell will provide its AI and Machine Learning experts to provide guest lectures and Shell will organise a Hackathon with UTB based on successful experiences with other universities in the world, using its platforms to solve some of Brunei’s toughest challenges.

The MOU hopes to further the development of advanced technologies and enhance the competitive edge of science and technology in Brunei. Together with UTB and Shell, BSP looks forward to increase cooperation in AI and digitalisation to benefit the country and develop our local youths to be future-ready in this field.