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Scientific diplomacy and its opportunities in Southeast Asia

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Click here for the Fourth Industrial Revolution (IR4.0). Artificial intelligence, 5G cellular networks, and Internet-based devices for things are still in their infancy, but they continue to fundamentally change our personal and professional lives. This change has long been predicted, but the sudden outbreak of a pandemic has further revealed how states are increasingly dependent on technology to stay competitive. Southeast Asian countries, in particular, have realized this opportunity and have taken advantage of the opportunities offered by these emerging technologies to launch various initiatives to transform the region into an innovative powerhouse.

From Singapore, the new epicenter of technological development, to Vietnam, which aims to become a leader in AI research and development, Southeast Asia seems to be poised as 21 pioneers. Century innovation. Nevertheless, IR4.0 is both a blessing and a curse. The inevitable global shift could widen regional and global economic disparities unless countries take the necessary steps to respond to the rapid and often chaotic changes that emerging technologies inevitably bring about. there is.

This rapid pace of technological development and innovation has made scientific cooperation between nations essential. In fact, IR 4.0 has made such cooperation more essential than ever for scientific diplomacy between Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member states. These information sharing initiatives provide a unique opportunity for community-shared growth, transformation and success. Scientific diplomacy also provides Southeast Asian countries with the opportunity to create mutual solutions to a variety of complex and difficult problems. These issues prevent individual states from realizing the true potential offered by their advanced technological development capabilities.

Technology-led diplomacy does more than just ensure that the region remains competitive on the world stage. These programs have strengthened relations between Southeast Asian countries, strengthened ASEAN centrality, and enabled partnerships and collaborations with global Jaguar Notes such as Microsoft, Google, IBM, Intel and Amazon. With a large technological infrastructure, these companies are increasingly interested, involved and investing in the region. However, these American companies do not have exclusive rights. China has pledged to strengthen technical cooperation between Brunei and Indonesia. Huawei, China’s high-tech Jaguar notebook, has signed a memorandum of understanding between Cambodia and Singapore. Even Eurasian countries, including Italy and Russia, have diplomatic ties to Southeast Asia.

While these technology-based relationships between ASEAN countries and foreign stakeholders benefit Southeast Asian technology development, they also carry the risk of domestic dependence on international entities. Given the intensifying technological competition between China and the West, the geopolitical implications of the aforementioned dependencies prove to be particularly difficult for ASEAN. From this perspective, foreign investment in Southeast Asia can be used as a tactic to further open up the international sphere of influence, acquire new regional allies, and strengthen old regional allies. The situation is especially serious for countries like Cambodia, which have technical ties to both China and the West. Therefore, Southeast Asian countries remain a top priority to work internally with universities, businesses and other institutions, and externally with other member states. The need to build a sustainable and robust ASEAN technology development structure for indigenous peoples will increase over the next decade.

IR4.0 has had a significant impact on the private sector, and ASEAN countries can benefit significantly from the changes that have occurred. In fact, private sector companies are increasingly integrating new technologies into their workloads and business solutions. Robotics, AI, blockchain, and other emerging technology-based startups have emerged throughout Southeast Asia, as evidenced by Philippines-based startup Plentina and Expedock and Thailand-based startup Robowealth. I am. In general, industry-wide institutions, including the financial, medical, and energy industries, are beginning to implement innovative technology-based solutions.

For example, in Indonesia, Pertamina, the largest state-owned energy company, is using AI and machine learning to gain deeper business insights. BRI Group, one of the world’s largest microfinance institutions, has launched an AI platform to reduce the loan approval process. ASEAN countries need to leverage the resources of such institutions throughout the industry to devise new solutions to social problems. The AI ​​Consortium in Thailand and the SPARTA program in the Philippines are good examples of what such a multi-industry partnership would look like. Partnerships across ASEAN of the same nature will enable more fruitful and productive cooperation and R & D efforts in the region. It also lays the foundation for creating a model of economically sustainable innovation, leads to the creation of more value and capital in the region, and motivates the people of the region to embrace further innovation.

Universities and educational institutions, both private and public, are beginning to change their course offerings and shift their research activities to reflect the emergence of new technologies. For example, Singapore Management University has now rebranded its entire school to the Faculty of Computing and Information Systems to further focus on computer science and new technologies. Strong and relevant educational opportunities are essential to comply with IR4.0. The region’s state-university partnership allows more people to learn about new technologies and even attract professors, researchers and students from around the world. ASEAN countries need to work with educational institutions to expand their reach and encourage more students to start learning about new technologies at a young age.

However, technological development presents many challenges, and some countries in the region are unable to establish the advanced technological development capabilities needed to respond to the global changes in IR 4.0. Limited to those who are familiar with or able to handle financial, computing power and hardware, educational resources, cultural or linguistic barriers to emerging technologies, brain exhaustion, lack of national strategy or coordination. Resources, and Myanmar provides an example of recent notable political instability, preventing ASEAN countries from taking advantage of IR 4.0 opportunities individually.

The countries of the region need to work together to develop new technologies to overcome these challenges, rather than working alone. ASEAN countries need to pool resources together to streamline innovation, focus on high-value proposals, and provide attractive reasons for the most talented and motivated individuals to stay in the region. There is. Vietnam has taken a step in this direction and recently announced plans to build several data centers across ASEAN for AI research and development, but more needs to be done. With more sophisticated algorithmic governance structures, states such as Indonesia, Singapore and Malaysia can provide support to countries with underdeveloped or underdeveloped innovation infrastructures such as Laos and Myanmar. The ASEAN Government can fund university technical exchanges for students from other Member States to promote the dissemination and mutual understanding of ideas. These efforts, combined with increased cooperation between public and private institutions and governments, will provide ASEAN with a sustainable and indigenous workforce and pave the way for the region to become an international foundation for algorithmic governance and technological development. Probably.

As countries around the world become increasingly dependent on new IR 4.0 technologies, a streamlined approach to science diplomacy and innovation in Southeast Asia has transformed the region into a world leader in technological development and innovation, ASEAN. Has the potential to strengthen your identity. Independence.

If you are interested in writing an International Policy Digest, please send an email to submissions @ intpolicydigest.org.

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