Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a subfield of computer science whose aim boils down to achieving “intelligence exhibited by machines” in contrast to the natural intelligence demonstrated by human and other animals. As an academic discipline AI embraces ideas from various disciplines such as philosophy, mathematics (including logic, algebra, theory of computation, and statistics), economics, neuroscience, psychology, computer, engineering, and control theory.
Going through ups and downs since its inception as an academic discipline in the 1950s, AI has truly flourished since the turn of the century due to the availability of huge amount of data, significantly higher computing power, and better understood machine learning techniques. Rapid development of AI has brought advances that allow machines not only to match but also surpass human performance in various tasks, such as beating human world champions in the game of Go, driving through highways without human guidance, spotting pneumonia from X-ray images, or creating musical hits.
In Indonesia, AI is in high demand than ever, both by the academic and industry world. Universitas Indonesia as Indonesia’s No 1 university, and Tokopedia as one of the largest online market platforms in Indonesia, share the same vision to pioneer and promote the use of AI in strategic, multi-disciplinary life aspects, contributing solutions to national and global problems. To this end, Universitas Indonesia and Tokopedia have collaborated to establish Tokopedia-UI AI Center of Excellence.
The official name of the Center is Tokopedia-UI Artificial Intelligence (AI) Center of Excellence and colloquially is named the AI Center. It is established through a solid collaboration between Universitas Indonesia and Tokopedia.
The AI Center is physically located at the Faculty of Computer Science, Universitas Indonesia (Fasilkom UI) and fully equipped with collaborative working space and the NVIDIA DGX-1, Indonesia’s fastest AI and Deep Learning computing infrastructure.
From an organization perspective, the AI Center is not just another research lab, but rather, it is a hub of activities where researchers from various research labs at Fasilkom UI can work together among themselves as well as external partners to solve real-life problems using AI approaches.
Such a close collaboration between the expertise of UI researchers in AI and the application domain know-how from industry, which is represented, foremost, by Tokopedia.
Through this collaboration, the AI Center focuses on theoretical foundations as well as useful applications of AI technologies, taking into account both product and human-aspect of AI.
- Research: Equipped with the latest AI technologies, the AI Center commits to conduct excellent AI research, advancing the state-of-the-art and shaping the national AI strategies.
- Product Development: The AI Center develops innovative products, systems, and services with AI as the core component. The AI Center focuses on unleashing the full potential of AI as end-to-end products to improve various aspects of human lives.
- Partnership and Collaboration: As a result of partnership between UI and Tokopedia, the AI Center serves as a role model for collaboration in the area of AI research and development between academia and industry. Furthermore, the AI Center aims to foster other forms of partnerships with industry and government, delivering concrete AI solutions for real-world problems.
- Talent Pool Expansion: The AI Center aims to expand the national talent pool in AI through training programs for students, researchers, practitioners, and general public in collaboration with Pusat Ilmu Komputer (Pusilkom) UI. In addition, relevant courses in Fasilkom UI can make use of computing facilities at the AI Center to provide hands-on experience to students.
- AI Research Dissemination and Technology Evangelism: The AI Center can play a role in increasing public awareness about AI. This is done through formal scientific publication in journals and conferences, promotion of its products, special events, as well as student and public AI-themed competitions.
The main research theme of the AI Center is applying AI in e-commerce, inline with the partnership between Tokopedia and UI, having a particular focus on the following topics.
The recent wide adoption of digital payment in urban communities has created demands for more personalized and more dynamic use cases. In rural areas, the penetration of digital payment can be made higher. AI technologies provide analytics to revolutionize digital payment applications in Indonesia
Merchant Analytics and Buyer Recommender Systems
What items can be best to sell for merchants? What is the right time to buy products for buyers? Such questions can benefit from recommendation systems, where AI serves as the enabler and game-changer for both merchants and buyers to make crucial decisions on whether to sell and buy products, respectively.
In addition, the AI Center intends to explore other research areas beyond the two main topics, both utilizing the expertise within the faculty as well as the powerful computing infrastructure in the AI Center. These include, but are not limited to, the following topics:
Logistics, supply chain, and transfer of goods and services are becoming more and more complex nowadays, yet they serve as the bread-and-butter in e-commerce. The use of AI can untangle such complexity, giving a clear view of what is going on in every logistic step, what is the source of logistic problems should they occur, and what can be done to prevent such problems from happening.
As society inevitably is increasingly more urbanized, mobility becomes a huge challenge due to traffic congestion and public transport inadequacy. AI offers a way to develop smarter and more efficient urban transport systems through realistic modeling and adaptive traffic management.
AI can help the development of solutions to health service inequality challenges in Indonesia and supporting the provision of more accurate and personalized health services. Combined with remote health service infrastructure, AI can be employed to alleviate uneven distribution of medical specialists in Indonesia through remote diagnosis using multi-faceted and multi-modal data from a variety of medical observations.
AI-enabled Maritime Technologies
Combination of AI and surveillance technologies such as radars, satellites, and sensor networks can be leveraged to develop analytics for detecting intrusion of illegal vessels, preventing illegal fishing, and monitoring shipping traffic in Indonesia maritime areas. More streamline responses of anomalous events can be given by the authorized, Indonesian maritime authorities by using such AI technologies.
Fraud Detection & Prevention
Fraud is an act of deliberate misuse or misapplication of resources or assets. AI can be employed as a core of fraud detection systems, due to its capability to identify useful information and patterns to determine why and when frauds happen, and to reveal and even predict frauds before they even happen.
Providing satisfactory public services remains a big challenge for Indonesian public institutions due to inefficiencies in paperwork handling, convoluted regulation, and subpar service quality by public officials. AI can at least partly automate and speed up the delivery of public services, hence reducing or even eliminating such inefficiencies.