Pakistan fully capable of becoming AI development hub in South Asia

BEIJING  -  CPInS Lab Director Dr Wu Jun has said that Pakistan, through further coop­eration with China, is fully capable of becoming an artificial intelligence (AI) development hub in South Asia and the wider region. The CPInS Lab has been of­ficially established at Pakistan’s National University of Science and Technology (NUST) in the beginning of year 2022 with joint efforts with the Guangzhou In­stitute of Software Application Technol­ogy. At present, various researches are in progress in an orderly manner.

“We have made great progress in ar­eas such as UAV control systems and AI recognition localisation. Our lab is starting the application of smart cities in Pakistan,” Dr Wu said in an interview with CEN. Through this platform, our mature research results could be deeply connected with local projects in Paki­stan, providing smart city-related prod­ucts and intelligent solutions according to local conditions. “We are able to ef­fectively implement core technologies and products such as smart street lights and smart videos to improve local urban governance ability,” he added.

“Sci-tech cooperation is of great im­portance to Pakistan’s socio-economic development,” Seemab Latif, Head of the Pakistani side of the lab and Asso­ciate Professor at the School of Electri­cal Engineering and Computer Science (SEECS) at the NUST, said.

China’s AI industry, he said, “leads the world, as well as Pakistan’s scien­tific and technological development has huge potential, thus by deepening bi­lateral cooperation, Pakistan can make great progress in the field of Sci-Tech, by which own the potential to become an AI development center in South Asia.” According to Latif, that the lab was us­ing technology from China to develop smart city projects such as efficient traf­fic management systems and infrastruc­ture monitoring systems in Pakistan.

At present, on the basis of local con­ditions, the licence plate recognition system and intelligent security system developed by the lab have begun to be piloted in Pakistan. More Pakistani residents will be able to experience the safety and convenience brought by the application of intelligent systems, CEN reported. “Up to now, the results of co­operation are mushrooming,” Dr Wu said. Considering that Pakistan is often threatened by floods, he said, scientists from both sides pooled their wisdom to develop a vital result “UAV-assisted edge framework for real-time disaster management”, which provides a more scientific and effective solution for local flood fight. Apart from bringing technol­ogy overseas, talent exchange and train­ing could be said to be another key pur­pose of establishing the lab, he added. 

Nowadays, he added, the lab had re­cruited four outstanding postdoctoral fellows from Pakistan to work in Guang­zhou for a long time, and would contin­ue to recruit students in years to come. “We are working on a variety of exciting projects with Chinese counterparts, in­cluding activity detection, gait recogni­tion, automatic licence plate detection and real-time recognition, as well as waste management,” said lab researcher Sahar Ershad. As an emerging economy, Pakistan’s infrastructure is booming day by day. A large number of road cameras and other equipment have not been in­tellectualised yet, which shows that the CPInS Lab has a great potential in the future. Generally speaking, the field of artificial intelligence in Pakistan has not yet formed an industry, but the country is never short on sci-tech talents.

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