‘AI is not part of culture, nor is society that solely relies on machines’, says Premier

Abang Johari (left) receiving a souvenir from Deputy Premier Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas during the opening ceremony of Iban Cultural Heritage Symposium and Expo at Dayak Cultural Foundation on June 24, 2024. Photo source: Screenshot from Ukas live

By Chris Bishop and Marlynda Meraw

KUCHING, June 24: Artificial intelligence (AI) is not a part of culture, and the same goes for a society that is entirely reliant on machines, says Sarawak Premier Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg.

He said this in reference to the current generation’s tendency to rely on AI when it comes to doing and achieving something.


“AI is neither original nor authentic. We cannot allow the young generation just to concentrate and rely on AI, although it is an added process for us to move forward,” said Abang Johari during his speech for the opening ceremony of the Iban Cultural Heritage Symposium and Expo at the Dayak Cultural Foundation today.

To him, AI is merely an entity to assist people in achieving their goals, and he disagrees that AI should be viewed as a part of the culture by reasoning that AI, such as robots, does not have a culture because it is programmed to follow instructions.

“If you want the robot to go to A, through an innovative process (of programming it), the robot will go to A.

“We are not going to create what we call a ‘robotic society’, but (instead) we are going to create a cultured society that is based on technology for us to move forward based on the richness of our culture,” said Abang Johari.

He highlighted one of the pillars of the Post-Covid Development Strategy (PCDS) 2030, which is an ‘inclusive society’ following the risk of an AI-reliant society posing a challenge.

“Inclusive society means we recognise the various values of our cultural diversity as a basis for us to move forward,” he added. — DayakDaily