AI robots to predict medicine shortages and traffic jams, in €4 million project

A €4 million investment in processes involving traffic management, energy consumption, out-of-stock medicine and others will be automated through the use of AI

Economy Minister Silvio Schembri (Photo: DOI)
Economy Minister Silvio Schembri (Photo: DOI)

The Maltese government will be deploying artificial intelligence in six different automation processes for traffic management, out-of-stock medicines and energy, amongst others.

The €4 million investment is part of the national strategy for artificial intelligence launched in 2019. 

“Malta aspires to become a hub of artificial intelligence implementation. The ambition is for Malta to provide the best possible environment for this technology to flourish,” economy minister Silvio Schembri said. 

The largest investment, at a cost of €1.9 million, will be to in traffic management, where data will be gathered in order to create more awareness of traffic patterns and determine what causes it.  “Artificial intelligence will be used to eliminate traffic congestion and minimise the time one spends in traffic. The data will be sent to the control centre of Transport Malta so that they would be able to offer tips to motorists and provide data through tools like Google Maps,” Schembri said. 

€376,000 will be spent in energy, where algorithms organising the data gathered by ARMS, Enemalta and the Water Services Corporation, will predict more efficient usage of energy. “It is difficult to process such data manually, so through machine learning and algorithms, the patterns of water and electricity consumption will be analysed, helping to providing a more efficient service to the clients,” Schembri said. will be overseeing the implementation of a chat-bot for users to benefit from a 24/7 assistance, a €590,000 investment where users will get answers to their queries in Maltese and English. The service offered by email, phone, email, on the website and in person would still remain. Schembri said the service could be later implemented onto the 153 helpline. 

€150,000 will be spent in education, for a system providing students with a personalised learning programme according to one’s interests, abilities and ambitions.  

The Central Procurement and Supplies Unit (CPSU) will see a €300,000 spend into a tool that would help with the budgeting and procurement of supplies.  “The decisions taken will be more efficient and will eliminate situations of out-of-stock medicine. This tool would be saving money and resources,” Schembri said. 

And €800,000 will be invested into the tourism sector, where the Malta Tourism Authority will be utilising a system that creates personas of tourists, depending on their interests, lifestyle and demographics. “The MTA would be able to offer a better product and understand better the trends of the tourism market,” Schembri said.