Singapore Will Be Joining China and the US in Becoming a Global AI Powerhouse
Emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) will transform the way business works in Asia and the world. Singapore’s strategy to deploy AI as part of its smart city transformation will pave the way. Singapore is in the works of developing a holistic AI ecosystem with a brand new National AI Strategy (NAIS). The NAIS encourages the in-depth usage of AI technologies to transform our economy, support innovation and productivity gains leading to new areas of growth.
Delivery of the NAIS Through Key Projects
5 projects have been identified in transport and logistics, smart cities and estates, healthcare, education, and safety and security, where AI technologies will be implemented with social and economic benefits as objectives. This national focus has been re-iterated by Deputy Minister Heng Swee Keat during his recent speech at the SFF X SWITCH conference, where he spoke on the importance of AI in Singapore’s journey to be a Smart Nation. Mr Heng announced that Singapore is ready to deploy AI on a broad-base and aims to be a leader in developing and deploying AI solutions by 2030.
To have a future-ready workforce, Singapore is taking a “human-centric” approach towards new technology and equipping workers with the right skill sets. To maintain and encourage openness and collaboration, it will work with international stakeholders in the AI field to bolster innovation. To preserve good governance, it will address ethical and governance issues that will surface with the opening up of new boundaries.
Under the Research, Innovation and Enterprise 2020 Plan, over $500 million has been committed to NAIS for funding activities related to AI.
Key Factors Underpinning the Success of the NAIS
It is identified that 3 factors will be essential for the national AI strategy to succeed: a ready workforce, openness and collaboration, and good governance. The AI ecosystem can only be built when Singapore’s workforce is ready with the right skills. As such, Singapore aims to nurture more research scientist, technology developers, engineers, product managers and entrepreneurs. Besides that, it also plans to train up to 25,000 professionals in AI basics and implement it in the next six years. Subsequently, collaboration is a vital component of a successful Singapore AI roadmap and sustainable ecosystem. Singapore will work with foreign key AI players as well as local research community, industry and government. This is to promote and propel innovation for the better future of AI in Singapore. The AI Makerspace is a national platform to jumpstart AI start-ups with better data access, AI libraries and supercomputing resources. The final attribute to the ecosystem is good governance. With higher risk exposure, there is an urgent need to find an equilibrium between innovation and ethical issues. Hence, Singapore recently published the Model AI Governance framework.
Singapore AI Roadmap – The Intelligent Machines
Humans throughout generations may have accidentally created technologies to solve problems or purposely to improve lives. Eventually, the humans themselves will be tapping into human intelligence to turn it into a form of technology available for the taking. AI is a form of intelligent technology that emulates super human-like behaviour to a tee. Among the core functions of AI technology is that it can compute reasoning, knowledge, deep learning, perception as well as move and manipulate objects. As such, more intelligent machines will be able to process data in an efficient and practical approach.
AI Transforms Economy
An economy of a nation does not solely dwell upon its financial stability. Financial stability is a bonus foundation for an excellent economy. Thus, in the light of AI, Singapore will adopt AI in its high-value national projects such as transportation, smart cities, healthcare, education and security. These cores make up a balanced economy as it will work synchronously to produce the best results for the people. In turn, people will feel safer and happier. The possibilities of deploying AI technology and solutions in transforming the economic landscape are infinite. And Singapore is leading the journey to be an AI-enabled nation.