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Signing up for the future

By now, it’s no brainer that technological disruption is changing the job market. Instead of bemoaning about it, Singapore is proactively gearing up its current and future workforce. The MoU signed between the National University of Singapore (NUS), AI Singapore (AISG) and Microsoft aims to foster a greater aptitude in AI among the workforce and to enhance research capabilities. The MoU was signed on 26 September 2018, at the National University of Singapore.

Present at the signing ceremony were the President of NUS, Professor Tan Eng Chye, Executive Chairman of AISG, Professor Ho Teck Hua, and two Microsoft executives.

Prof Tan said that the collaboration was a fitting and timely one between the two leaders in their respective fields. Both organisations have a strong focus on innovation which is transformative, productive and aims to improve lives.

Additionally, Prof. Ho said, “We believe that we have a responsibility to work together to upskill today’s professionals. Our collaboration with Microsoft will strengthen our efforts in AI education, upskilling and retraining in Singapore.”

Have a Heart for Technology

Under the Microsoft-AISG Joint Innovation Program, the three-year initiative focuses on upskilling Professionals, Managers, Executives and Technicians (PMETs) with AI expertise. An important output of the program is developing AI-powered projects which bring about a positive societal impact.

Three key programs will underpin the Microsoft-AISG Joint Innovation Program.

First, the AI Immersion Program will equip PMETs with requisite AI skills using the Microsoft Professional Program curriculum. Furthermore, participants will be supported in seeking new jobs through the AI for Real program.

AI for Real is the second program outlined in the MoU. It seeks to provide real-life, first-hand AI deployment experience and training to PMETs. They will be assisted to rollout a hundred AI pilot projects which utilise the Azure platform. It will be run across multiple organisations.

Finally, the AI for Research brings together AISG and Microsoft to conduct a series of workshops on Microsoft’s AI for Good initiatives which identify socially beneficial projects powered by AI. These initiatives might Microsoft’s include AI for Earth and AI for Accessibility. AI for Good brings together private and public sector individuals to work on projects which harness the fullness of the technology’s potential.

The three-part program not only equips workers with the right skills for the future, but also helps realise the potential for AI in boosting the economy and developing an equitable society.

Brainstorming Technology

Dr Hsiao-Wuen Hon, Corporate Vice President, Microsoft Asia-Pacific R&D Group, Microsoft Research Asia, in his opening remarks said that it was important that knowledge continuously be upgraded. The NUS and Microsoft collaboration is testament to the necessity of lifelong learning.

Dr Hon cited his own experience of learning AI in the 1980s as an example. He recognised that much of the knowledge he learnt in the field has rapidly changed since then. This is only because of the hard work researchers put into developing the technology despite the ups and downs of economic sentiments.

Thus, enabling researchers will be key in driving the future economy. The Microsoft Academic Graph (MAG) will be implemented in NUS, the first in Singapore according to the company’s reps. Other top universities in the region such as China’s Tsing Hua University have also benefitted from the product.

Hosted on Azure, MAG is an open and heterogenous graph containing scientific publications records, citation relationships between those publications, as well as authors, institutions, journals, conferences, and fields of study.

Used in conjunction with AI, MAG can extract and analyse knowledge embedded in the publication’s data. MAG can infer query intent and retrieve the most knowledge while recommending new materials might have not been in the researcher’s purview. Problems of information overload, inefficient research processes and thus affected insights, can be overcome with MAG.

Researchers from the NUS School of Computing will be one of the beneficiaries of MAG. They will use it to embark on a healthcare-related research project.

The timely MoU unlocks new frontiers in 21st Century education in terms of pedagogy and transferring technical abilities for the workforce. How technology is deployed will be important in equalising the future.

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Qlik’s vision is a data-literate world, where everyone can use data and analytics to improve decision-making and solve their most challenging problems. A private company, Qlik offers real-time data integration and analytics solutions, powered by Qlik Cloud, to close the gaps between data, insights and action. By transforming data into Active Intelligence, businesses can drive better decisions, improve revenue and profitability, and optimize customer relationships. Qlik serves more than 38,000 active customers in over 100 countries.

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As a Titanium Black Partner of Dell Technologies, CTC Global Singapore boasts unparalleled access to resources.

Established in 1972, we bring 52 years of experience to the table, solidifying our position as a leading IT solutions provider in Singapore. With over 300 qualified IT professionals, we are dedicated to delivering integrated solutions that empower your organization in key areas such as Automation & AI, Cyber Security, App Modernization & Data Analytics, Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure, Workplace Modernization and Professional Services.

Renowned for our consulting expertise and delivering expert IT solutions, CTC Global Singapore has become the preferred IT outsourcing partner for businesses across Singapore.

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Planview has one mission: to build the future of connected work. Our solutions enable organizations to connect the business from ideas to impact, empowering companies to accelerate the achievement of what matters most. Planview’s full spectrum of Portfolio Management and Work Management solutions creates an organizational focus on the strategic outcomes that matter and empowers teams to deliver their best work, no matter how they work. The comprehensive Planview platform and enterprise success model enables customers to deliver innovative, competitive products, services, and customer experiences. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, with locations around the world, Planview has more than 1,300 employees supporting 4,500 customers and 2.6 million users worldwide. For more information, visit www.planview.com.

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SIRIM is a premier industrial research and technology organisation in Malaysia, wholly-owned by the Minister​ of Finance Incorporated. With over forty years of experience and expertise, SIRIM is mandated as the machinery for research and technology development, and the national champion of quality. SIRIM has always played a major role in the development of the country’s private sector. By tapping into our expertise and knowledge base, we focus on developing new technologies and improvements in the manufacturing, technology and services sectors. We nurture Small Medium Enterprises (SME) growth with solutions for technology penetration and upgrading, making it an ideal technology partner for SMEs.

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HashiCorp provides infrastructure automation software for multi-cloud environments, enabling enterprises to unlock a common cloud operating model to provision, secure, connect, and run any application on any infrastructure. HashiCorp tools allow organizations to deliver applications faster by helping enterprises transition from manual processes and ITIL practices to self-service automation and DevOps practices. 

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IBM is a leading global hybrid cloud and AI, and business services provider. We help clients in more than 175 countries capitalize on insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs and gain the competitive edge in their industries. Nearly 3,000 government and corporate entities in critical infrastructure areas such as financial services, telecommunications and healthcare rely on IBM’s hybrid cloud platform and Red Hat OpenShift to affect their digital transformations quickly, efficiently and securely. IBM’s breakthrough innovations in AI, quantum computing, industry-specific cloud solutions and business services deliver open and flexible options to our clients. All of this is backed by IBM’s legendary commitment to trust, transparency, responsibility, inclusivity and service.