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Singapore Looking to Accelerate the Progression of Artificial intelligence

“I believe AI will improve our lives in many ways, some of which we’ve only begun to imagine. Together with DSTA we can accelerate the pace of progress and put our thought work into tangible technological applications.” – Computer Science & Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) Director and Professor of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Singapore’s Artificial Intelligence (AI) research is intended at accelerating the country’s transformation into a Smart Nation. AI has been used effectively in Singapore to either supplement human intellect or develop automated methods and systems to improve people’s quality of life.

Singapore’s Defence Science and Technology Agency (DSTA) and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Computer Science & Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) recently announced their collaboration to address this topic at the Singapore Defence Technology Summit 2021.

The Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) conducts basic research in all areas of computer science and artificial intelligence. CSAIL is dedicated to pioneering new theoretical approaches as well as the development of applications with broad societal impact.

“In the global emerging technologies field, artificial intelligence (AI) research has been a particularly exciting space on the cusp of game-changing findings and applications. Collaborations with leading research institutions such as MIT ensure that DSTA is primed to translate such innovations into capabilities for defence and beyond,” said the DSTA Deputy Chief Executive for Information.

Last year, a pilot run was conducted using the Master Research Agreement established in 2018. Both organisations recognised the importance of collaborating to capitalise on promising advances in AI, such as using AI to improve cognition and decision-making, countering asymmetric threats and disinformation, and researching ways to make AI more accessible and dependable.

“AI is central to much of our CSAIL research, and I am optimistic about what the future holds,” Said the CSAIL Director and MIT Professor. The Joint research project is said to have commenced and will run for three years.

According to the DSTA’s Deputy Chief Executive (Information), AI research has been a particularly exciting space on the cusp of game-changing findings and applications in the global emerging technologies field. Collaborations with leading research institutions such as MIT ensure that DSTA is ready to translate such innovations into defence and beyond capabilities.

DSTA’s chief executive spoke to the media about his priorities as CEO during the third Singapore Defence Technology Summit, which was hosted by DSTA. He mentioned that he is currently preparing DSTA to reap the benefits of digital technology advancements such as AI, data analytics, 5G connectivity, and autonomous systems – and to infuse them in Singapore’s war-fighting capabilities.

In addition, OpenGov Asia reported in an article that most aspects of everyday lives as consumers or employees have been embedded by Artificial Intelligence (AI) based systems. The further advancement and increased diffusion of AI capabilities pose risks of job replacement and even concerns of what this all means in terms of being human. Singapore Management University’s (SMU)Business Partnerships unit and International Trading Institute delved into the issue of “Working with AI-Enabled Smart Machines”.

University professors and thought leaders documented 30 examples of people doing their everyday work in real-world business settings in partnership with AI-enabled smart machines. These case studies will be used in their co-authored book The Future of Work Now: People Collaborating with Smart Machines.

The threat is not about AI taking away human jobs. The real threat is when people choose not to team with AI. Organisations need to learn how to capitalise on what AI can do, go beyond just thinking about simple labour displacement and manpower cost savings, and find ways to use the technology to create value in ways that lead to new demand and correspondingly to new employment opportunities.


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