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Boosting Singapore’s Digital Defence with AI

During the inaugural AI Student Developer Conference at the Lifelong Learning Institute, AI Singapore (AISG) and the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) Digital and Intelligence Service (DIS) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) under the auspices of the Senior Minister of State for Defence Heng Chee How.

Senior Minister Heng stated that DIS is expanding its engagement with the broader technology ecosystem, including engagement with the commercial sector and academia, in addition to its partnerships with defence-specific sector partners.

This MoU is a continuation of DIS’s efforts to develop and sustain a strong and capable workforce and talent pipeline to strengthen and sharpen the SAF’s digital cutting edge. It will further collaborate and strengthen the DIS’s Data Science and AI (DSAI) capability development. Also, to complement the robust AI capabilities of the Defence Technology Community, the DIS will need to keep up with and exploit the rapid rate of AI innovation in academia and industry.

This is essential for the DIS to better exploit the vast and growing volume of data in the digital domain and detect and respond effectively to the growing digital threats confronting Singapore. The DIS will leverage AISG’s industry and talent development programmes, such as the 100 Experiments (100E) and AI Apprenticeship Programme (AIAP), to increase the DIS’s capacity to deploy advanced AI techniques, such as the use of Large Language Models and Reinforcement Learning and integrate them into DIS and SAF operations.

Additionally, the DIS will collaborate with AISG to develop and grow its workforce and by adding AISG’s LearnAI lessons, the DIS will increase the number of courses it offers to help its employees get better at their jobs. The DIS will also utilise AISG’s existing student networks to sustain the DSAI talent pipeline while supporting AISG’s mission to expand and develop a national digital workforce.

Through their involvement in the DIS’s supporting initiatives, national talents in the AISG’s AIAP who are undergoing AI deep skilling will be able to contribute to national defence. When appropriate, the DIS will also provide these people with employment possibilities. In addition, AISG will inform AISG Student Outreach Programme participants about National Service (NS) and career opportunities in the DIS, such as the Digital Work-Learn Scheme.

Koo Sengmeng, who oversees LearnAI at AISG, stated that the partnership with the DIS will make sure that Singapore has a strong pipeline of AI experts who know about national defence issues and have the right skills to protect the digital borders and keep Singapore safe. They are looking forward to working closely with the DIS to improve the core skills of the Singapore Armed Forces of the next generation so that they can stay ahead of the risks of the future.

On the other hand, DIS Chief Digitalisation Officer Military Expert 7 (ME7) Guo Jinghua said that DIS and AISG are working towards the same goal of strengthening digital skills to protect Singapore. He added that AI is very important to the success of the SAF’s goal. They need to do a better job of taking advantage of the fast-moving AI innovations in science and business and putting them to use in SAF operations. As a result, the relationship with AISG is a key part of the plan to use cutting-edge AI innovations.

The partnership with AISG will help grow the DIS digital fighting force to protect Singapore in the digital world. It will also help build AI skills. It will also contribute to the national pipeline of AI talent through programmes like the Digital Work-Learn Scheme.


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