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Alibaba secures AI patent in Singapore

Alibaba Group Holding has obtained an artificial intelligence (AI) patent in Singapore.

The Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (Ipos) announced on Wednesday, August 28 that the AI patent was granted under the office’s Accelerated Initiative for Artificial Intelligence.

While it usually takes about two to four years for the procurement of a patent, this was done in about three months.

This is to allow innovations and technologies surrounding AI to be released more quickly into the international market.

Singapore may gain more recognition as an upcoming IP hub for the latest technologies and innovations.

Ipos said that it is to sign six memorandums of understanding (MOUs) with various stakeholders in efforts of connecting Singapore to other innovation hubs by making Singapore a point of access for entering into new markets.

Some of these MOUs include signings with the UK Intellectual Property Office, Brazil’s National Institute of Industrial Property, and the Qatar Free Zones Authority.

The growing interest and innovations created under AI technology have led to a large increase in the number of AI patents being filed.

Singapore invests into AI technology and innovations across various industries.

 Retail industry

OpenGov had previously reported on the retail industry experiencing an increase in the number of unmanned stores.

These new form of tech stores incorporate technology such as radio-frequency identification (RFID), cashless payments and artificial intelligence (AI) into their services.

Retailer Octobox requires its customers to create an account and register a palm scan on their app upon which they will have to scan their hand on the biometric palm scanner every time they wish to enter the store.

Likewise, the retailer OMO store requires its customers to scan the QR code using the company’s mobile app to enter the store.

Providing two options, retailer Pick & Go allows customers to use QR code scan or facial recognition to enter the store with their mobile app.

The stores come with cashless payment options such as GrabPay and Nets.

 Defence industry

Singapore’s Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) had recently passed a Home Team Science and Technology Bill.

This bill is focused on innovating ways for fighting the manifesting threats faced by agencies under the Home Affairs.

One of the innovations that have been launched for use is MATAR (Multipurpose All-Terrain Autonomous Robot). It possesses video analytic capabilities, conducts patrols autonomously and detects audio anomalies.

As a robot, it allows for greater efficiency as it will never encounter feeling fatigue or replicate the human error. It provides more support by spanning across larger areas.

 Transport Industry

Singapore’s Sentosa Island saw the recent launch of a free on-demand driverless shuttle bus.

Visitors to Sentosa will be able to ride the bus using the “Ride Now Sentosa” mobile app. The app will require them to register on the app with their mobile number, following which they can book a bus. They can then indicate their current location to be picked up from.

Technologies have been incorporated into these vehicles to allow them to sense their environment and recognise suitable navigation paths, obstacles and signages.

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