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Singapore Boosts Global Partnership on AI Innovation

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been signed between Singapore’s Smart Nation and Digital Government Group (SNDGG) and a global technology company to strengthen AI cooperation in Singapore. The nation’s prominence as a global hub for AI innovation and practical application has only increased since it was already widely acknowledged as a top smart city.

The MoU, led by Singapore’s National AI Office, is the country’s first public-private AI collaboration with a global technology company, with the goal of co-creating solutions, deepening AI capabilities in government, and shaping AI governance and ethics.

“With the MoU, we can look forward to novel AI solutions that will make an impact on the way Singaporeans – and people around the world – live and work. This is one of the many examples of how the public service and private sector can come together to undertake innovative projects for the greater good,” says Dr Chng Zhenzhi, Director, National AI Office, SNDGG.

She emphasised that the MOU represents a win-win partnership. Singapore will gain from the global technology business’s technical skills and investments, while the global technology company may access Singapore’s robust innovation environment. Singapore can also serve as a proving ground for the IT company’s attempts to safely test innovative solutions before exposing them to the rest of the region.

The MoU identifies three specific areas of collaboration in the realm of applied research and development (R&D); competency and capability development and artificial intelligence governance and ethics.

The tech giant and its subsidiaries will collaborate closely with the National AI Office of the SNDGG and other government agencies to co-create, test, and scale AI solutions in important industries such as finance, sustainability, and healthcare.

In addition, the technology company will provide specialised training resources and certification programmes to promote deep AI and machine learning expertise amongst public sector personnel. These workshops reaffirm the tech company’s dedication to bridging the AI skill gap and will expand upon its Skills Ignition SG training programme in cooperation with SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG) and Singapore’s Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA).

Likewise, they will supplement the tech company’s contribution to the recent partnership between AI Singapore (AISG) and Singapore’s Ministry of Education (MOE), which aims to provide local kids with a head start in pursuing STEM jobs.

The technology company will also assist the Singaporean government in shaping AI governance and ethics in important industries like as banking. These initiatives supplement the tech company’s participation in Singapore’s Advisory Council for the Ethical Use of AI, as well as its contributions to the Implementation and Self-Assessment Guide for Organisations and Model, AI Governance Framework. These activities will contribute to the management of new types of risks that may develop as AI becomes more prevalent.

The tech company has announced that it would be the first of its kind to collaborate with SNDGG’s National AI Office to create and implement new AI solutions that will benefit Singaporeans and the country’s economy in the future.

The government’s goal with this public-private partnership in AI is to increase the technology’s capacity to assist society in areas like financial inclusion, carbon footprint reduction, and personalised healthcare, all while protecting individuals’ rights to privacy, autonomy, and due process.

In May 2017, the Singapore Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) created the SNDGG to lead and coordinate Smart Nation and digitalisation efforts across the Singapore Government.

The Smart Nation and Digital Government Office (SNDGO) prepares and prioritises essential Strategic National Projects, drives the digital transformation of government, establishes long-term ICT capabilities for the public sector, and promotes public and industry acceptance and involvement to build a Smart Nation. SNDGG includes GovTech, SNDGO’s implementing agency.

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