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Singapore Unveils Digital Trust Centre, AI Verify

Modern interior of server room in datacenter

The Ministry for Communications and Information (MCI) has launched the Digital Trust Centre (DTC) along with the A.I. Verify to lead Singapore’s research and development efforts for trust technologies and to support talent development as well as establish the future of AI standards and governance with global partners.

MCI Minister Josephine Teo emphasised that as technology evolves, new risks will emerge, and it is critical to invest in trust technologies such as Privacy Enhancing Technologies (PETs), which protect data privacy while it is being analysed; and trustworthy AI technologies, which help verify and explain the expected performance of AI systems.

Under the Research, Innovation, and Enterprise (RIE) 2025 initiative, the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) and the National Research Foundation (NRF) have invested S$50 million in the Centre. Hosted by the Nanyang Technological University, the Centre is a national initiative that will focus on four major areas of trust technologies:

  • Trust Tech Research which enables Institutes of Higher Education and Research Institutes to pursue research excellence in Trust Technologies and to foster local and global cooperation.
  • Trust Tech Innovations that will encourage academic institutions and businesses to co-develop and mature research concepts into market-ready solutions.
  • New Sandbox Environment that allows enterprises to experiment with Trust Technologies to mitigate data sharing problems.
  • Deepen local capabilities that will cultivate 100 R&D talents in digital trust.

Singapore is one of the founding and active members of the Global Partnership on Artificial Intelligence (GPAI) -a multi-stakeholder project that encourages international cooperation to bridge the gap between AI theory and practice.

On the other hand, IMDA and the International Centre of Expertise of Montreal for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (CEIMIA) inked a Memorandum of Understanding for the first cross-border collaboration on PETs in the world.

Under this initiative, solutions will be created to demonstrate how PETs may overcome privacy and compliance obstacles for organisations developing unique applications that exploit cross-organisational and cross-border data. The experience will guide future research and development, promote the acceptance of PETs by businesses, and contribute to the establishment of worldwide standards.

This collaboration between the IMDA and CEIMIA, one of two centres of excellence for GPAI, will have the DTC as its implementation partner.

Meanwhile, the A.I. Verify, the world’s first AI Governance Testing Framework and Toolkit, was recently presented, and because of close collaboration with worldwide industry partners, 10 businesses from a variety of industries participated in testing its Minimum Viable Product and feedback process.

Minister Teo announced Singapore’s intention to collaborate with an even broader group of stakeholders via an international pilot to enhance A.I. Verify, co-develop benchmarks and improved methods for verifying trustworthy AI, and devise more efficient ways to explain to internal stakeholders, business partners, and customers what factors influence the behaviour of AI applications.

In an effort to advance its regional cooperation, Singapore and Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) members won the highest award at the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) Prizes Ceremony 2022 in the category of “International and Regional Cooperation” for their ASEAN Data Management Framework (DMF) and Model Contractual Clauses for Cross-Border Data Flows (MCCs).

The toolkits will assist ASEAN businesses to transact and collaborate with confidence in the digital economy. DMF provides SMEs with a step-by-step approach for implementing a data management system with data governance structures and protections.

Minister Teo also signed a Memorandum of Understanding on digital cooperation with Brunei’s Minister of Transport and Information, H.E. Abdul Mutalib Yusof, as part of Singapore’s robust network of digital economy government-to-government MOUs in the Asia Pacific region and beyond, to advance collaboration in the digital economy and digital connectivity.

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