Parliament Sitting on 2 November 2021

QUESTION FOR WRITTEN ANSWER


36. Mr Shawn Huang Wei Zhong: To ask the Minister for Communications and Information what are the initiatives undertaken by the Ministry to develop the artificial intelligence ecosystem and its deployment in Singapore.

Answer:

1. The National Artificial Intelligence (AI) Strategy outlines our plans for Singapore to be a leader in developing and deploying scalable, impactful AI solutions, in key sectors of high value and relevance to our citizens and businesses, by 2030.  

2. Under the Strategy, five National AI Projects in logistics, smart estates, education, healthcare, and border security, are now underway. These Projects aim to harness the benefits of AI to increase productivity, raise the quality of public goods, and bring about greater convenience, safety, and security for Singaporeans. More National AI Projects in other domains are currently being explored.

3. The intent is for these projects to catalyse AI adoption and innovation throughout the public and private sectors. To this end, we are working closely with industry stakeholders to build local AI capabilities. The Open Innovation Platform, which aggregates demand and scales solutions by connecting businesses with technology solution providers, regularly hosts AI-related challenges with problem statements from both the public and private sectors. Through the SMEs Go Digital programme, Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) can easily adopt pre-approved, sector-specific AI-enabled solutions. 

4. We want to do more to deepen our capabilities in both cutting-edge AI, and the application of AI to real-life problems. Over the past five years, we have invested over $500 million in AI R&D. AI Singapore’s (AISG) “100 Experiments” programme brings together our Research Institutes and Institutes of Higher Learning with industry players, to co-create and deploy AI solutions in commercial settings. AISG’s PhD Fellowship Programme supports top research talents to advance fundamental AI research here. More broadly, the TechSkills Accelerator (TeSA) helps Singaporeans to upgrade and acquire new tech skills. Since 2016, TeSA has placed more than 10,000 Singaporeans in good tech roles, including in AI, and will place another 5,500 over the next three years.  

5. A trusted and progressive environment is critical, as we grow our capability and use of AI. The Government has developed practical guidance for organisations to deploy AI responsibly using the Model AI Governance Framework. We are developing the AI Governance Testing Framework, to increase the transparency around AI systems, and assure users about the integrity of the AI.  

6. Internationally, we work with our partners to establish best practices on the development and deployment of AI, including through Digital Economy Agreements. Singapore is a founding member of the Global Partnership on AI, and takes part in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s Expert Group on AI.  

7. We will continue to develop Singapore’s AI ecosystem, so that Singapore and Singaporeans can benefit even more from this promising technology, as active users, technology developers, business managers and solutions providers.  
 
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