Singapore has unveiled its second National Artificial Intelligence Strategy, which aims to triple the pool of AI experts, develop a large language model for local culture and dialect, and build an iconic AI site to showcase its achievements.
The new strategy, announced on December 4, 2023, will focus on how AI can be used for the public good, both in Singapore and the world. It will also address the new risks and challenges posed by AI, such as cyber scams, ethical issues, and social implications.
Singapore has been a leader in AI adoption and development in Asia, with its first National AI Strategy launched in 2019. The country has implemented several AI projects in key sectors, such as healthcare, education, transport, and smart cities.
The new strategy will build on the existing efforts and expand the scope and impact of AI in Singapore. Some of the key initiatives include:
- Increasing the number of AI professionals from 5,000 to 15,000 by 2026, through various training and talent development programmes.
- Developing a large language model, called SingaBERT, that can understand and generate text in English, Mandarin, Malay, Tamil, and Singlish, as well as local slang and dialects. The model will enable more natural and inclusive communication and interaction with AI systems.
- Building an iconic AI site, called AI@SG, that will serve as a hub for AI research, innovation, and collaboration. The site will feature state-of-the-art facilities, such as a supercomputer, a data centre, and a testbed for AI applications. It will also showcase Singapore’s AI achievements and aspirations to the world.
- Launching two new National AI Programmes in Government and Finance, that will leverage AI to enhance public service delivery, policy making, and financial inclusion. The programmes will also foster cross-sector collaboration and co-creation of AI solutions.
- Establishing a National AI Ethics and Governance Framework, that will provide clear and consistent guidelines for the responsible and trustworthy use of AI. The framework will cover areas such as data protection, fairness, accountability, and human oversight.
The new strategy is expected to bring significant benefits to Singapore, such as improving the quality of life, creating new opportunities, and enhancing the country’s competitiveness and resilience. It will also contribute to the global AI ecosystem, by sharing best practices, standards, and insights with other countries and partners.
Singapore’s Minister for Communications and Information, Mr Tan Kiat How, said that the new strategy reflects Singapore’s vision and ambition to be a smart nation powered by AI.
“AI is a key enabler for our digital transformation and a strategic capability for our future. With our new AI strategy, we aim to harness AI for the public good, both for Singapore and the world. We also want to ensure that AI is used in a responsible and ethical manner, that respects our values and safeguards our interests. We invite everyone to join us in this exciting and meaningful journey, as we shape our AI future together,” he said.