Singapore’s new AI strategy confirms leadership in sector

By William Smith
The city-state of Singapore has unveiled a national artificial intelligence (AI) strategy. Part of a wider ‘Smart Nation’ initiative, key objective...

The city-state of Singapore has unveiled a national artificial intelligence (AI) strategy.

Part of a wider ‘Smart Nation’ initiative, key objectives include the use of AI to improve both the economy and the lives of citizens, for Singapore to become a global hub for the technology, and to prepare society and its workforce to succeed in an increasingly AI-driven world.

As reported by ZDnet, Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said: "The national AI strategy is a key step in our smart nation journey. It spells out our plans to deepen our use of AI technologies to transform our economy, going beyond just adopting technology, to fundamentally rethinking business models and making deep changes to reap productivity gains and create new areas of growth.”

Singapore is duly establishing five ‘National AI Projects’, including intelligent freight planning, disease prediction and management and adaptive learning for personalised education. Its efforts will be under the remit of a newly established National AI Office, while businesses are being offered resources to facilitate their own AI projects.

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While many announcements of this type have the tendency to be woolly, the clearly defined goals, along with Singapore’s high-tech reputation, makes its efforts in this area worth paying attention to.

Kye Andersson, AI Expert at Peltarion and Delegate of the Swedish AI Council, commented: “This kind of boldness and culture of accountability is what Europe is missing – if it wants its people and businesses to gain from AI in the same way, European countries need to stop setting ‘fluffy’ goals, like trying to be the ‘best’ at AI, or to ‘become an AI leader’, and start to get specific. Without specific goals, it’s extremely hard to create a plan, and execute it quickly to create progress. It often leads to simply one more study, or one more committee. Other countries are already leading the way – for instance, Japan has 25 AI ‘moonshot goals’, such as automating all construction jobs by 2040, while China has set concrete AI goals for more than 600 subsets for industries by 2025.”

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