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AI Singapore: Empowering a Smart Nation

Sintia Teddy-Ang & Abigail Toh, Communications of the ACM

AI Singapore (AISG) was launched in June 2017 as an integrated, impact-driven, research and innovation program in artificial intelligence (AI) for the entire country.

AI Singapore (AISG) was launched in June 2017 as an integrated, impact-driven, research and innovation program in artificial intelligence (AI) for the entire country. As a national initiative, AISG brings together the strength of Singaporean research bodies in Singapore's Autonomous Universities (AUs) and research institutes, together with the vibrant ecosystem of AI start-ups and companies developing AI products, to perform use-inspired research, create innovative AI solution, and develop the talent to power Singapore's AI efforts.

To achieve Singapore's national mission, AISG's activities are anchored around four key pillars:

  • AI research is geared toward building deep AI research capabilities in Singapore through fundamental research. This pillar invests in research for next-generation AI techniques/algorithms beyond deep learning, and aims to strengthen Singapore's scientific leadership as a key player in the global AI race.
  • AI technology is focused on creating significant economic and social impacts by tackling national or global challenges using AI. Under this pillar, the first AI in Health Grand Challenge was launched in June 2018, where the challenge statement was "How can AI help primary care teams stop or slow disease progression and complication development in three "Highs" (or 3H)—Hyperglycaemia (diabetes), Hyperlipidaemia (high cholesterol), and Hypertension (high blood pressure)—patients by 20% in five years?" This AI challenge is a novel approach to multidisciplinary collaboration and translation from research to practice. It has enabled local and international collaborators to come together to address Singapore's national health challenge.
  • AI industry innovation accelerates the adoption of AI technology in the industry through proof-of-concept projects and talent development. Under the 100Experiments program, AISG has undertaken 50 AI projects for our local industry and has deployed more than 10 projects into production.a Our award-winning AI Apprenticeship Programme (AIAP),b which is a full-time, nine-month program to train and groom local Singaporean AI talent, has seen about 60 engineers graduate from the program as of October 2019. The plan is to train up to 500 Singaporean AI apprentices over the next five years.
  • AI Makerspace is a first for Singapore. Leveraging on the intellectual properties (IPs) and experiences from the other three pillars, AI Makerspace hosts an AI knowledge base (that is, open source AI libraries, API, and datasets) and will be the first national platform for accessing cutting-edge AI tools and solutions for research and commerce. Targeted at small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and start-ups, AI Makerspace will help industries jump-start their AI journey by providing access to resources for experimentation, such as curated datasets from industry and government, cutting-edge AI tools, and supercomputing resources specialized for AI workloads.

Read the full story and more related stories on Communications of the ACM

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