Back to the list

Singapore eyes to become Southeast Asia’s AI hub with $1 billion investment

source-logo  coingeek.com 21 February 2024 04:47, UTC

Singapore has unveiled a $1 billion investment initiative to power its artificial intelligence (AI) projects in an attempt to be the leading hub in Southeast Asia.

The investment drive, deriving its validity from the National AI Strategy 2.0, aims to integrate machine learning in critical sectors of the local economy. The investment will target AI use cases in finance, healthcare, manufacturing, and education to improve its digital economy.

A portion of the funds will be earmarked for equipping Singaporean workers with AI skills to allow them to compete favorably in a rapidly changing work environment. Apart from upskilling, the $1 billion investment will be allocated to deepening the local talent pool for AI startups and established global companies.

A significant amount is intended to ensure the country’s access to advanced semiconductor technology amid tight market competition, according to the report.

Rather than merely sinking funds into the ecosystem, Singapore’s latest initiative is designed to operate as an incubator for the startup industry. The city-state will provide regulatory and technological support for early-stage AI startups in the country while providing concessions for foreign firms looking to set up shop in the country.

“This initiative, supported by SGTech and various industry stakeholders, is a declaration of Singapore’s intent to lead in the technology domain,” read the report. “It’s a commitment to innovation, sustainability, and trust in the digital age, setting the stage for a future where technology and humanity progress hand in hand.”

Key stakeholders are urging city administrators to proceed with the establishment of a Chief Trust Officer for AI firms, which will be tasked with rolling out products for commercial use in Singapore. In their submission, the players say the role will be saddled with the responsibility of ensuring that consumer security and privacy match the pace of AI innovation.

Taking early steps toward safe AI

Singapore has since taken the first steps toward responsible AI use, accentuated by the publication of a National AI Strategy and a regulatory framework proposal.

The proposed framework seeks to impose liabilities on AI firms and users for misusing AI systems while laying the foundation for uniform industry standards. Still reeling from the implosions that rocked its digital currency scene, Singapore is keen to avoid the same pitfall by floating stringent regulations.

“As generative AI continues to develop and evolve, there is a need for global collaboration on policy approaches,” said Singapore’s Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) and AI Verify Foundation (AIVF) in a joint statement. “We hope that this serves as a next step towards developing a trusted AI ecosystem, where AI is harnessed for the public good, and people embrace AI safely and confidently.”