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MAS and key government agencies collaborate to strengthen the AI ecosystem in Singapore’s financial sector

According to the latest press release, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) is collaborating with the Economic Development Board (EDB), Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) and Institute of Banking and Finance (IBF) to accelerate the adoption of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Singapore’s financial sector.

The multi-agency collaboration aims to foster a thriving AI ecosystem comprising financial institutions (FIs), research institutions, and AI solution providers. The four agencies will jointly facilitate research and development (R&D) of new AI technologies and adoption of AI-enabled products, services and processes for the financial sector.

“As financial institutions and FinTechs increase the experimentation and use of AI and data analytics to improve their services, government agencies need to ensure that our support, policies and regulations are attuned to developments and remain supportive of these new technologies. Our agencies will work towards a conducive environment that supports and expands the adoption of AI and data analytics in Singapore, said Dr David Hardoon, Chief Data Officer of the MAS.

The joint effort will encompass three key prongs: (1) developing AI products, (2) matching users and solution providers, and (3) strengthening AI capabilities.

Developing AI products for finance

The MAS-EDB partnership will encourage leading AI solution providers to conduct both upstream research and product development activities for the financial sector.

MAS’ S$27 million Artificial Intelligence and Data Analytics (AIDA) Grant has garnered strong interest from the industry. There are currently several pipeline projects in areas such as deep learning and natural language processing, and three applied research Requests-for-Proposals in AI-related themes.

Under this partnership, EDB will augment the AIDA programme by providing support for AI solution providers locally and globally to create new AI products and services for Singapore’s financial sector.

According to Mr Kiren Kumar, Assistant Managing Director of EDB, the pervasive use of AI will help drive the digital transformation of our financial industry which will in turn create new and exciting jobs in areas such as computer vision, machine learning, data analytics, and software development.

Matching FIs and AI solution providers

MAS will work with EDB and IMDA to facilitate link-ups between players in the financial and technology sectors. IMDA’s AI Business Partnership Programme will be extended to provide tailored support for the financial sector’s AI adoption needs by providing a guided process to pair local companies seeking AI solutions with credible AI solutions providers.

According to Mr Zee Kin Yeong, Assistant Chief Executive (Data Innovation and Protection) of IMDA, in order to encourage and support the development of innovative solutions in AI and data analytics, it is critical for government agencies to work together to match supply and demand across sectors.

“Collaborations such as these are vital in a Digital Economy. We look forward to working together to building a conducive environment that promotes innovation through the right balance between AI and data sharing, while reinforcing good practices in handling personal data,” he said.

Strengthening AI capabilities in finance

MAS will work closely with IBF and IMDA to strengthen AI capabilities and skillsets in the financial sector. This partnership aims to help financial industry professional transit into new jobs arising from the use of AI in financial services.

Through its TechSkills Accelerator (TeSA) programme, IMDA provides AI apprenticeship opportunities and is also working with MAS to help align university curriculum to the needs of key hirers in the financial sector in the area of data science and AI.

“The increasing use of AI and data analytics by financial institutions will require workers to develop new skill sets and capabilities. IBF will work with the relevant government agencies and financial institutions to help individuals acquire the skills needed for existing and new job opportunities as the industry evolves,” said Mr Ng Nam Sin, CEO of IBF.

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