Singapore’s national AI programme enters into three new partnerships
During this past week, AI Singapore signed three Memorandum of Understanding (MOUs), reiterating AI Singapore’s commitment to pursue research, develop skills and talent, as well as embrace new technologies in AI-related areas. The three MOUs were signed with the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC), Intel Corporation and PwC Singapore.
AI Singapore  was launched in May 2017 by the National Research Foundation (NRF) of Singapore with up to S$150 million in funding to catalyse, synergise and boost Singapore's AI capabilities.
AI Singapore’s key programmes include fundamental research, addressing Grand Challenges and conducting 100 experiments in collaboration with companies to tackle real-life business problems. It also runs an AI Apprenticeship programme through a collaboration with the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA).
The Labour Movement has been focusing on expanding its outreach in emerging ICT areas, such as artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, immersive media and internet of things, to curate relevant programmes that meet the progression needs of Professionals, Managers, and Executives.
AI Singapore was one of three new ICT associations which signed a MOU to join the NTUC U Associate ecosystem on 12 March 2018. The other two MOUs were signed with (ISC)2 Singapore Chapter and Tech Singapore Advocates. Through these new partnerships, NTUC can now reach out to about 40,000 professionals in the ICT sector.
As part of the 2-year MOU signed between AI Singapore and NTUC, both parties will explore projects of mutual interests in data analytics and AI for NTUC, undertake visits by engineering staff and collaborators for discussion; participate in outreach and development activities or events; and exchange scientific, academic and technical information, if appropriate.
“This partnership with NTUC will allow AI Singapore to reach a wider ecosystem in Singapore. With NTUC’s U Associate network of 67 associations (representing more than 250,000 members from different professions), we believe that they will each be impacted by AI in one way or another. We want to be there to support their adoption and evolution journey as AI becomes pervasive in their sector,” said Mr Laurence Liew, Director of Industry Innovation, AI Singapore.
The 3-year MOU with Intel aims to provide industry-relevant and skills-based training to the Singapore AI ecosystem, with a goal of engaging and training around 2000 students and developers over the next three years.
Under the MOU, AI Singapore intends to host free-of-cost training sessions based on the Intel® AI Academy* suite of content for students, developers, start-ups and companies. The Intel® AI Academy is an open initiative offered to academia, professionals, and start-ups worldwide.
Intel will send their world-wide AI experts to co-host some of these sessions. In addition, AI Singapore will be including the Intel® AI Academy content as part of its AI Apprenticeship Programme. AI Singapore will also be able to access or submit relevant publicly available, research papers, whitepapers, solution briefs, project descriptions and technical content via the Intel® Developer Zone or affiliated Intel websites.
Participants in Intel ® AI Academy will gain access to Intel-hosted forums and technical support for their usage of Intel hardware platforms and software tools for research and projects. The Intel® AI Academy will assist in organizing meetups, offer event-based training and provide expert guidance on Intel frameworks and tools to the next generation of AI professionals.
AI Singapore has signed a 3-year MOU with PwC Risk Services for collaboration on AI projects and enhancing digital trust competencies in both the public and private sector. This will be done through dedicated research projects related to data analytics; AI research & development; and risk management and governance to ensure responsible AI adoption. This collaboration is viewed as pivotal to ensuring trusted digital ecosystems as Singapore develops as a Smart Nation.
“We are excited to collaborate with PwC to accelerate the use of AI in the finance, audit and risk markets. The 100Experiments and AI Apprenticeship Programme, which PwC will participate in, will accelerate the adoption of AI in these areas and train new AI engineers for PwC and the Singapore ecosystem,” remarked Mr Laurence Liew.
“As the demand for automation and use of AI increases, designing in appropriate levels of risk management and governance will be essential for the trusted application of AI adoption. PwC Singapore advocates responsible AI adoption and is well positioned to help embed the right level of risk assessment, controls and governance frameworks to enable organisations to innovate with confidence. We are glad to be the first professional services firm to work with AISG in support of Singapore’s AI initiatives in line with Singapore’s Smart Nation ambitions,” said Greg Unsworth, Digital Business and Risk Assurance Leader, PwC Singapore.
 The initiative is driven by a government-wide partnership comprising NRF, the Smart Nation and Digital Government Office (SNDGO), the Economic Development Board (EDB), IMDA, SGInnovate, and the Integrated Health Information Systems (IHiS). Institutes of Higher Learning, including National University Singapore (NUS), the Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) the Singapore Management University (SMU) and public sector research agency, Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), are also part of this AI Singapore.