AI The Game Changer for Government

AI The Game Changer for Government

Resorts World Convention Centre SentosaSingapore01 January 1970

event date:
01 January 1970
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Imagine a smart traffic
management system pulling in data from a network of CCTVs and sensors,
analysing it in real-time for optimisation of traffic signals and
detection of accidents. Computers looking at CT
scans to determine if an individual has cancer or not. Citizens getting
immediate answers to complex queries regarding public services from a chatbot. Customers
walking into a fast food store using their faces to pay. Smart
gates at airports providing an automated border control system based on
travellers’ biometrics. Police systems using facial recognition to
instantaneously match faces against databases
of millions or even billions of photographs.

You don’t
need to imagine any of this. All these technologies are already here.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is no
longer science-fiction. No longer confined to a lab, AI has stepped out to the world and is taking bigger strides every day;
transforming our lives and societies, taking over diverse fields, from finance, transport and healthcare to government service
delivery and public safety.

Here in
Singapore, AI is also playing a key
role in the achievement of Singapore’s
Smart Nation
aspirations. Taking the example of facial recognition, which
is just one manifestation of AI, the
Government is exploring its wide range of applications.

Biometric technologies, such as facial recognition, could be
used to enhance the security for identification, authentication and
authorisation, as part of its new National Digital Identity (NID) framework

  • At the newly opened state-of-the-art
    Terminal 4 (T4) of Singapore’s Changi Airport, facial recognition technology
    has been incorporated into a suite of Fast and Seamless Travel (FAST) options
  • The Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) is piloting the use of facial
    recognition for security screening at bases
  • The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) is working with the hotel industry to
    come up with suitable prototypes for using facial recognition to facilitate
    guest check-in
  • Local and overseas train
    operators have expressed interest in ST Electronics' facial
    recognition-enabled fare gates, which can process up to 60 passengers walking
    through a minute, compared to the current method of tapping-in that tops out at
    40 people per minute.

The list goes on. In fact, when Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong visited Beijing last year, he took the time to tour the office and meet officials from the Chinese AI firm, SenseTime. PM Lee saw how AI and computer vision analysed, in real-time, the dozens of vehicles and people crossing a busy intersection watched by traffic cameras. The system could match a car's plate to its model and colour, and identify a pedestrian's gender, age-range and attire, among other things.

Implementing
such a system in Singapore would fulfil the vision that PM Lee sketched out in his National Day Rally speech in 2017, “Many cities already have comprehensive CCTV
and sensor networks. And they also can integrate the inputs from all the
sources, analyse and make sense of the information, and respond promptly if
there is an incident or an emergency.”

PM Lee talked about how Singapore has already
embarked on this journey, by building a network of sensors, especially CCTV
cameras.

We are learning to analyse
this combined data, for example, using artificial intelligence to automatically
flag when something unusual is happening. So, if I have 10,000 cameras, I do
not need 1,000 people watching those cameras. I just need maybe just 10 people.
Each person can watch 1,000 cameras and if the AI detects that something funny
is happening, it will pop up and the man can pay attention and a response can
be directed. So, one day if we have an incident like the Boston Bombings, then
the Home Team can assess the situation quickly and respond promptly, or even
pre-empt it from happening
[PM Lee]

This presents in a nutshell what can be
accomplished through AI technology, as it exists today. AI is no longer a fancy, exotic
technology. Its adoption is an imperative.

Dr Yan is a leading researcher in the fields
of deep learning, as well as parallel computing, which underlies the GPUs at
the heart of deep learning systems. Before joining SenseTime, Dr. Shengen Yan worked
at Minwa project, the world’s largest deep learning supercomputer then, at
Baidu Research.

Dr Yan
will share his expertise and experience regarding infrastructure requirements
for deep learning, as well as the cutting-edge technologies he is working on at
SenseTime and their applications in the public-sector context, as SenseTime
counts 40 local Chinese governments as clients.

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