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

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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