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Singapore plans to set up a research programme on the governance of AI and data use

According
to information
on the Integrated Grant Management System (IGMS), the National Research Foundation
(NRF) and the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) seek to collaborate
with an Institute of Higher Learning (IHL) to set up a Research Programme on
the Governance of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Data Use. The project is now
calling for proposals.

This
NRF-IMDA collaboration targets to achieve the three strategic objectives of:
(1) promote cutting edge thinking and practices in AI and data policies and
regulations, (2) inform AI and data policy and regulation formulation in
Singapore through research publications and stakeholder engagement events and
activities, and (3) establish Singapore as a global thought leader in AI and
data policies and regulations.

Data
is often regarded as a basic building block of a digital economy. Technologies such
as artificial intelligence (AI) are often data-driven and accelerated by the
exponential growth in data volume, increasing computational power at lower
costs. With proper deployment, data-driven technologies can boost labour
productivity and serve as a driver of economic growth.

At
the same time, many are worried about the negative impact of AI on the society,
such as large-scale job displacement. There are also increasing debates and
concerns about the legal, regulatory and ethical implications of the commercial
deployment of AI.

This
research programme that specifically targets the governance of AI and data use aims
at helping Singapore develop strategies to harness data as an asset to achieve
data-driven innovation, especially in the fast-changing technology landscape.
It will also help build public confidence in Singapore’s transition into an innovation-driven
knowledge economy.

The
Research Programme on the Governance of AI and Data Use aims to bring together
local expertise in technology regulation, and consider the legal, ethical and
policy implications of advances in AI and other data-driven technologies. It
will also look beyond Singapore by surveying international perspectives and
tracking international developments in these research areas.

Academic
research and collaborations are key in this programme. The IHL hosting the programme
is expect to: (1) conduct and publish research in academic journals and books, (2)
explore research topics through academic endeavours such as colloquia, seminars
and working papers, (3) facilitate exchange of ideas through symposiums and
conferences. All these efforts will allow research members, AI and data experts
and policy thinkers to come together and share latest thinking and research. In

In
terms of the management of the programme, a Management Team will be appointed
from faculty staff of the hosting IHL, while the Executive Committee will comprise
of senior representatives from government agencies such as the NRF and IMDA.  The Executive Committee will be advised by an
external Advisory Panel, comprising subject matter experts from public and
private sectors, industry domains and legal community.

Due to the evolving nature of AI and data use,
funding for the Research Programme has been planned for 5 years. The open call
for proposal from local IHLs and public research institutions in Singapore has
been launched on 5 January 2018.

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