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Media Interview – "Singapore well-positioned to lead the pack with rise of AI, observers say" by Prof Louis Phee, Dean, CoE and Prof Ong Yew Soon, Chair, SCSE

Published on: 10-May-2018

TODAY Paper, 7 May 2018
Singapore well-positioned to lead the pack with rise of AI, observers say

Artificial intelligence (AI) promises to be a game-changer for Singapore, as research shows that it is well-placed to integrate innovation and technologies into the wider economy ahead of other larger economies, complementing its vision to be a smart nation.

Global consultancy company Accenture reported that by 2035, AI is projected to help double the country's economic growth rates and increase productivity by 41 per cent, adding up to US$215 billion (S$180 billion) in gross value-add.

Compared with other countries that are competitive in AI, including the United States, Germany and Japan, the report said that Singapore's economy stands to gain the most from the rise of AI.


Professor Louis Phee, roboticist and dean of the College of Engineering at Nanyang Technological University (NTU), "strongly believes" that Singapore can lead the world in the field of AI. He pointed out that at the national level, there is already AI.SG, which brings together AI experts across Singapore to perform cutting-edge research "for the good of our nation".

Commenting on Singapore's AI ecosystem, leading AI scientist Ong Yew Soon, chair of NTU's School of Computer Science and Engineering, said that even though the US and China dominate the AI landscape, where the level of AI investments are "relatively higher", the advantage seen in Singapore is the coordinated support for the industry to co-create AI solutions with academia.

Professor Ong said that the support is largely in place, through the Government's smart nation initiative, and research incentives for public and private sectors to co-innovate and deploy AI-based solutions.

"These incentives are significant enablers that can support AI research and promote greater private sector participation in Singapore."

This year, NTU will launch an undergraduate degree programme in data science and AI, taking in 20 to 30 students for the pioneer batch.

NTU, has also recently partnered China's e-commerce giant Alibaba to set up a joint AI research institute in Singapore. The five-year partnership will see millions in funding per year and the setting up of Alibaba's first joint research facility outside of China, as well as the university's largest partnership with the private sector on AI.

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Article courtesy of Mediacorp News Group


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