Rising star: a snapshot of Singapore's innovative AI approach

AI is set to be the one of the biggest economic opportunities of our time and Singapore's plan to bolster adoption and development is certainly worth paying attention to.

There has been a lot of buzz going around for a long time now about how, and to what extent, artificial intelligence will have an impact on many varying aspects of modern society. While there is certainly a fair share of gloomy approximations positioning AI as a tyrant that's going to shove everyone into the unemployment basket, other accounts are not so dystopian. Many of the world's leading AI vendors, of course, position the technology as an augmenter, rather than completely supplanting human capital. This, at least for the foreseeable future, is probably something more likely to resemble reality, with new jobs also being created by AI technologies in many industries due to the necessity of upkeep and, in some cases, satisfying increased demand.

Regardless, the value that AI presents to both private institutions and government entities cannot be overstated. Whether through supplementing the workforce for productivity gains, or facilitating the marked improvement of products and services, AI is poised to drive serious revenues and provide a significant and ongoing boost to the global economy going forward. According to most recent IDC estimates, AI systems spending is forecast to reach $37.5 billion by the end of 2019, reaching a massive $98 billion in 2023.

This makes for some serious economic traction for those countries around that world that achieve the status of ‘leader' in the space, which is why the world's biggest economies are trying to outdo each other when it comes to fostering the development of AI products and services. But while much of the attention for AI innovation goes to China and the United States, some other countries are striving to be added to the conversation. 

The United Kingdom regularly comes up in discussions around AI leadership, with the country seeing record levels of investment, crafting comprehensive public AI policy documents, and fronting up massive sums aimed at putting it at the top of the ‘AI-readiness' pile. Japan is another country that has been making waves since 2017, when it launched the world's second national AI strategy focused on developing a cross-domain AI ecosystem and plans for bolstering AI's uptake for both end-users and organisations across various industries.

Looking to the ASEAN region, another nation that has its sights set on AI greatness is Singapore. The country recently made headlines when it unveiled its artificial intelligence strategy, alongside a slew of initiatives aimed at stimulating the development of the technology within Singaporean borders. The strategy is designed to make Singapore a major player when it comes to the development of AI technologies, designating five national projects to make this wish a reality. Importantly, it outlines a mission to go "beyond just adopting technology, to fundamentally rethinking business models and making deep changes to reap productivity gains and create new areas of growth."

The strategy continues Singapore's unique approach to AI development that it has been crafting for the past few years. While it's not exactly the biggest name when it comes to facilitating AI innovation (for private, public, and research sectors) at a governmental level, its aspirations for AI leadership are certainly worth looking into.

What Singapore has been doing in AI development thus far

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