Singapore Could Emerge as a Premier Global AI Hub, Google Exec Says
By Trisha Andrada
Feb 07, 2024 08:47 AM EST
Feb 07, 2024 08:47 AM EST
A Google Cloud executive believes that Singapore's environment that fosters innovation could make the country a global powerhouse in the artificial intelligence (AI) industry.
"In order for AI to really deliver on its potential, you need really good public and private partnerships," Caroline Yap, managing director of Global AI Business and Applied Engineering at Google Cloud, told CNBC.
Yap made her remarks at the Explore AI conference in January, which Google Cloud and the Singaporean government organized. The event aims to honor the best generative AI solutions developed by companies that were part of the "AI Trailblazers" program.
Digital Industry Singapore, the Smart Nation and Digital Government Office, Google Cloud, and the Singaporean Ministry of Communications and Information are all involved in the said program.
"When you do have good public and private partnerships, you can really start to not just improve the public sector use cases like citizen services, but you can also foster an environment for innovation," Yap noted.
As one of the pioneers in AI, Singapore released its National AI Strategy 2.0 last December, an upgraded version of its original objectives to increase AI's application.
Up to 100 businesses in the city-state got access to Google Cloud's high-performance graphics processing units, Vertex AI platform, pre-trained generative AI models, and low-code developer tools via two sandboxes that were put up as part of the AI Trailblazers project.
Thus, they can create and test their own AI systems that generate data in a specialized cloud-based setting. As a result of the collaboration, 43 groups across government and industry sectors successfully created their own generative AI solutions using Google's AI stack.
According to Yap, this is good news for all Singaporeans, either "as consumers of these technologies or being in the economy as it grows for these types of innovation."
Kenddrick Chan, a senior policy analyst at the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change, claimed that Singapore has all the necessary elements to become a leading global AI center.
"The government has launched various AI initiatives, supported local research on AI and engages private sector tech companies in consultative dialogues in its policymaking process," Chan noted.
The Center for Security and Emerging Technology (CSET) also said that Singapore's reputation as an AI center is growing, opening up promising avenues for global collaboration. The center is a think tank housed inside the Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University.
Singapore is quickly becoming a worldwide AI hotspot, according to CSET, thanks to initiatives including expediting patent clearance, encouraging private investment, and tackling skills shortages.
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