Singapore & Artificial Intelligence: Our Future is Now
Singapore is named for the lion that legend has it a prince from Sumatra saw on the island centuries ago. The prince was exploring new lands for his people to settle and when he saw the lion, he took it as a great omen and named the island "Lion City," or Singapore.
Singapore has become a lion of cities.
As a well-known immigrant country in Asia, Singapore is always open to new emerging industries. Within the past decade, artificial intelligence has entered its golden era.
Singapore recognized great potential in artificial intelligence and has since devoted a large sum of resources and effort into ai investment. Singapore is developing at an unprecedented rate after fully embracing artificial intelligence in numerous aspects of society and industry.
Well aware of the potential of artificial intelligence in its economy, Singapore has been implementing new strategies and policies in assisting artificial intelligence development. In May of 2017, Singapore's government established a national program called AI Singapore to harness AI throughout the country.
The program will invest up to 150 million Singapore dollars in artificial intelligence over the next five years. The objectives of AI Singapore are to use AI to address significant challenges that affect society and industry, catch the next wave of scientific innovation, and broaden the adoption and use of AI and machine learning in production.
Three primary industries were the points of focus in this program: finance, city management solutions, and healthcare.
Thanks to those programs and investments, Singapore's economy has reached a new level of growth. In November 2019, Singapore launched a National AI Strategy. The strategy identifies five national AI projects, including transport and logistics, smart cities and estates, healthcare, education, and safety and security.
These projects are intended to address critical challenges that will help ensure Singaporeans experience successful and sustainable AI innovation and adoption.
The national strategy calls for support from the private and public sectors, as well as international partners. One aspect of the plan is a Model AI Governance Framework, which makes Singapore Asia's first government apply Model AI Governance Framework to navigate complex ethical questions that often arise when AI technologies and solutions are deployed.
Many industries have already made progress with the help of emerging technology and artificial intelligence. AI has created benefits and possibilities in healthcare. AI tools and assistants are now able to detect skin cancers, analyze chest x-rays, or perform diabetes screens from a patient's retina scan.
Outside of the operating room, artificial intelligence is also showing its value in the academic area. This technology helps filter the vast amount of papers and reports produced every year and gives suggestions to doctors when choosing appropriate treatments for patients.
In a pioneering study published in April 2019, researchers at the Agency for Science Technology and Research's (A*STAR) Genome Institute of Singapore (GIS) developed a new type of AI known as machine learning computer models pinpoint roots of gastric cancer.
The AI methods and technology developed through this study will help researchers understand the impact of mutations in non-coding DNA in other types of cancer.
Transportation and manufacturing industries have also benefited through artificial intelligence. Today, Singapore is the world's fifth-largest refinery export hub and one of the top ten global chemical centers by export volume. But it is still far below its potential if AI adoption can be fully operational. Artificial adoption would make something like "operations" more efficient and lead to the full potential of existing machinery on the factory floor.
In late 2015, the Agency for Science, Technology, and Research started a Future of Manufacturing Initiative to sustain Singapore's competitiveness in manufacturing and technology innovation.
Officials wanted to maintain Singapore as a choice for developing, test-bedding, and deploying advanced breaking-ground technologies in the manufacturing sector.
Accenture's research calculates Singapore's manufacturing projected growth with AI in 2035 to increase by 40%; that is USD 101.1 billion compared to $71.3 billion without, which indicates the importance of artificial intelligence to the manufacturing industry.
In 2015, nuTonomy, a self-driving car company that focuses on developing software for autonomous vehicles and mobile robots, began testing self-driving cars in Singapore. Singapore's former second minister for transport reiterated Singapore's support to autonomous vehicles during a speech at the Committee of Supply Debate last year.
Considering that the automobile ownership ratio in Singapore is not very high, an expansion of the autonomous cars market would significantly reduce the cost of shared rides and taxis.
Singapore's former second minister for transport reiterated Singapore's support to autonomous vehicles during a speech at the Committee of Supply Debate in 2018. "We are focusing on self-driving technology in a big way because they have the potential to improve public transport dramatically," he said. "Initiatives are underway to develop self-driving buses and to explore how the technology can be applied for use in freight transport and utility vehicles."
According to a new report from Accenture (NYSE: ACN), businesses that successfully apply artificial intelligence to their products and services could create up to USD 215 billion in gross value added in Singapore by 2035.
Among all industries, business services, financial services, and manufacturing look set to benefit the most. "We firmly believe that technology-driven and analytics-led strategies, such as leveraging AI across industries, will bring tremendous growth opportunities for Singapore," said Alison Kennedy, managing director, Accenture Strategy, ASEAN.
"To harness its potential, businesses will need to synthesize AI into their strategies and create a new playbook. This means adapting traditional company structures to AI and more innovative thinking when it comes to both operations and business models. Clients must view technology as the competitive differentiator to seamlessly shift from doing things differently to doing different things."
Written by Zhehao Zhang, Edited by Bryan Xiao, William Lu, Thomas Braun, Ethan Samuels, Jack Argiro & Alexander Fleiss