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Google says Singapore has ‘Very High’ Potential to be a Global AI Hub

Last Updated on February 7, 2024 by SPN Editor

Google has identified Singapore as having ‘very high’ potential to become a global AI hub. This observation was made by Caroline Yap, the Managing Director of Global AI Business and Applied Engineering at Google Cloud.

Singapore’s innovative environment forms the foundation of this claim. The city-state was among the first to devise a strategic plan for AI and has recently introduced the National AI Strategy 2.0, an enhanced version of its blueprint to broaden the application of AI. This strategy is designed to position Singapore as a global AI Hub and a leader in AI solutions by 2030.

Yap emphasized that robust public and private partnerships in the country are a key factor in realizing this potential. She made this point while speaking at the Explore AI summit, an event co-hosted by Google Cloud and the Singapore government.

A notable example of this collaboration is the ‘AI Trailblazers’ initiative. This initiative, announced in July by Singapore’s Ministry of Communications and Information, Digital Industry Singapore, Smart Nation and Digital Government Office, and Google Cloud, set up two sandboxes. These sandboxes provide up to 100 organizations in Singapore with access to Google Cloud’s high-performance graphical processing units, the Vertex AI platform, pre-trained generative AI models, and low-code developer tools.

This arrangement enables these organizations to develop and test their own generative AI solutions in a secure and dedicated cloud-based environment. Through this collaborative effort, 43 organizations across various government and industry sectors have successfully created their own generative AI solutions using Google’s AI stack.

Yap is of the view that such successful collaborations not only enhance public sector applications like citizen services but also cultivate an environment conducive to innovation. This benefits all Singaporeans, either as consumers of these technologies or as participants in an economy that is growing due to such innovations.

When asked about the openness and collaboration of other governments compared to Singapore, Yap’s response to CNBC was that “some are, some aren’t,” without specifying which countries she was referring to.

CSET, in a report published in March, highlighted several initiatives that are propelling Singapore’s rapid growth as a global AI hub. These include expediting patent approval processes, encouraging private investment, and addressing gaps in talent availability.

Chan, an expert in the field, pointed out that there is a conscious effort at the national level to consider the ethical and governance aspects of AI. This thoughtful approach further solidifies Singapore’s position as a significant player in the global AI hub arena.

However, Chan also acknowledged that Singapore faces certain challenges. One of the major hurdles is the intense competition for top AI talent from other global AI hubs.

The AI phenomenon gained significant momentum when OpenAI’s chatbot, ChatGPT, capable of generating responses that mimic human interaction, captivated the world in November 2022.

At the Explore AI summit held on January 29, Singapore’s Minister for Communications and Information emphasized that partnerships form a crucial element of effective governance.

Google’s recognition of Singapore’s potential as a global AI hub is supported by the country’s innovative environment, strong public-private partnerships, and strategic initiatives like the AI Trailblazers. These elements, coupled with the country’s national AI vision and strategy, make Singapore an attractive prospect for global AI investment.

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