Holmes Report published an article from the panel discussion “Artificial Intelligence + The Future of Communications” at the IN2Summit Asia Pacific, where the panellists discussed how AI has changed the role of communications practitioners. According to research from MIT Technology Review, 45 percent of respondents believe that Asia will lead the world in the development of ethics and governance than any other region, as compared to only a quarter who sees North America as the ethics frontrunner. On the topic of ethics, Grace Chiang, deputy director of comms for SGInnovate noted that regulation is always playing catch-up with technology and cited the challenges of setting ethical standards due to ethics being “culturally defined”. While the core of being a communicator remains the same, which is to share a compelling message to the right audience, Grace said that technology that surrounds that core will augment the job of a communicator.
TTG Asia reported that Expedia Group has announced a collaboration with AI Singapore (AISG) under its flagship 100 Experiments (100E) programme to develop an AI solution to transform the online search experience for Asian travellers. For a start, Expedia Group and AI Singapore project team will leverage NLP and ML to develop an AI-based model to enhance search query understanding and resolution in the Japanese language, before extending the model to other Asian languages to enhance online search efficiency. AISG’s 100E programme matches companies which are keen to use AI to address their problem statements with local researchers. AISG is driven by a government-wide partnership comprising NRF, the Smart Nation and Digital Government Office, the EDB, the IMDA, SGInnovate and the Integrated Health Information Systems.
ZDNet reported that even as AI comes increasingly under the spotlight for its adverse potentially adverse impact on human lives, Singapore is advocating the need to hold off judgement whilst the technology continues to evolve and focus instead on building trust. Speaking at the Bloomberg Live’s ‘Sooner Than You Think’, S. Iswaran, Singapore's Minister for Communications and Information and Minister-in-charge of Trade Relations shared that Singapore was focused on verticals that were relevant to the nation and, hence, on developing applications that could be scaled locally, regionally, and worldwide. These domains included healthcare, education, and transport, and its initiatives encompassed research and development work, skillsets and training, and working with the private sector to build applications. Founding CEO of SGInnovate, Steve Leonard, echoed the minister’s call for trust and explainable AI, noting that the technology was an ongoing development and important concepts would surface along the way. He added that it would be ineffective to attempt to react to issues in advance and that societies have to be open as this concept was “imperfect” and know that some people would “misbehave”, and address these with rules and guidelines. Otherwise, they would miss opportunities in tapping AI to solve real-world problems.
Bloomberg published an interview with Sutapa Amornvivat, CEO of SCB Abacus, Soo Boon Koh, Founder and Managing Partner of iGlobe Partners and Steve Leonard, Founding CEO of SGInnovate on Bloomberg Live’s ‘Sooner Than You Think’, where Dr Sutapa shared that AI is part of the major force behind the latest developments in not just the financial services but also in manufacturing and agriculture. Founding CEO of SGInnovate, Steve Leonard, shared that SGInnovate believes that AI is not just going to be omnipresent but that we ought to embrace it. Although there are issues such as data privacy, ethics and guidelines which need to be discussed, these are concepts that people need to think about along a journey, not something which must be answered in advance.
Xinhua Net published an interview with Steve Leonard, founding CEO of SGInnovate, where he shared that AI would be able to solve some of the big problems the world has. According to him, AI should be viewed as a set of tools which are both inevitable and important. Steve pointed out that while there’s a lot of technology focussed on consumer convenience, he believed that we need to be utilising tools such as AI to deal with hard problems and life or death problems. To that end, SGInnovate has invested in one Australian deep tech company, See-Mode, which uses computer vision and AI tools to run a series of models that gives us new insights and helps us know more accurately the people we have to keep a special eye on or to provide a different level of care for. Steve added that Australia is moving forward and has the opportunity to be a significant leader in AI technology.
Australian Financial Review published an article based on an interview with SGInnovate’s Founding CEO, Steve Leonard, who is in Australia this week meeting with Victorian state government officials and local Deep Tech startups, setting up networks down under to help support local scientists looking to commercialise research so they can do business with Singapore. While Steve doesn’t disclose the size of SGInnovate’s fund, the organisation has deployed AU$42 million in capital into about 65 investments since its launch, which has gone on to raise another AU$458 million. Because most of the companies SGInnovate backs are pre-revenue and usually don’t have a business plan, the team bases the investment decisions on the personalities and experience of the founders. “Talking far-edge, Deep Tech, it’s about as deep as you can get. We have no idea if it’s going to be successful or not, we can’t sit down and calculate the probabilities, but we believe in the founders… and if they’re right it will be something we’re sitting down chatting about in 10 years,” he said. Two Deep Tech startups with presence in the Australia market that SGInnovate has backed are computer vision company See-Mode, and non-chemical water purification company Hydroleap.