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Singapore and US Strengthen AI Collaboration to Enhance Skills for Youth and Women

ByYasmeeta Oon

Jun 9, 2024

Singapore and US Strengthen AI Collaboration to Enhance Skills for Youth and Women

In a significant step toward enhancing technological cooperation, Singapore and the United States have announced an expansion of their collaborative efforts in artificial intelligence (AI), emphasizing talent development among youth and women. This new initiative, known as the AI Talent Bridge, builds upon the US-Singapore Women in Tech Partnership Program launched in 2022 and aims to fortify the workforce in emerging technologies.

The AI Talent Bridge is designed to harness the potential of AI while focusing on inclusivity and diversity. US Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo and Singapore’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Trade and Industry Gan Kim Yong jointly announced this initiative, underlining its aim to nurture talent in critical tech sectors.

The announcement aligns with the broader goals of the Partnership for Growth and Innovation pact, initiated by the two nations in October 2021. This pact outlines a strategic framework for identifying bilateral trade opportunities, especially in areas like the digital economy, smart cities, healthcare, supply chain management, and clean energy.

  • Focus Areas: Youth and women in AI and technology sectors.
  • Launch Timeline: Scheduled rollout in the upcoming months.
  • Pact Association: Part of the 2021 Partnership for Growth and Innovation.

In October last year, the alignment of AI governance frameworks was announced by Singapore’s Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) and the US National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). This synchronization facilitates ease of compliance and aims to promote the development of safe, trustworthy, and responsible AI technologies.

The collaborative mapping exercise between IMDA’s AI Verify and NIST’s AI Risk Management Framework aims to create harmony in international AI governance, enhancing clarity on requirements and reducing the burdens of compliance.

Looking ahead, Singapore’s Ministry of Communications and Information (MCI) plans to host an AI dialogue involving industry and government stakeholders. This dialogue will explore investment strategies, governance models, and workforce development initiatives in AI, furthering the bilateral agenda for economic growth and competitive advancement in AI technologies.

The Ministry highlighted the significant presence of US organizations in Singapore, with nearly 6,000 entities operating within the city-state. This bilateral relationship supports approximately 250,000 jobs across the United States, demonstrating the economic depth of their partnership.

In terms of technology investment, Singapore reported a substantial SG$22 billion (approximately USD$16.3 billion) expenditure last year. Moreover, committed capital investments in AI by US companies, in collaboration with Singaporean partners, have surpassed SG$50 billion (USD$37 billion). These investments are not just monetary but are also aimed at enhancing the AI capabilities of over 130,000 workers in Singapore.

DescriptionValue in SG$Value in USD$
Annual Technology Spending (2022)SG$22 billionUSD$16.3 billion
Committed AI Investments (Next Few Years)SG$50 billionUSD$37 billion
Workforce Development in AI130,000+ workers

The collaboration extends into the realm of AI governance, addressing the challenges posed by rapid technological adoption. Both nations recognize the importance of trustworthiness in AI technologies, incorporating standards that ensure transparency, accountability, fairness, and security.

NIST and IMDA are set to continue their cooperative work on the next generation of AI technologies, including GenAI. They plan to refine their frameworks to cover testing, guidelines, and benchmarks extensively.

Furthermore, the US AI Safety Institute under NIST, together with Singapore’s Digital Trust Centre funded by IMDA and the National Research Foundation, will collaborate to advance AI safety science. This partnership is poised to become a crucial component of a global network of AI safety institutes and other government-supported scientific institutions.

Through these initiatives, both nations aspire to leverage AI not only for economic growth but also to enhance societal welfare, promote fair markets, and ensure environmental sustainability. The joint statement from MCI encapsulates a vision where AI serves as a cornerstone for inclusive growth and a beacon for responsible international cooperation in technology.

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Featured Image courtesy of IBM Newsroom

Yasmeeta Oon

Just a girl trying to break into the world of journalism, constantly on the hunt for the next big story to share.

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