intelligent workplace system

Building a Smart City

There has been a notable surge in the adoption of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Singapore in recent years. This development can be attributed to the increasing recognition of AI’s potential to revolutionize various industries and sectors. The country has enlisted this technology to transform the lives of its citizens by upgrading its systems on a nationwide scale.

One example of how Singapore is using AI is the rollout of a chatbot that citizens can use to report municipal issues in real-time. The AI-based chatbot will ask for more details from the user to determine the best government agency to handle the complaint. This technology will be released in 2022.

Aside from that, AI will also be used to power a device that assists in detecting eye problems related to diabetes. It will also be used to automate English marking systems for both primary and secondary education in the same year.

More projects involving the use of Artificial Intelligence are in the pipeline for the next decade based on five projects that were revealed last November 23. These projects are part of the new National AI Strategy (Singapore).

Singapore as a Smart Nation

Singapore is transforming itself into a Smart Nation by integrating AI into its national plans. The country has several ideas already laid out for the next decade on how it will use AI to improve its citizens’ lives and economy by providing automated solutions to national issues. AI is already part of their lives through chatbots and even robo-advisors.

During the “Singapore FinTech Festival (SFF) x the Singapore Week of Innovation and TECHnology (SWITCH) Conference”, Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat announced the new strategy that the country is planning to roll out. The plan shows how Singapore will be tapping into AI to create programs that will not only boost the economy but also improve the lives of its citizens. He added that the government had pledged $500 million to fund all AI activities handled by the Research, Innovation, and Enterprise 2020 or RIE2020 plan.

Singapore will be focusing on five national projects. These will focus on areas such as smart cities and estates, education, transport and logistics, safety and security, and healthcare. The main goal of these projects is to tap into AI as a means of addressing the nation’s challenges and providing Singaporeans with social and economic benefits in the long run.

Additionally, Singapore will be identifying more areas where the use of AI can be applied. This is in line with the country’s “iterative” plan to adapt to the ever-changing landscape of technology and take advantage of opportunities that are being offered through AI.

Five “key enablers” will also be created to boost innovation of more AI technology services and adoption across the country. One of these enablers will be strengthening the partnerships and capabilities among the research community, the Government, and the industry for faster deployment and commercialization of various AI-based solutions.

Through a new National AI office, Singapore aims to be the leading company when it comes to developing as well as deploying solutions by the year 2030.

Objectives of the National AI Strategy

There are three main goals of the National AI strategy in Singapore, and these are:

Singapore as a Global Hub

The country aims to be the main hub for everything AI-related from developing to test-bedding to deploying and providing solutions for everyone. They are also preparing to learn how to manage and govern the impact of the use of AI.

Use AI to Generate Economic Value

Governments, as well as businesses, will be using AI not only to generate more revenue for the country but also to transform the lives of the people.

Understand the Benefits and Limitations of AI

The community should not only understand how AI can benefit their way of living but also know its limitations. On the other hand, employees will be given the right type of competency training and tests in order to grow in an economy that is driven by the use of Artificial Intelligence.

Singapore is poised to become a global leader in AI technology by 2030. It will be the leading country when it comes to developing scalable AI-based solutions in each key sector, not just for its community but also for its businesses.

Mr. Heng emphasized the importance of harnessing technology to improve both the environment and the lives of their citizens in his keynote speech at the event. He further stated that although technology and innovation are essential in solving challenges in the country and its society, there are still drawbacks. This is why the three main principles or objectives are designed to help Singapore achieve its goal of having better innovation as well as technology for everyone. 

Aside from that, Mr. Heng also stated that they will be putting their citizens at the heart of their projects. The projects will be implemented through a human-centric approach when it is time to apply their technology. Additionally, they will ensure that employees will be trained on how to use this new technology in their respective jobs. A good example here is that by 2025, the country is aiming to provide training for basic AI coding to 25,000 professionals.

National AI Projects in the Pipeline

According to the paper on National AI Projects, the five national AI projects that are in the works will be used as a guide on how to use the investment in research for AI technology. They will also be used to generate a lead demand in order to access the right talent and capabilities. Additionally, these projects will determine how Singapore will build its digital infrastructure to support its AI innovations.

1) Smart Cities and Estates

The use of AI in smart cities and estates can ensure more seamless and efficient services at the municipal level. The project involves developing chatbots to assist citizens with municipal issues and deploying sensors and AI algorithms for predictive maintenance in public housing by 2025.

Artificial Intelligence Technology Solutions (AITS) offers an intelligent waste management solution that optimizes garbage collection for more efficient waste management.

AITS, headquartered in Singapore, provides fully customized solutions to businesses that require assistance with intelligent process automation. They use Artificial Intelligence and innovative analytics to optimize efficiency and productivity levels for companies. By deploying sensors and AI-based systems that collect and analyze data, AITS can create a customized automated solution tailored for individuals and businesses.

2) Education

Singapore has been testing an automated marking system in English in selected primary and secondary schools before it is launched next year. The technology is designed to assess students’ open-ended answers, such as essays, and give feedback quickly as an aid for teachers.

The country is also aiming to offer a customizable approach to learning through the use of AI. In this case, the system assesses how students respond to activities and learning materials and then suggests a step-by-step approach to how they can improve based on their individual skills. This will be done through the Student Learning Space.

3) Transport and Logistics

The third national AI project will be focused on intelligent freight planning and developing a data exchange platform by 2022.

4) Safety and Security

Another project in the works is in the safety and security industry. Singapore is aiming to deploy a fully automated immigration clearance service for everyone passing through it’s airport, especially those visiting for the first time. This project will enable travelers to pass through immigration without presenting their passports.


5) Healthcare

In healthcare, AI will also be used to protect and manage chronic diseases. They will roll out the Singapore Eye LEsioN Analyser (SELENA) to detect major health issues through retinal photographs. This will be rolled out within three years for screening for diabetic retinopathy.

Singapore is planning to use innovative technologies to provide its people with smart healthcare, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Clinics are now using virtual systems to facilitate patient care, which creates a more accessible option to make and attend medical appointments.

AITS is contributing to Singapore’s smart healthcare vision through its SafeRange wearable device. This device records data on individuals with whom the wearer had close contact for easy contact tracing in the event they become positive for COVID-19. Additionally, the device sends out vibrations or makes a sound when another person wearing the same device is within range. This will inform them if they need to move further away to meet the health protocols regarding safe distance from one another.

There were other initiatives being rolled out as part of the National AI projects. Among these is the creation of an AI maker space that is geared towards assisting startups as well as small to medium-sized enterprises to get a leg up in the world of AI. The maker space will already have AI pre-built into it for makers to customize based on the kind of business they plan to run.

Digital Transformation, Healthcare, Smart City Solutions