SINGAPORE, 30 August 2018 – AI Singapore (AISG) today launched two new initiatives in partnership with the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) targeted at enabling AI training for up to 12,000 more people in Singapore under the TechSkills Accelerator (TeSA) initiative.
Titled AI for Everyone (AI4E) and AI for Industry (AI4I), both programmes were officially unveiled by Mr S Iswaran, Minister for Communications and Information, at AI Singapore’s first anniversary event today. The two initiatives aim to educate Singaporeans about AI – showing them how the technology can help enrich their daily lives, and to prepare industry professionals to be ready and competitive, working productively with AI. The new programmes are part of the TeSA intiative, which aims to develop a pipeline of skilled tech professionals to drive Singapore’s local tech ecosystem, especially in the AI space.
In line with the push to develop a digitally ready nation, AI has been identified as one of the four emerging technologies to drive the digital economy, and transform the way people live and work in Singapore.
“AI has the potential to catalyse change. In an increasingly digital world, it is imperative that everyone is AI-ready so that they can benefit from the immense potential of AI,” said Professor Ho Teck Hua, Executive Chairman of AI Singapore.
“AI has the potential to transform our businesses and workplaces. IMDA is committed to ensure that our businesses and workers can effectively use AI to be more competitive. IMDA will partner industry players such as AI Singapore, Microsoft, Intel and DataCamp to bring AI to the community and the workforce. Singaporeans will have the opportunity to learn about the benefits AI can bring to our daily lives. Our workers can also learn to harness AI in their workplace to enhance productivity and realise new possibilities,” said Mr Tan Kiat How, Chief Executive, IMDA.
Bringing AI to the Masses
The first initiative AI for Everyone (AI4E) aims to reach out to 10,000 people in Singapore ranging from secondary school students to working adults. The programme will introduce them to AI technology and how it can be used to improve the way one lives, works and plays. Through this programme, participants will learn to identify opportunities enabled through AI technologies, thus allowing them to be more savvy consumers of AI products and services. The initiative is co-supported by the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) and technology giant, Microsoft. Global chip maker, Intel, and Microsoft are content providers in this new programme.
The programme will be conducted by AISG for free and AISG will reach out through its own community as well as partners such as IMDA, the People’s Association and NTUC U-Associates to engage 10,000 people. AI Singapore will also work with schools, polytechnics and the Institute of Technical Education (ITE) to conduct similar workshops at their premises.
“Artificial intelligence holds the key to a new era of innovation. To unlock the economic and societal benefits of AI, we believe that the AI building blocks that Microsoft is developing today such as computer vision, speech and knowledge recognition should be made accessible to everyone, every day and everywhere,” said Kevin Wo, Managing Director, Microsoft Singapore. “Our collaboration through AI4E will allow us to further our aspiration to enable future-ready talents in Singapore, so that everyone can benefit from the promise of AI. Beyond sharing our technology, we also hope to collectively address AI issues and their implications on the society.”
Empowering Skilled Professionals to Embrace AI
AI for Industry (AI4I) is the second initiative to be rolled out by AI Singapore. It is targeted at technically inclined industry professionals and aims to educate 2,000 people with basic AI competency to enhance their competitiveness in a digital economy. Through this programme, participants will learn to apply AI technologies to increase their productivity and their firms’ competitiveness. This initiative is supported by IMDA, Microsoft and Intel, together with DataCamp, a leading online learning platform for Data Science and AI.
“Learning Data Science by doing is key to helping upskill engineers, developers and other IT professionals in Singapore,” said Jonathan Cornelissen, CEO and founder of DataCamp. “That’s why we’re so excited to be expanding our existing collaboration with AI Singapore as their online learning platform for Data Science. We look forward to working closely with the AI Singapore team and the AI ecosystem in Singapore.”
“With everything around us getting smarter and connected, AI is finding its way in our daily tasks without us even realizing it. To accelerate its application in solving the world’s biggest challenges, we need people with the right technical skills,” said Santhosh Viswanathan, Managing Director, Intel, Asia Pacific and Japan. “Intel is excited to be a part of this AI-focused initiative and lend our expertise to the participants in taking advantage of this next leap in technology,” he added.
AI4I is a three month online-offline hybrid curriculum developed by AISG with their sponsors and content partners for working professionals and students. The programme’s objective is to get its participants to understand and use AI appropriately, and be able to develop basic AI and data applications using Python. Upon completion, participants will each receive a Foundations in AI certification and the fees are subsidised by IMDA’s TeSA CITREP+ programme.
“Whether for future job opportunities, career advancement or just knowing the basics, we are hopeful that these two programmes by AI Singapore will benefit many people in Singapore, providing them with the knowledge and skills to thrive in the digital economy,” said Prof Ho.