Singapore To Deploy Artificial Intelligence In Public Services
Nov 13, 2019

Singapore will put in place artificial intelligence (AI)-backed tools in public services such as municipal administration, education, health, transport and logistics, smart cities and estates, as well as safety and security up to 2030, according to the city state’s Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat, who unveiled these plans at the Singapore Fintech Festival on November 13.

An artificial intelligence strategy will implement smart services in steps, he noted. For example, by 2022, people living in Singapore will be able to report municipal issues via a chatbot that asks for details in real time and automatically identifies the correct government agency in charge.

By 2030, lift breakdowns at public housing blocks would be a thing of the past, as town councils will use artificial intelligence to predict when a breakdown might occur and provide maintenance pre-emptively.

In schools, with an automated marking system that is AI-enabled, teachers could spend more time guiding students learning instead of burying themselves in piles of worksheets. AI would also power an automated marking system for English in primary and secondary education by the same year.

In healthcare, AI would be used in the prediction, detection and management of chronic diseases. Risk profiles would be set up such that patients at higher risk of developing complications will be identified earlier so that preventive measures can be taken.

The aim of launching such a strategy is to make Singapore a global hub for developing and implementing AI solutions, ensure that the government and companies use AI to generate economic gains and improve lives, and to help the workforce here to be competent in an AI-driven economy, the Smart Nation and Digital Government Office (SNDGO) said.

The recently established National AI Office, which is under the SNDGO, will be heading Singapore’s AI plans and coordinating initiatives across the public and private sectors as well as academia. The office will commit around $370 million to funding activities related to AI under Singapore’s Research, Innovation and Enterprise 2020 Plan, including the upgrade of supercomputing capabilities, network speeds and computing performance. It will also support and promote partnerships with research communities and the industry, education and talent acquisition in AI and enable the quick and secure sharing of data.