Artificial intelligence (AI) is a big part of Singapore’s plan to upgrade its IT, media, and communications industry.
The country’s Infocomm and Media Development Authority (IMDA) announced today its own version of the “Industry Transformation Map.” This is an initiative highlighted during this year’s budget discussion, when plans were announced for the reinvention of 23 sectors that cover about 80 percent of Singapore’s economy.
The AI apprenticeship program hopes to train 200 AI professionals in the next three years.
In a speech, Minister for Communications and Information Yaacob Ibrahim said that the information, communications, and media industry is expected to employ more than 210,000 workers by 2020, with more than 13,000 new jobs by 2020 for so-called PMETs [professionals, managers, executives, and technicians]. The new strategies are expected to grow the IT and media sector by 6 percent annually, the minister added.
The aim is to invest in four state-of-the-art tech sectors – AI and data science; cyber security; immersive media; and the internet of things – help develop them, and train people in them with the relevant skills.
Today’s announcements mostly involved the AI part of the equation, while the rest will be tackled in the coming months.
In May, the government announced AI Singapore (AI.SG), an initiative to invest US$107 million into AI research, development, and human resources over the next five years. IMDA said today it will work with AI.SG to further that goal.
This is how it plans to do it:
AI apprenticeship program
The program hopes to train 200 AI professionals in the next three years through Singapore’s TechSkills Accelerator, a training initiative announced in 2016 to build up the city-state’s technical capabilities. IMDA will also engage local AI pros to do workshops for companies who want to understand more about the technology.
Engaging with international tech companies
IMDA announced the Strategic Partners Program in order to collaborate more with large multinationals. The program already has IBM, Microsoft, and Samsung on board.
Boosting accreditation program
Accreditation@IMDA, a vetting and support scheme by the agency to evaluate promising local startups, will be expanded and renamed Accreditation@SG Digital. The program will be expanded to feature more mature companies as well as its current remit of younger businesses. It will also work more to engage international deep tech companies.
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