On November 20th, the Sino-Singapore Summit for Digital Economy and Artificial Intelligence sponsored by the China Association for Science and Technology was held online. The summit was organized by China Centre for International Science and Technology Exchange, Chinese Association for Artificial Intelligence, and Business China, Singapore. On the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Singapore, when the world is facing "profound changes unseen in a century", the summit invited a number of top experts, scholars, and social celebrities from the industries of the digital economy and artificial intelligence (AI) of China and Singapore to have in-depth analyses on various aspects such as industrial development of digital economy and cutting-edge AI technologies, so as to jointly promote industrial optimization and upgrading as well as technological innovation of the two countries.
At the summit, Jane Shen Shengmei gave a keynote report entitled The Enlightenment of Singapore Smart Nation: Power Digital Economy with AI. As the chief scientist of Pensees Technology, a representative Chinese AI enterprise, and the Managing Director of Pensees Singapore Research Institute, Jane has a deep dive into China's AI industry and understands the current situation and future trends of intelligentization development in China. Meanwhile, with long-term overseas work experience, she is familiar with Singapore’s policy planning, cutting-edge technological innovation, and industrial implementation. In the report, she discussed her thoughts on the cutting-edge AI technologies, application landing, and upgrading of the digital economy from the perspectives of China and Singapore respectively.
Singapore is one of the most attractive data hubs in the Asia-Pacific region and one of the most forward-looking countries in this round of information technology revolution. Owing to the promotion of a series of policy planning such as "iN2015" and "Smart Nation", Singapore has achieved world-leading results in various fields, including e-government and intelligent transportation, contributing to the development of the digital economy and AI.
Singapore's big move in AI is largely due to its government's policy planning. According to Jane, regarding Singapore’s AI strategy, "Singapore planned the blueprint of “Smart Nation” from four aspects: national strategic layout, policy support, capital investment, and top-level design. Strategy determines direction; policy guarantees endorsement; funds provide confidence; top-level design covers specific implementation."
In 2016, Singapore released its "Research，Innovation and Enterprise 2020 Plan", which plans to provide US$19 billion for R&D of new technologies as well as innovation and entrepreneurship between 2016 and 2020. In June 2020, Singapore allocated another S$20 billion to support plans of scientific research in the next five years to enhance Singapore’s competitiveness. These funds will be used to support basic and applied researches, of which AI is an important area.
Subsequently, Jane introduced how the academic and industrial circles are accelerating R&D, innovations, and multiple-scenarios applications of cutting-edge AI technologies under Singapore's national AI strategy.
In terms of R&D and innovations, Singapore’s unique geographical advantages allow it to continuously explore cutting-edge technologies from a global perspective and maintain its focus on technological breakthroughs. AI Singapore (AISG), a national AI program initiated by the National Research Foundation (NRF) of Singapore, has played a significant role in it. AISG includes 100 research projects of new technologies for emerging AI companies. The new generation of AIoT system jointly developed by Pensees Singapore Research Institute and the National University of Singapore (NUS) is one of them. This project focuses on research on the AI-ISP sensor of AI cameras and federated distributed neural networks.
At present, general AI algorithms, autonomous driving, and intelligent robots have become the forefront of AI R&D and applications in Singapore. According to Jane, general intelligence is an inevitable trend in the development of next-generation AI and represents the future of the intelligent revolution. Take Pensees as an example. Its world-leading algorithm researches on transfer learning, unsupervised/self-supervised learning, small sample learning, and multi-modal learning have contributed to industrial applications, forming the transformation of productive forces.
As for applications, the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) of Singapore has played an important role. IMDA’s open innovation platform serves as a bridge to promote innovative cooperation and solve practical business problems. It allows institutions and enterprises in need to find innovative advanced technologies and solutions, thereby enhancing digitalization and intelligentization of internal operations as well as creating new value. As an AI company with AIoT full-stack technologies, Pensees Technology has made use of its advantages to provide AI technical support and intelligent solutions to companies and social service agencies on the platform.
In the prevention and control of COVID-19, Pensees Technology has actively cooperated with IMDA's SG Digital Office, developed and launched the Intelligent FR Access Control with an Integrated Temperature Screening Module. This HSA-certified (Health Sciences Authority) product is one of IMDA’s pre-approved solutions for pandemic prevention and control. Up to now, more than 600 institutions and enterprises in Singapore have applied Pensees’s products related to pandemic prevention and control to help lift circuit breaker measures in various industries and promote economic recovery.
From the construction of Singapore's "Smart Nation", Jane summarized the following points:
- Emphasize top-level design, ensure planning before development, take a long-term perspective, and put forward a pragmatic vision
- Value AI education and talent cultivation
- Strengthen industry-university-research cooperation, mobilize resources from multiple sources, and underline cross-field cooperation
- Accelerate implementation of AI, develop human-oriented technologies, and enhance public perception.
At last, Jane stressed that in the post-pandemic era, between China and Singapore, it is necessary to build a communication channel for academic and industrial circles, and establish a long-term dialogue mechanism. China can learn from Singapore’s advanced experience in the construction of a smart nation, and Singapore can refer to the emerging cutting-edge technologies and landing scenarios in China. The two countries can join hands to promote AI industry-university-research exchange and cooperation between them, thereby promoting the industrialization of AI.
The digital economy has gradually become a new engine for inclusive growth and sustainable development of the world economy. It has become a global consensus to vigorously develop the digital economy and AI industry that is regarded as an advanced productive force. In the future, Pensees Technology will continue to adhere to researches on cutting-edge AI algorithms, actively promote applications of AI technologies in multiple scenarios, and contribute to the development, openness, cooperation, and innovation of the digital economy and AI in China and Singapore.