by Cristina Lago

Singapore to offer free AI training to its citizens

Aug 30, 2018
Artificial IntelligenceTechnology Industry

Through its two programmes, AI for Everyone (AI4E) and AI for Industry (AI4I), AI Singapore aims to educate the population and prepare professionals to be technologically ready for AI

virtual brain / digital mind / artificial intelligence / machine learning / neural network
Credit: MetamorWorks / Getty Images

Today (30 August) AI Singapore (AISG) launched two new initiatives in partnership with the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) targeted at enabling 12,000 more people to acquire AI knowhow, 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 earlier today.

The two initiatives aim to educate Singaporeans about AI by showing them how technology can help in their daily lives, and to prepare industry professionals to be ready and competitive, and work productively with AI.

“The programme [AI4E] aims to familiarise the participants with AI and help them understand how it can be used in their daily lives”, Mr Iswaran said. “Singapore needs a deeper bench strength of talent to further grow our AI ecosystem. AI Singapore can and will play a key role in this regard by working closely with its research and industry partners to nurture a strong pipeline of AI talent for Singapore”.

AISG, through its community and partners including IMDA, People’s Association and NTUC U-Associates, will reach out to engage 10,000 people through the AI4E programme. AISG will also work with schools, polytechnics and Institutes of Technical Education (ITE) to conduct similar workshops at their premises.

The new programmes are part of the TeSA initiative, which aims to develop a pipeline of skilled tech professionals to drive Singapore’s local tech ecosystem, especially in the AI space.

AI for Everyone (AI4E)

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.

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.

The programme, which counts with the support of Microsoft and Intel, will be conducted by AISG for free.

“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”, he added.

AI for Industry (AI4I)

AI for Industry (AI4I) is the second initiative presented by AISG. Targeted at technically inclined industry professionals, the initiative aims to reach out to 2,000 people with basic AI competency to enhance their competitiveness in a digital economy.

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.”

AI4I is a three month online-offline hybrid curriculum developed by AISG, and its sponsors and content partners, for working professionals and students.

The programme aims for 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. Programme fees for AI4I will be subsidised by IMDA’s TeSA CITREP programme. “Whether it is 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.