How Singapore is using artificial intelligence

Although still lagging behind Indonesia and Thailand, Singapore is committed to make itself the AI pioneer in the ASEAN region

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First, its through technology that is being developed to actively help teachers to educate their students. EdTech is still in its infancy but research has shown that the need exists, and VCs and investors have started to take note, with a precited US$250million expected to be spent on the tech in 2020.

In one preschool in Singapore, robots have already been brought in to help teach the children. KIBO has been designed to allow young children to take on the role of an engineer, constructing the robot and then using wooden blocks to programme sequential instructions from the robot to follow.

The robotics kit needed to build KIBO doesn’t come with a computer, electronic screen or any other digital device that could lead to criticism about the damaging nature of pro-longed screen time on such young children.

This is not the first robot to assist pre-school teachers in Singapore, however. Two humanoid robots called Pepper and Nao were sent to two schools in 2016 to take part in a 7-month trial. To date, 160 KIBO robots have been sent to pre-schools throughout the country.

The second way artificial intelligence impacts on the education sector is through the global need for more AI talent.

Artificial intelligence is one of the fastest growing sectors and currently, no country in the world has the necessary number of qualified workers to meet current demands.

Like a number of other countries around the world, Singapore is looking to change this with a number of different education initiatives.

One such programme is being led by AI Singapore (AISG) and aims to target around 12,000 industry professionals and young students in an effort to build up local skillsets in AI.

The programme is designed to outline the practical use cases associated with AI whilst simultaneously helping AI professionals to boost productivity through the use of intelligent tools.

AISG are also hoping to raise the importance of having government backing for initiatives such as AI-enabled, user-friendly public services to allow people to see just how vital this technology will be to the future of the country.

Copyright © 2019 IDG Communications, Inc.

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