Singapore’s forward-thinking government is setting the nation up for success as a global AI hub open to experimentation, innovation and investment.
As an early adopter of artificial intelligence, the nation’s ambitious Smart Nation initiative, which leverages data and harnesses technology to improve the lives of all citizens, is netting Singapore countless accolades.
Singapore took out the City Award at the Smart City Expo World Congress 2018, and in October 2019, topped the inaugural IMD Smart City Index, beating global cities like Zurich, Oslo and Geneva.
It also retained its position as the world's second most digitally competitive country after the United States, in the latest edition of the IMD World Digital Competitiveness Ranking.
The government’s AI framework revealed at the annual World Economic Forum meeting in Davos in January 2019 is transforming the way the government serves the public. The approach, according to Mr Ng Chee Khern, Permanent Secretary, Smart Nation & Digital Government, “has always been extremely citizen and business-focused to help make Singapore a better place to work, live and play.”
Electronic payment and digital signature options for 100 per cent of government services, as well as cashless payments on all public transport by 2020 are just some of the ways citizens are set to benefit from Smart Nation's initiatives.
The economic benefits are already proving far-reaching. With the government’s steps to create a thriving digital ecosystem, Singapore has become a hub for 40,000 startups including six of the 12 Southeast Asian ‘unicorns’: Razer, Sea, Lazada, Grab, Trax and Bigo Live.
Alibaba, YITU Technology and Adatos AI have all chosen Singapore as a base to further their AI research and capabilities, and with fDi Intelligence, a data division of the Financial Times ranking Singapore number one ahead of cities like Shanghai, Dubai and Houston in terms of its attractiveness for AI and robotics investments, more are sure to follow suit.