SINGAPORE: The Singapore government has announced an updated national artificial intelligence (AI) strategy, which includes a plan aimed at significantly boosting the number of AI practitioners in the country, targeting an impressive surge to 15,000 in the coming years.

The multifaceted strategy, spanning the next three to five years, encompasses 15 key measures designed to fortify Singapore’s AI landscape. Central to this initiative is the government’s pledge to cultivate a thriving ecosystem for start-up AI companies, enticing more projects focused on AI technology and fostering experimental endeavours.

Recognizing the transformative impact of AI on the workforce, the authorities plan to invest substantially in adult education and training. The objective is to equip the nation’s workforce with the requisite AI proficiency, ensuring they can harness the benefits of this technology and navigate the evolving job landscape.

Top companies in Singapore have embraced the potential of AI, viewing it not only as a tool to enhance job performance but also as a creator of new employment opportunities. Some forward-thinking companies have already initiated AI education programs for their employees, underscoring the importance of preparing the workforce for the AI-driven future.

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However, Deputy Prime Minister (DPM) Lawrence Wong, speaking at the Singapore Artificial Intelligence Conference, acknowledged the nuanced challenges associated with AI, including the risks of misuse, such as fraud, the spread of fake news, and cyberattacks.

Mr Wong emphasized the need for a pragmatic approach to regulation, asserting that overly strict measures could stifle the developmental potential of AI.

The DPM outlined Singapore’s adaptive strategy, highlighting the commitment to ongoing adjustments in regulations and governance frameworks. He stressed the importance of flexibility in the face of rapidly evolving AI technologies and scientific progress.