Dear Editor,

I read The Independent Singapore’s Technology news with interest: Majority of Singapore companies view generative AI as crucial skill, but skills gap poses a challenge: NTUC survey (April 30, 2024).

Foremost, let us get the gist or the precise definition of AI – Artificial intelligence refers to computer systems capable of performing complex tasks that historically only a human could do, such as reasoning, making decisions, or solving problems.

In the 21st century, artificial intelligence (AI) is swiftly becoming more important. It will be a competitive development and research trend by countries worldwide, especially for advanced economies.

It will shape our lives, undoubtedly changing people’s perceptions, lifestyles, ways of thinking, and working models. Most importantly, it will gradually direct and transform the economies of many countries.

Since Singapore has only devoted itself to research and development in artificial intelligence in the past ten years or more, many large and small companies still lack AI experts.

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For example, in the current workplace, we need more computer scientists, software engineers, AI researchers, technicians and entrepreneurs well-equipped with artificial intelligence expertise and technology to bring our diverse industries to another greater height.

Hence, it is not surprising that most Singapore companies view generative Al as a crucial skill, but the skills gap remains a big challenge, according to the recent NTUC survey.

Despite the current critical challenges, which are due to the lack of AI experts in the workplaces, we should start visualising and planning ahead by initiating and teaching the subject of AI engineering in our primary, secondary school, and tertiary education systems—ideally starting from and for all the primary five and primary six students.

By doing so, we can be assured that sufficient supply and robust support of AI experts in the respective industry will soon be available.

Teo Kueh Liang

The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of The Independent Singapore.

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