Currently, the rate at which governments and companies are adopting and integrating artificial intelligence technologies into their operations is high. This situation is owed to the awareness and acknowledgement of the relevance of such technologies to future success. However, looking at this trend, there is a need to introduce some regulation in a bid to ensure that the use of AI is done legally and ethically. Singapore is one of the countries that appear to be making efforts in this line.
The Singapore government recently began efforts to form an advisory council aimed at assessing the legal and ethical use of data and artificial intelligence as well as suggest governance and policies. According to Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA), an industry regulator, this move would not only assist in creating a reliable ecosystem but also create consumer confidence since new business models have cropped up, as the nation progresses with the development of its digital economy.
Infocomm Media Development Authority also said that stakeholders including academia, consumers, and ethics boards of private organizations would be approached for responses, particularly on a discussion paper that will be unveiled by the Personal Data Protection Commission (PDPC). The paper is expected to talk about the growth and adoption of AI as well as back the efforts of the advisory council. Furthermore, IMDA will also create a research programme that focuses on the governance of data and AI use, which will take five years.
Speaking more on the advisory council, IMDA said that it would boost awareness, especially amongst private capital firms regarding the need to consider ethical matters when assessing investment decisions on entities that create or adopt artificial intelligence (AI) technologies.
According to the government agency, a panel made up of technical and legal professionals as well as international experts would be created in a bid to back the advisory council. On the other hand, the council would be led by V.K Rajah, Singapore’s former attorney general, and would comprise various representatives drawn from the private sector who deal with big data and artificial intelligence (AI). The country’s minister for communications and information will be in charge of appointing members of the council.
The discussion paper will also recommend potential governance frameworks such as risk assessment framework intended for adoption and deployment of data and artificial intelligence (AI). The IMDA said that such structures would be based on two main principles such as all AI robots and systems, as well as artificial intelligence-based decisions should be human-centric and decisions made with or by AI ought to be fair, explainable and transparent to consumers.
Last year in November, Singapore launched several initiatives intended to propel the adoption and development of artificial intelligence (AI) and data technologies, mainly in the financial sector. Some of these initiatives comprised of an artificial intelligence and data analytics grant, run by the Monetary Authority of Singapore, to promote the distribution of these technologies among Singapore-based financial institutions. For instance, these organizations could leverage the grant in a bid to subsidize a maximum of 50% of the entire cost of the projects that utilized AI and data analytics like neural networks, natural language processing and machine learning.