SM Teo visits i4.0

Mr Teo (3rd from right) with Prof Tan (2nd from right) and Prof Ho (far right) looking at one of the projects from the NUS-Singtel laboratory

To better understand the latest Artificial Intelligence (AI) scene in Singapore, Senior Minister and Coordinating Minister for National Security Teo Chee Hean, who is also Special Advisor to the Singapore National Research Foundation (NRF), visited innovation4.0 (i4.0) building at NUS on 21 May. Organised by the Services and Digital Economy Directorate of NRF, the visit provided Mr Teo with an introduction to various innovations and projects from research institutions and laboratories housed in i4.0, as well as from several companies involved in digital research. 

Professor Ho Teck Hua, NUS Deputy President and Provost and Executive Chairman of AI Singapore, gave an overview of the national AI R&D programme, sharing some of its achievements to date and future plans. Prof Ho spoke of the various challenges that AI Singapore has been working to address, its collaborations with industry and government, as well as the AI Apprenticeship Programme (AIAP) and the various programmes to help build the AI talent pipeline.

Mr Teo then toured the AI Singapore engineering hub, where four different AIAP apprentices demonstrated their ongoing 100 Experiments projects. These included tools to better manage kidney treatment, help in the management of chronic wounds, understand tax statements, and assist in more efficient vehicle-routing. He also visited the NUS-Singtel Cyber Security Research & Development Laboratory to learn about privacy preserving data analytics and systems to secure the memory of Internet-of-Things (IoT) devices. 

NUS President Professor Tan Eng Chye took the opportunity to share with Mr Teo the University’s plans to augment students’ understanding of AI, such as a compulsory AI course, increasing the quota of students in the Computer Science courses, as well as introducing a PhD programme based on innovations and inventions, instead of a thesis paper.

Other presentations at the visit included the Singapore Cybersecurity Consortium — a national platform for cybersecurity companies to tap on R&D outcome in cybersecurity — and Anquan, a blockchain technology company co-founded by NUS Computing Associate Professor Prateek Saxena.