Singapore launches national programme to deepen AI capabilities in financial services

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SINGAPORE (Xinhua): Singapore’s Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat announced the launch of the National Artificial Intelligence (AI) Programme in Finance at the Singapore FinTech Festival (SFF) and Singapore Week of Innovation and Technology (SWITCH) 2021.

The programme is a joint initiative by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and the National AI Office (NAIO) at the Smart Nation and Digital Government Office (SNDGO). It aims to build deep AI capabilities within Singapore’s financial sector to strengthen customer service, risk management, and business competitiveness.

While delivering an opening address for the SFF and SWITCH 2021, Heng said that the National AI Programme in Finance includes NovA!, an industry-wide AI platform for financial risk insights generation.

NovA! is a collaboration between Singapore-based banks and local FinTech firms. In the initial phase, NovA! will focus on helping financial institutions better assess companies’ environmental impact and identify emerging environmental risks.

Heng on Monday said that over the next three decades, an estimated US$100 trillion (RMRM415 trillion) of climate-aligned funding will be needed to achieve the Paris Agreement targets. NovA! will better enable financial institutions to assess these investments and their associated risks, and check against greenwashing.

The Deputy Prime Minister also launched the National AI Programme in Government at the event, which aims to improve public sector service delivery in several ways, such as the use of AI text analytics for better sensemaking of the large number of feedback received by the government’s frontline agencies, and the use of AI for better job-matching on the national jobs portal.

The two programmes are part of Singapore’s broader National AI Strategy, which also involves building a vibrant AI ecosystem for sustained innovation, and a strong commitment to AI research and development.

Singapore has been ranked first for AI publication impact, Heng said. To further increase its impact, Singapore is setting aside an additional S$180mil (RM533mil) on top of the S$500mil (RM1.54bil) committed so far, to accelerate fundamental and translational AI research.

The SFF and SWITCH 2021 are two marquee events hosted by Singapore for the global innovation community from Nov 8 to 12.

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