Singapore Seeks to Accelerate Utilization of Artificial Intelligence in the Financial Sector

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has announced that it is working with a consortium of agencies to accelerate the utilization of artificial intelligence (AI) in the financial services sector. MAS has always sought to keep Singapore at the forefront of Fintech innovation and encouraging AI deployment across the finance industry is in line with their mission. MAS will be partnering with the Economic Development Board (EDB), Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) and Institute of Banking and Finance (IBF) on AI.

Dr David Hardoon, Chief Data Officer of MAS, said that as financial institutions and Fintechs increase the experimentation and use of AI and data analytics to improve their services, government agencies need to ensure that our support, policies and regulations are attuned to developments and remain supportive of these new technologies.

“Our agencies will work towards a conducive environment that supports and expands the adoption of AI and data analytics in Singapore.”

The four agencies expect to jointly facilitate research and development of new AI tech. The joint effort will encompass three key prongs: developing AI products, matching users and solution providers, and strengthening AI capabilities.

  • Developing AI Products for Finance. MAS has established a S$27 million Artificial Intelligence and Data Analytics (AIDA) Grant which has garnered strong interest from the industry. There are currently several pipeline projects in areas such as deep learning and natural language processing, and three applied research Requests-for-Proposals in AI-related themes. EDB will augment the AIDA program by providing support for AI solution providers locally and globally to create new AI products and services for Singapore’s financial sector. The MAS-EDB partnership will encourage leading AI solution providers to conduct both upstream research and product development activities for the financial sector.
  • Matching FIs and AI Solution Providers. MAS will work with EDB and IMDA to facilitate link-ups between players in the financial and technology sectors. IMDA’s AI Business Partnership Program will be extended to provide tailored support for the financial sector’s AI adoption needs by providing a guided process to pair local companies seeking AI solutions with credible AI solutions providers.
  • Strengthening AI Capabilities in Finance. MAS will work closely with IBF and IMDA to strengthen AI capabilities and skillsets in the financial sector. This will help financial industry professional transit into new jobs arising from the use of AI in financial services. Through its TechSkills Accelerator (TeSA) programme, IMDA provides AI apprenticeship opportunities and is also working with MAS to help align university curriculum to the needs of key hirers in the financial sector in the area of data science and AI.

Kiren Kumar, Assistant Managing Director, EDB, commented on the collaboration;

“The pervasive use of AI will help drive the digital transformation of our financial industry which will in turn create new and exciting jobs in areas such as computer vision, machine learning, data analytics, and software development. EDB is committed to working closely with the various government agencies and industry partners to grow the vibrancy and capabilities of Singapore’s AI ecosystem.”

Zee Kin Yeong, Assistant Chief Executive (Data Innovation and Protection), IMDA, added that In order to encourage and support the development of innovative solutions in AI and data analytics, it is critical for government agencies to work together to match supply and demand across sectors.

“We look forward to working together to building a conducive environment that promotes innovation through the right balance between AI and data sharing, while reinforcing good practices in handling personal data.”

Ng Nam Sin, CEO of IBF, stated

“The increasing use of AI and data analytics by financial institutions will require workers to develop new skill sets and capabilities. IBF will work with the relevant government agencies and financial institutions to help individuals acquire the skills needed for existing and new job opportunities as the industry evolves.”

Interested parties are encouraged to contact MAS on their AI initiative at AIFinance@mas.gov.sg

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