Science & Tech

Singapore Launches Exploration on the Ethical Use of Artificial Intelligence and Data

The Singapore-based Advisory Council on the Ethical Use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Data held its inaugural meeting on November 30.

Council Members, Advisory Council on the Ethical Use of AI and Data.

- Front row (L to R): Dr. Chen Wei, Ms. Jenni Aldrich, Ms. Hamidah Aidillah Mustafa, Ms. Sara Yu Siying, Prof. Chan Heng Chee

- Back row (L to R): Mr. Andreas Ebert, Mr. Piyush Gupta, Mr. V K Rajah SC, Mr. Peter Ho, Senior Minister of State Janil Puthucheary, Mr. Chia Song Hwee, Mr. Amit Anand.

(Photo: Infocomm Media Development Authority)

The Advisory Council brings together transnational thought leaders and industry captains from diverse backgrounds spanning the spectrum of large tech providers, users, the academia and government. Members comprise international leaders in AI such as Google, Microsoft and Alibaba; advocates of social and consumer interests; and leaders of local companies who are keen users of AI.

Council members had a robust discussion on the ethical use of AI and data. This included discussion on the paper released by the Personal Data Protection Commission (PDPC) in June 2018 on the responsible development and adoption of AI. There were many suggestions given on how to improve the draft model framework. The Advisory Council called for broader engagement and consultation of the draft model framework. The meeting is a timely reminder of how a private-public relationship is necessary to enable the Digital Economy. A trusted AI ecosystem is critical for industries to effectively adopt innovative emerging technologies and business models, while ensuring strong consumer confidence, protection and participation. In the area of data and data-driven technologies like AI, the development of responsible practices must be informed by diverse views and a global perspective. Singapore aims to contribute to the global discourse by proposing a pragmatic governance framework that translates ethical principles into practice. An updated draft will be made available soon.

Senior Minister of State Dr Janil Puthucheary said, "I am especially thankful for the attendance of a strong and diverse transnational mix of members, including tech giants, companies large and small, users, academia and government. Building a future Digital Economy with a trusted AI ecosystem is critical."

The Advisory Council is one of three structured, interlinked initiatives[2] to support the engagement of stakeholders to collaboratively develop a trusted and vibrant AI ecosystem and position Singapore as a leading hub for AI. 

The other two initiatives announced were (a) A discussion paper released by PDPC on responsible development and adoption of AI, which will be used by the Advisory Council to frame its deliberations; and (b) A Research Programme on the Governance of AI and Data Use to advance and inform scholarly research on AI governance issues which will be run by the Singapore Management University. F

AI as an enabler in the Digital Economy Framework for Action -

IMDA, in collaboration with AI Singapore, has announced initiatives in support of our AI strategy to: 1. Drive industry adoption of AI, and promote understanding of the benefits from implementing AI;2. Build a vibrant ecosystem of AI developers and companies, users and suppliers, and talented researchers and engineers;3. Identify specific AI leadership areas to grow industry and R&D capabilities; and4. Provide clarity and review relevant regulations for an AI-conducive business environment.