Singapore and World Economic Forum driving AI Adoption and Innovation

Last updated: 21 January 2020

Published on: 22 January 2020

Fifteen global companies have taken up Singapore’s AI Model Governance Framework; Practical examples for organisations to follow suit

SWITZERLAND, DAVOS – 22 January, 2020: Singapore sees Artificial Intelligence (“AI”) as an important and fundamental technology for the Digital Economy, with AI-powered products offering a level of personalised service at scale that was previously unimaginable.

In the global discourse on AI ethics and governance issue, Singapore believes that its balanced approach can facilitate innovation, safeguard consumer interests, and serve as a common global reference point. Therefore, Singapore announced today a set of new initiatives on AI governance to enhance consumer trust, namely:

a. An Implementation and Self-Assessment Guide for Organisations (“ISAGO”);

b. A Compendium of Use Cases; and

c. The second edition of the Model AI Governance Framework.

These initiatives follow Singapore’s launch of the Model AI Governance Framework1 in Davos in 2019, as well as the announcement of Singapore’s National AI Strategy in November 2019, and demonstrate the progress made in supporting organisations in deploying responsible AI. 

The new initiatives were announced by Mr S Iswaran, Singapore’s Minister for Communications and Information, and Ms Kay Firth-Butterfield, AI Portfolio Lead at the World Economic Forum, at a joint press conference with the WEF’s Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution (“WEF C4IR”) at WEF’s Annual Meeting in Davos. 

Commenting on the initiatives, Mr V K Rajah SC, Chairman of Singapore’s Advisory Council on the Ethical Use of AI and Data said, “As AI becomes more pervasive, it is important to build a trusted environment for its use through a multi-stakeholder effort involving public, private and people sectors. Singapore took a huge step today by leading the way in building and sustaining a trusted AI environment. It is encouraging that the collaboration between Singapore and WEF C4IR has borne fruit through the ISAGO, and I encourage organisations to use the guides. The Advisory Council on the Ethical Use of AI and Data is proud to be part of this journey and will continue to support such efforts in creating an enabling environment for our businesses and citizens.”

Ms Kay Firth-Butterfield, AI Portfolio Head at the World Economic Forum, also said, “There are many challenges with the deployment of AI in companies. The Framework should be considered an essential tool in the governance work which we need to do to ensure that companies us the benefits of AI wisely for their stakeholders and society.”

 

Implementation and Self-Assessment Guide for Organisations

Singapore’s Info-communications Media Development Authority (“IMDA”) and the WEF C4IR announced a collaboration in 2019 to grow discourse on and further AI and data innovation. The result of this collaboration is the newly co-developed ISAGO. 

Intended as a companion guide to the Model Framework, ISAGO aims to help organisations assess the alignment of their AI governance practices with the Model Framework. It also provides an extensive list of useful industry examples and practices to help organisations implement the Model Framework. The guide was developed in close consultation with the industry, with contributions from over 60 organisations - such as DataRobot, DBS Bank, Google, KPMG, Mastercard, Microsoft, Salesforce, Suade Labs and Visa.

 

Compendium of Use Cases

To complement the Model Framework and ISAGO, IMDA has also released a Compendium of Use Cases (“Compendium”) that demonstrates how local and international organisations across different sectors and sizes implemented or aligned their AI governance practices with all sections of the Model Framework. The Compendium also illustrates how the featured organisations have effectively put in place accountable AI governance practices and benefitted from the use of AI in their line of business.

 

Second Edition of Model Framework

To keep pace with AI’s rapid development, Singapore has consulted organisations using AI in Singapore and abroad on how to further strengthen the Model Framework and its four areas2.

The second edition includes additional considerations (such as robustness and reproducibility) and refines the original Model Framework for greater relevance and usability. For instance, the section on customer relationship management has been expanded to include considerations on interactions and communications with a broader network of stakeholders.

The second edition of the Model Framework continues to take a sector- and technology-agnostic approach that can complement sector-specific requirements and guidelines.

The three documents can be downloaded at www.imda.gov.sg/AI

Singapore aims to advance its vision to be a leading Digital Economy and Smart Nation, continually embracing digital transformation and reinventing itself to remain globally competitive. The initiatives are key components of Singapore’s National AI Strategy to encourage innovation and build public trust in AI.

1 The Model Framework is a living document that sets out two high-level guiding ethical principles to implementing AI. They are (1) that decisions made by or with the assistance of AI be explainable, transparent and fair to consumers; and (2) that AI solutions be human-centric. The Model Framework has seen takeup and alignment from over fifteen organisations of all sizes internationally – from financial giants such as DBS, HSBC, Mastercard and Visa, fintech firms such as Suade Labs, to technology firms such as pymetrics, UCARE.AI and a school, Ngee Ann Polytechnic.

2 The four areas are: Internal governance structures & measures; Human involvement in AI-augmented decision making; Operations Management; and Stakeholder Interaction & Communication

 

Related Resources:

Annex A: Quotes from organisations about Singapore’s approach to AI governance and the Model Framework (605.67KB)

Annex B: List of organisations featured in the Model Framework (323.86KB)

Annex C: Background on Singapore’s AI and Data initiatives (409.16KB)

 


ISSUED BY THE INFO-COMMUNICATIONS MEDIA DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY


About Info-communications Media Development Authority (IMDA)

The Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) leads Singapore’s digital transformation with infocomm media. To do this, IMDA will develop a dynamic digital economy and a cohesive digital society, driven by an exceptional infocomm media (ICM) ecosystem – by developing talent, strengthening business capabilities, and enhancing Singapore's ICM infrastructure. IMDA also regulates the telecommunications and media sectors to safeguard consumer interests while fostering a pro-business environment, and enhances Singapore’s data protection regime through the Personal Data Protection Commission. For more news and information, visit www.imda.gov.sg or follow IMDA on Facebook IMDAsg and Twitter @IMDAsg.


For media clarifications, please contact:

CHAN Dawn (Ms)
Assistant Manager, Communications and Marketing
DID: (65) 6751 2771
Email: Dawn_Chan@imda.gov.sg

NEUBRONNER Eugene (Mr) 
Manager, Communications and Marketing, IMDA
DID: (65) 6211 1182
Email: Eugene_Neubronner@imda.gov.sg

CHAN Adrian (Mr)
Senior Manager, Communications and Marketing, 
DID: (65) 6211 1510
Email: Adrian_KM_Chan@imda.gov.sg

RUSSO Amanda (Ms)
Head of Media Content, World Economic Forum
Email: Amanda.Russo@weforum.org

TEDENEKE Alem (Ms)
Media Content, World Economic Forum
Email: Alem.Tedeneke@weforum.org