Singapore is riding the technological wave but are we ready?

TL;DR – Are we ready?

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Technology is advancing at an unprecedented pace. And that is disrupting many things, including economies and jobs. Rightfully, many Singaporeans are concerned whether we will be able to ride the wave, or be dragged under by it.

But things are actually looking quite bright. Here’s how.

1. Alibaba setting up a global research lab in Singapore

Alibaba will open a research lab here in Singapore, as part of its new global research programme called the Alibaba Discovery, Adventure, Momentum and Outlook (DAMO) Academy. The lab will work on on foundational and disruptive technology research, including data intelligence, Internet of Things, fintech, quantum computing and human-machine interaction. In particular, attention will be on topics such as machine learning, network security, visual computing and natural language processing.

The lab will collaborate with experts in the tech industry and educational institutions, enriching Singapore’s research and innovation ecosystem.

2. Tapping on data as a new resource

Singapore leads the race for data centre operations in the Asia-Pacific. That is according to a study by real estate services company Cushman & Wakefield. According to the study, Singapore is the most robust market out of 10 Asian hubs in terms of business operations for data centres.

More importantly, the exponential growth of cloud computing is likely to drive demand for data centres over the medium term. Singapore could see data centre supply expand by by 15 to 18 per cent in the next year.

3. World’s largest AI hub to be in Singapore

Marvelstone Group, the private investment firm behind Singapore’s fintech hub Lattice80, aims to set up the world’s largest artificial intelligence (AI) hub in Singapore’s central business district by next year. The goal is to incubate 100 startups, and build intellectual property in the area of AI. Such efforts would include educating some 1,000 people per year in this field, and drawing in investments through the hub.

Joel Ko Hyun Sik, president of Marvelstone Group, said:

“There is a clear need for a big playground for startups, entrepreneurs and even corporates in the field of AI. Considering the high interest and demand for AI globally, there are still relatively few places to test these new technologies”

But why Singapore?

In choosing to set up these facilities, the various companies looked at different factors. The things in that makes Singapore attractive to these companies are our strategic location, as well as status as a global trade and finance centre. Also, these companies are encouraged by government initiatives like the Smart Nation initiative where the government pushes for a national digital transformation programme.

These three bright spots will strengthen the science and tech ecosystem in Singapore. In the process, it will create good, high value jobs. More importantly, these will be jobs that will likely remain good and high value in the future.

Put together, these three bright spots demonstrate that Singapore is able to ride the wave of technological disruptions.

The question is, are we, as individuals, ready to do so too?

 

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