Tie-up to boost AI adoption in financial sector

The adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) in the financial sector will be speeded up under a new initiative announced yesterday.

The initiative has three central themes - developing AI products, matching users and solution providers, and strengthening AI capabilities.

This will entail facilitating research and development of new technologies and encouraging the use of AI-enabled products, services and processes.

Using AI will help drive the digital transformation of the financial industry, in turn creating new jobs in areas such as computer vision, machine learning, data analytics and software development, said Mr Kiren Kumar, assistant managing director at the Economic Development Board (EDB).

The EDB is part of the AI joint endeavour being steered by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS). It also has support from the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) and the Institute of Banking and Finance (IBF).

The EDB's participation will boost the MAS' Artificial Intelligence and Data Analytics programme by providing support for solution providers locally and globally to create new products and services, the MAS said yesterday. The partnership will encourage leading AI solution providers to conduct research and product development.

The MAS will also work with the EDB and IMDA to facilitate partnerships among players in the financial and technology sectors.

IMDA's AI Business Partnership Programme will be extended to provide a "guided process" to pair local companies seeking help with credible AI solution providers.

The MAS said it will also work with the IBF and IMDA to strengthen AI capabilities and skill sets. "This will help financial industry professionals transit into new jobs arising from the use of AI in financial services," it added.

"Through its TechSkills Accelerator programme, IMDA provides AI apprenticeship opportunities and is also working with MAS to help align the university curriculum to the needs of key hirers in the financial sector in the area of data science and AI."

MAS chief data officer David Hardoon noted that government agencies must ensure that their support, policies and regulations keep pace with developments while also remaining supportive of new technologies.

Mr Zee Kin Yeong, IMDA's assistant chief executive of data innovation and protection, said it is critical for government agencies to work together to match supply and demand across sectors.

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

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 08, 2018, with the headline 'Tie-up to boost AI adoption in financial sector'. Print Edition | Subscribe