Singapore AI

(Source – Asia Tech X Singapore 2023)

Singapore to develop AI testing tools

  • The Singapore AI Verify Foundation will work on developing tools for responsible use of AI.
  • Open-source community and several tech enterprises are contributing to the Foundation.

While the rest of the world discusses AI regulations, Singapore has taken a leap forward with the establishment of the Singapore AI Verify Foundation. The foundation will look to harness the collective power and contributions of the global open-source community to develop AI testing tools for the responsible use of AI.

Developments in AI continue to contribute to new uses in industries around the world. The adoption of AI in organizations has also increased. However, recent updates in the technology, like enhancements brought about by generative AI, have resulted in some concerns on its use.

While AI testing technologies are growing, they are still nascent. In India, there is currently no specific regulatory framework for AI systems besides working papers of the Indian Commission NITI Aayog. The Chinese government will seek to initiate artificial intelligence regulations, as stated by Elon Musk after meeting with officials during his recent trip to China.

The European Union is also aiming to provide AI developers and users with clear requirements and obligations regarding the use of AI. The commission is proposing the first-ever legal framework on AI, which, apart from addressing the risk of AI, will also reduce administrative and financial burdens for business, particularly small and medium-sized enterprises.

Meanwhile, officials from the Biden administration are divided over how aggressively AI tools should be regulated. There are ongoing discussions between stakeholders and the government, with Open AI CEO Sam Altman stating that AI regulations are essential.

With growing concerns and calls for AI regulation, expertise from across the industry and research community is needed to develop this area.

In a discussion paper on generative AI by Aicadium (Temasek AI Center of Excellence), six key risks emerged from the technology. They include mistakes and hallucinations, privacy and confidentiality, and disinformation.

To address these challenges, Singapore adopts a practical, risk-based and accretive approach to the governance of Generative AI building on existing AI governance principles, such as those adopted by OECD, NIST and Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA).

The paper also stated “Singapore’s Model AI Governance Framework, for example, is based on the key governance principles – transparency, accountability, fairness, explainability, and robustness. While these principles and practices are applicable regardless of the types of AI deployed, policy adaptations will, nevertheless, be needed to consider the unique characteristics of Generative AI.”

(Source – Asia Tech X Singapore 2023)

The Singapore AI Verify Foundation

The foundation aims to address these concerns by boosting AI testing capabilities and with a commitment to meet the needs of companies and regulators globally. The open-source community will also be able to:

  • Contribute to the use and development of AI testing frameworks, code base, standards, and best practices
  • Create a neutral platform for open collaboration and idea-sharing on testing and governing AI
  • Nurture a network of advocates for AI and drive broad adoption of AI testing through education and outreach

Before the foundation, IMDA developed AI Verify, an AI Governance Testing Framework and Toolkit, to help organizations validate the performance of their AI systems against internationally recognized AI governance principles through standardized tests.

AI Verify is extensible so additional toolkits (e.g. sector-specific governance frameworks) can be built on top of it. Contributors are encouraged to build components of AI Verify, and participate in growing the AI testing ecosystem.

The AI Verify toolkit provides an integrated interface to generate testing reports that covers different governance principles for an AI system. It enables companies to be more transparent about their AI by sharing these reports with their stakeholders.

Apart from the IMDA and Aicadium, Singapore’s AI Verify Foundation will be joined by tech giants IBM, Microsoft, Google, Red Hat and Salesforce. The pioneering members will guide the strategic directions and development of AI Verify roadmap. The Foundation will have also have more than 60 general members like Adobe, DBS, Meta, SenseTime and Singapore Airlines.

Josephine Teo, Singapore’s Minister for Communications and Information announced the launch of the AI Verify Foundation. In her speech, she noted that the government can’t deal with the potential risks of AI alone.

“The private sector with their expertise can participate meaningfully to achieve these goals with us,” she added. She also assured that that amidst very real fears and concerns about AI’s development, we will need to actively steer AI towards beneficial uses and away from bad ones. “This is core to how Singapore thinks about AI.”