Today’s top tech news, June 5: Singapore launches initiatives to bolster AI governance

Yon Heong Tung
New Singapore joint venture aims to connect and coach Series A+ founders

Also, SGInnovate invests in AIDA, Grab launches smart mobility and sustainability project in Cambodia, and more

Image Credit: Mike Enerio on Unsplash

Singapore government announces slew of initiatives to better regulate AI – [press release]

In an effort to bring better clarity and oversight to AI developments in Singapore, the government has today announced three new initiatives.

First, it will set up on an advisory council to oversee the ethical use of AI and Data. Together with the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA), the council will engage stakeholders in the private sector, such as commercial enterprises and private capital, to educate and set ethical guidelines on AI and incorporate these considerations into their business decisions.

The council will also be aided by a legal and technical expert panel.

Second, the Personal Data Protection Commission (PDPC) is working with the advisory council on a discussion paperwork about what the AI and Data governance framework for industries could look like, as well as what elements could be included.

It recommends two key principles: that decisions made by AI-assisted technology should be fair and transparent to consumers, and that AI systems, robots and decisions should be human-centric.

Third, a five-year Research Programme on the Governance of AI and Data use will also be set up
at the Singapore Management University (SMU) to conduct scholarly research on policy,
legal, regulatory, governance, ethics and other issues relating to AI and data use.

It will support the advisory council and inform government and industry discussion on AI
challenges through its research and conferences.

SGInnovate makes investment in AIDA Technologies – [press release]

Singapore government-backed deep tech agency SGInnovate has made an investment into AIDA Technologies, an AI-based predictive analytics solutions provider.

AIDA claimed that its AI engine has been instrumental in speeding up the processing of health insurance claims of a major insurer in Singapore from days to seconds. It further claimed that the Straight Through Processing (STP) engine is now live and processes thousands of claims every month.

“It [the STP engine] is now being evaluated by tier one insurance companies in Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand,” said Dr Tan Geok Leng, CEO of AIDA Technologies. “AIDA is very excited to be given the opportunity to partner SGInnovate to bring our products and solutions to a wider audience.”

Grab launches cost-sharing project with the UNDP in Cambodia – [press release]

Ride-hailing giant Grab and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) have launched a cost-sharing project in Cambodia, in an effort to provide smart mobility and sustainable transport options in the country — meaning to reduce accidents, pollution, and traffic congestion.

Called the Sustainable Urban Mobility for All Initiative (SUMAI), the three-year project co-funded by UNDP and Grab, aims at improving availability and quality of transport data in Phnom Penh to better inform policies and investment decisions in support of sustainable and smart urban transport solutions.

“Apart from co-funding support, Grab has committed to providing in-kind contribution such as
anonymized data sharing, technology expertise, staff manhour as well as the promoting of the
use of green vehicles among its driver-partners and passengers,” said Russell Cohen, Head of Regional Operations, Grab.

SolarHome raises US$2 million to bring PAYG solar energy to Southeast Asia – [e27]

Singapore-based pay-as-your-go (PAYG) solar power startup SolarHome has raised US$2 million from Singapore investment company TRIREC, which specialises in cleantech and renewable energy.

The funding will allow it to bring clean, off-the-grid solar energy solutions to more than 40,000 homes in rural Myanmar by the end of 2018”.

The firm also intends to increase distribution throughout Myanmar, advance its mobile money platform, as well as expand its product range to more premium products, including systems with bundled television sets.

Cambodia property portal raises funding from 500 Startups – [e27]

Cambodia property portal has raised funding an undisclosed funding from 500 Startups. It will use the newly-raised investment to upgrade its products, such as its mobile apps.

It also preparing to launch its monetisation channels — which will use a subscription and transaction-based revenue model.

“Some of our partner agencies are currently using KhmerHome’s management system to close deals worth millions of dollars,” said Co-founder Mean In.

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