Speech by Ms Sun Xueling, Minister of State, Ministry of Education, at the Launch Ceremony of SenseTime International AI Innovation Hub and MoU Signing Ceremonies Between SenseTime International and Business China, and SenseTime International and ITE

Published Date: 19 July 2021 01:00 PM

News Speeches

Mr Martin Huang, Managing Director of SenseTime International,

Mr Lee Yi Shyan, Chairman of Business China,

Ms. Tin Pei Ling, CEO of Business China,

Ms. Low Khah Gek, CEO of the Institute of Technical Education,

Mr Kiren Kumar, Deputy Chief Executive (Development), Infocomm Media Development Authority,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

1. Good morning. It is my pleasure to join you today, at the launch of SenseTime International's AI Innovation Hub at its Singapore headquarters. I am also glad to witness two Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) signings – one between SenseTime International and Business China and the other between SenseTime International and the Institute of Technical Education (ITE).

2. AI research and its applications have spun off innovative technologies that allow us to better tackle complex problems confronting societies today. Between the academic community, businesses and governments, there are collaborations in many areas on the adoption of 'smart living' technologies, such as digital payment, precision medicine, smart waste management, and augmented reality (AR) powered applications.

3. Recent developments propelled by COVID-19 have highlighted the pressing need for the digital transformation of economies, as well as the importance of pursuing sustainable innovation. Singapore's Smart Nation vision has positioned us well to implement cutting-edge technologies across different aspects of our lives. Singapore aims to be a leader in developing and deploying scalable and impactful AI solutions in key sectors of high value and relevance to our citizens and businesses.

4. However, the acceleration of tech adoption in the workplace and in communities has widened the skills gap and digital divide. For Singapore to truly benefit from continued technological innovation, we must prepare and equip members of society with the skills and disposition to remain relevant and nimble amidst significant changes. Technological advancement should also always be human-centric, and aim to improve lives.

5. Education, be it in the classroom or in the workplace, plays a pivotal role in helping to ensure that no one is left behind in a digitally forward environment. On this front, our schools and Institutes of Higher Learning (IHLs) have been exposing students to computational thinking and quantitative reasoning through academic and co-curricular activities. The IHLs, private training providers and even companies are also providing more opportunities for adult learners to pick up skills relevant to the digital economy, among other areas.

6. I am glad that SenseTime, as a global AI company, has launched the SenseTime International Innovation AI Hub to showcase how AI technologies are harnessed to digitise a wide spectrum of industries. Examples include certified healthcare solutions that support medical practitioners in diagnostics of the liver, heart, and lungs, as well as cutting-edge AR solutions designed for the tourism and retail industries. I look forward to seeing SenseTime Edu's suite of materials and toolkits designed to equip students and individuals with foundational AI knowledge and skillsets during the tour of the Hub later.

7. Today, SenseTime International will also sign two new MoUs with Business China and ITE respectively to signify close collaboration between the private and public sectors. SenseTime International's MoU with Business China will further support the Youth Interns Exchange Scheme (YES) by jointly establishing the Business China-SenseTime Internship for YES, which will equip undergraduates from the six Autonomous Universities and their Chinese counterparts with early hands-on experience in AI technologies. YES is a bilateral internship exchange scheme signed between Singapore's Ministry of Education and China's Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security that aims to provide youths from the two countries the opportunity to participate in internships of up to six months in the other country.

8. In doing so, YES supports Singaporean and Chinese companies to build their talent pipelines and learn from one another. More importantly, it enables youths to better understand each other's cultures and form lasting people-to-people connections. We encourage more companies to participate in YES as well as in other similar talent exchange programmes.

9. The other MoU that will be signed today is between SenseTime International and ITE. Both parties will jointly develop computer vision and smart city competencies for ITE students and teaching staff. In addition, there will be a Continuing Education and Training (CET) AI mobility course for returning students and adults embarking on re-skilling. I look forward to the fruitful outcomes of these meaningful partnerships and am excited to see how they may pave the way for future collaborations.

Conclusion

10. I hope more stakeholders can come on board and help develop the next generation of global AI talents – schools and IHLs which are providing high quality and relevant AI courses; corporates with AI technologies by making available internships and programmes to give real life exposure to AI applications; and community partners, which can help foster cross-sector and cross-border partnerships. Once again, congratulations to SenseTime International for the launch of the AI Innovation Hub at its Singapore headquarters. Thank you.

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