The Singapore government is raising awareness of the value of artificial intelligence (AI) and potential across the wider economy and society as demand for AI talent will likely outpace supply, said Minister for Communications and Information Josephine Teo on Monday (20 Mar).

This is in response to Ms He Ting Ru, Workers’ Party Member of Parliament for Sengkang GRC, who questioned the Minister on Singapore’s local labour force’s ability to meet the current high demand for AI skills.

Outlining the government’s efforts to grow the local AI talent pool, Mrs Teo explained that since 2019, the government has implemented the National AI Strategy, focusing on “broadening and deepening AI use in Singapore.”

She emphasized the crucial role of the TechSkills Accelerator (TeSA) initiative, which has “placed and trained over 2,600 individuals in AI and Data Analytics roles since 2016.”

Additionally, AI Singapore (AISG) has partnered with companies to train mid-career Singaporeans, leading to “80% of participants receiving multiple job offers and an average pay increase of 25%.”

Mrs Teo also highlighted the government’s aim to “expand the pool of top-quality local AI research talent.”

She noted that Singaporean researchers are already internationally recognized leaders in AI research fields such as natural language processing and computer vision.

To further bolster AI research, Mrs Teo announced that “the government will partner with AISG to introduce an AI Investigatorship, targeting top-tier AI researchers who can mentor promising local talent.”

Mrs Teo shared that AISG has conducted various AI literacy outreach efforts, with “over 100,000 participants attending its AI for Everyone programmes and courses designed for younger audiences.”

Mrs Teo acknowledged that “demand for AI talent will likely outpace supply for some time,” but she assured that the government remains committed to scaling up efforts and empowering more citizens to access valuable opportunities in the AI field.

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