Singapore unveils national program to deepen AI capabilities in finance

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and the National AI Office (NAIO) have launched a national initiative aimed at strengthened AI abilities in its financial sector.

The National Artificial Intelligence Programme in Finance aims to develop AI capabilities within Singapore’s financial sector in order to strengthen customer service, risk management and business competitiveness.

According to MAS, the program is part of Singapore’s broader National AI Strategy and seeks to enhance the ability of financial institutions to research, develop and deploy AI solutions.

The objectives of the program are to heighten productivity through the adoption of AI, create new jobs through increased AI innovation activities and upskilling of AI-related competencies and improve societal acceptance of AI through sound AI governance.

Under this new program, MAS and Smart Nation Singapore will provide funding, contribute government data and convene expert stakeholders to drive AI adoption in the financial sector.

Some of the various initiatives that currently comprise the program include NovA!, which is an AI technical platform to generate insights on financial risk. In NovA!’s initial phase, it will seek to help financial institutions harness AI to assess companies’ environmental impact and emerging environmental risks. Veritas – another initiative – is an AI governance program to help financial institutions utilise AI and data analytics.

Other programs include an anti-money laundering and countering financing of terrorism surveillance and analytics program, which involves a platform – anticipated to launch in 2023 – that enables financial institutions to share and analyse information on customers or transactions that cross material risk thresholds. The AIDA grant, another program, is a scheme that will provide funding support of up to S$1.5m to help financial institutions adopt AIDA techniques for insights generation, strategy formulation and decision making.

MAS managing director Ravi Menon said, “The National AI Programme in Finance will help enhance our financial sector’s AI capabilities.  Key to this Programme is active collaboration – across financial institutions and relevant government agencies – to build platforms, solutions, and capabilities that serve the financial sector as a whole.”

Singapore Permanent Secretary for Smart National and Digital Government Ng Chee Khern added, “One of the aims of our National AI Strategy is to increase our productivity and create good jobs. The National AI Programme in Finance will create good jobs for citizens and commercial opportunities for businesses.”

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