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SG, US mull collaboration on critical and emerging technologies

These technologies include AI and biotech.

Singapore and the United States are planning to expand their collaboration to include critical and emerging technologies like artificial intelligence and biotech, Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong revealed.

In a dialogue at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), Wong said Singapore and the US had “launched a dialogue” on the possible area of collaboration.

“One of the key issues that we are grappling with – countries everywhere are grappling with – is how to harness the benefits of A.I. and innovation and the impact of A.I. while minimising the downside risks. And there are several downside risks. I mean, you can have an A.I. model that works well 99% of the time, but that 1% failure, if applied in a very potentially damaging scenario, can have knock-on implications for many, many people,” Wong shared.

“How do we tackle these sorts of risks? What should be an appropriate governance framework for responsible A.I. usage? It cannot be that companies are let off the hook — surely companies cannot say we do everything and then when there is a problem, governments come to the rescue, that surely is too late. What is the right framework that companies can use in applying A.I. for different use cases that will ensure they take some responsibility? And governments and the private sector work closely together in having this framework and a set of principles governing responsible A.I.,” Wong added.

Apart from AI and biotech, Wong said Singapore is also looking at deepening its collaboration with the US in space exploration, as well as new sources of low-carbon energy.

“[This is] very important for Singapore given how small we are, and the need to get to net zero. And we also work together to deliver technical assistance to third countries. We do that for Southeast Asian countries, but we are expanding that to the Pacific Islands states. So our bilateral relations are in excellent shape,” Wong said.
 

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