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Singapore launches national programme for artificial inteliigence in finance

Source: MAS

The National Artificial Intelligence (AI) Programme in Finance was launched today at the Singapore FinTech Festival x Singapore Week of Innovation and TeChnology (SFF x SWITCH) 2021 by Mr Heng Swee Keat, Deputy Prime Minister.

The Programme is a joint initiative by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and the National AI Office (NAIO) at the Smart Nation and Digital Government Office (SNDGO). It aims to build deep AI capabilities within Singapore’s financial sector to strengthen customer service, risk management, and business competitiveness.

The Programme is part of Singapore’s broader National AI StrategyLaunched in 2019, the National AI Strategy aims to establish Singapore as a leader in developing and deploying scalable, impactful AI solutions, in key sectors of high value and relevance to our citizens and businesses by 2030. National AI Projects were renamed National AI Programmes to better reflect the scope of work under the initiative. and seeks to enhance the ability of financial institutions (FIs) to research, develop and deploy AI solutions. Its objectives are to:

• increase productivity through the adoption of AI;

• create new jobs through increased AI innovation activities and upskilling in AI-related competencies; and

• improve societal acceptance of AI through sound AI governance

Under this Programme, MAS and SNDGO will provide funding, contribute government data, and convene the necessary expert stakeholders to drive AI adoption in the financial sector. The Programme currently comprises various initiatives:

NovA! An AI technical platform to generate insights on financial risk. In the initial phase, NovA! will help FIs harness AI to assess companies’ environmental impact and identify emerging environmental risks. NovA! will be developed by Aicadium, a Temasek portfolio company, other local FinTech firms and Singapore-based banks, and will include additional use cases in subsequent phases.
Veritas An AI governance initiative to help FIs utilise AI and Data Analytics (AIDA) responsibly based on MAS’ fairness, ethics, accountability, and transparency (FEAT) principles. The initiative includes developing the Veritas Assessment Methodology and Veritas Toolkits, and the Veritas Ecosystem.
Anti-Money Laundering / Countering Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) Surveillance and Analytics Programme (ASAP) A programme which focuses on enhancing analytics for AML/CFT surveillance. One key initiative is COSMIC (Collaborative Sharing of Money Laundering/Terrorism Financing Information and Cases) to be rolled out in 2023. The secure data sharing platform enables FIs to share and analyse information on customers or transactions that cross material risk thresholds. Such information will help FIs identify and disrupt illicit networks, and safeguard Singapore as a financial centre.
AIDA Grant A grant support scheme that provides funding support of up to S$1.5 million to help FIs adopt AIDA techniques for insights generation, decision making or strategy formulation.
Finance, AI and Marketplace (FINAiM) This comprises industry events and panel discussions to promote knowledge sharing in AI adoption among researchers, solution providers and FIs.
Mr Ravi Menon, Managing Director, MAS, 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.”

Mr Ng Chee Khern, Permanent Secretary (Smart Nation and Digital Government), said, “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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