Google Cloud and the Ministry of Communications and Information (MCI) in Singapore have on Wednesday shared plans to collaborate to bolster Singapore’s artificial intelligence (AI) vision and strategy.

The potential focus areas of this strategic partnership are aimed at supporting the adoption and development of innovative, responsible, and inclusive AI technologies to maximize opportunities arising from Singapore and the region, Google Cloud said in a statement.

“We welcome the opportunity to work with Google Cloud as we develop our plans to support the growth of the digital economy, and realize the benefits that AI brings to our people and enterprise in a safe and responsible way,” said Andrea Phua, Director, Digital Economy Office, MCI.

It is noted that Google Cloud’s next generation AI infrastructure, best-in-class GPU hardware, Vertex AI platform, and AI managed services and tools are already available to the technology ecosystem in Singapore so they can implement AI at scale.

Working together, Google Cloud and MCI will also look to:

a. Accelerate the development of home-grown AI technologies: A trusted AI model marketplace hosted on Google Cloud for developers and businesses to access the best of Google’s AI solutions and foundation models, so they can develop capabilities like conversational AI, enterprise search and more;

b. Build a sustainable pipeline of talent for the future AI economy: Skilling initiatives to deepen AI capabilities and competencies, including possible support for eligible start-ups to take advantage of Google Cloud’s open AI ecosystem;

c. Supercharge the adoption of cloud AI technologies in Singapore: Development of incubators and accelerators that encourage developers, startups, and businesses to innovate using Google Cloud’s generative AI (Gen AI) technologies; and

d. Root Singapore’s AI progress in Responsible AI: Possible collaboration in AI governance and operationalization of Responsible AI principles.

“AI, and generative AI in particular, will have a profound and long term impact on community and commerce,

“Working together, we will create a vibrant AI ecosystem and thriving AI startup economy, accelerate business transformation and innovation, and develop the AI capabilities of Singapore’s workforce,” said Karan Bajwa, Vice President, Google Cloud Asia Pacific.

Meanwhile, the Smart Nation and Digital Government Office (SNDGO) and Google Cloud have on Wednesday announced the launch of the Artificial Intelligence Government Cloud Cluster (AGCC).

AGCC is a comprehensive platform designed to accelerate AI adoption in Singapore’s public sector, advance local research efforts in applied AI, and support the growth of the local AI startup ecosystem.

SNDGO and Google Cloud have implemented the AGCC for use by Singapore’s government agencies and research, innovation, and enterprise (RIE) ecosystem.

The AGCC is hosted in a dedicated cloud computing environment in Singapore.

Through the AGCC, agencies can take advantage of Google Cloud’s enterprise-grade AI technology stack and extensive partner ecosystem of software-as-a-service companies, consultancies, and AI startups to build and deploy scalable and impactful AI applications quickly, securely, responsibly, and cost-effectively.

The Government Technology Agency (GovTech) is the first public sector organization in Singapore to leverage the AGCC.

Its Open Government Products (OGP) team has integrated with Google Cloud’s Vertex AI and is exploring the use of its models in Pair, which are large language model-powered assistants that civil servants can use to help them boost their productivity, with privacy and security safeguards in place to maintain the confidentiality of government information.

To enable government agencies to deploy AI applications most effectively and responsibly, Google Cloud will partner with GovTech to design and run whole-of-government Digital Academy programs that help agencies build in-house data science and AI expertise, develop AI innovation strategies, and implement data governance best practices.

These training programs are an expansion of Google Cloud’s existing public sector skilling commitments.

The programs will be offered in various tailored forms to 150,000 public officers across 16 ministries and more than 50 statutory boards.

“AI can shape the public sector’s digital service delivery in profound and meaningful ways – from automating data entry, to detecting fraud, to accelerating cancer research, to strengthening emergency response, to informing water resource management, and more,” said Sherie Ng, Country Director, Singapore, Google Cloud.

Beyond providing Singapore government agencies with access to advanced and truly open AI technologies, she said the firm looks forward to working with GovTech to build a vibrant pool of homegrown talent across a range of AI-related roles in public service, to help advance Singapore’s national strategy for deploying scalable and responsible AI innovations.

From June 2023, government agencies in Singapore can access the AGCC and other accredited Google Cloud services through the Government on Commercial Cloud (GCC) 2.0 platform.

Built by GovTech, the GCC platform provides agencies with a consistent and regulated way to adopt commercial cloud solutions.

GCC 2.0, the second iteration of the platform, is integrated with cloud-native capabilities and cloud security practices, allowing agencies to tap a wider ecosystem of services and talent to accelerate the development of modern digital applications.

MAS partners with Google Cloud to advance capabilities in generative AI technology