American multinational technology company IBM has on Tuesday announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with AI Singapore (AISG) to collaborate on the testing of the SEA-LION large language model (LLM).

As part of the collaboration, IBM also plans to incorporate the model into its artificial intelligence (AI) use case library Digital Self-Serve Co-Create Experience (DSCE) to allow data scientists, developers, and engineers to explore localized generative AI to accelerate their work, the duo said in a statement.

Under the agreement, IBM and AISG will collaborate in testing SEA-LION using IBM’s AI technology as well as its data and AI platform, watsonx, and collaborate on technical exchanges and knowledge sharing to enhance the model.

According to the statement, this collaboration aims to empower organizations with greater flexibility in choosing the right AI models, such as the SEA-LION LLM, to meet their own business goals.

“At IBM, we believe further progress of generative AI will bring greater performance in smaller language models, with users given the opportunity to personalize models based on their business and industry requirements,

“No one model is a one-size-fits-all for businesses, and organizations must be empowered with a choice to use their models based on their needs,” said Catherine Lian, General Manager and Technology Leader, IBM ASEAN.

According to her, AI Singapore’s SEA-LION LLM is a big step forward in creating an open AI system and in addressing the ASEAN language challenges that companies and governments face when working with AI.

“Both AISG and IBM share a common goal to democratize AI and foster an inclusive AI environment for ASEAN nations,

“IBM will leverage its extensive business and technology ecosystem to help ASEAN organizations and citizens realize the value that custom models like SEA-LION, as well as watsonx, bring,” she added.

Leslie Teo, Senior Director of AI Products, AI Singapore, said they are excited to work with IBM to continue advancing a custom-made foundation model for Southeast Asia, by Southeast Asians.

“This collaboration is a testament to the significance of public and private partnerships, as we strive to anchor deep AI capabilities for the region,

“We look forward to working with IBM to expand the adoption of SEA-LION across various use cases and help Southeast Asian organizations scale AI safely and responsibly,” he added.

According to the statement, IBM and AI Singapore also plan to work together to incorporate AI governance into SEA-LION.

The collaboration is intended to assist companies in managing AI compliance, risk management, and model lifecycle management as government regulation on the technology continues.

IBM is a leading provider of global hybrid cloud and AI, and consulting expertise.

The firm helps clients in more than 175 countries capitalize on insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs and gain the competitive edge in their industries.

More than 4,000 government and corporate entities in critical infrastructure areas such as financial services, telecommunications and healthcare use IBM’s hybrid cloud platform and Red Hat OpenShift to affect their digital transformations.

AISG is a national program launched by the National Research Foundation (NRF), Singapore, to catalyze, synergize and boost Singapore’s AI capabilities to power the country’s future digital economy.

AISG will also bring together all Singapore-based research institutions and the vibrant ecosystem of AI start-ups and companies developing AI products, to perform use-inspired research, grow the knowledge, create the tools, and develop the talent to power Singapore’s AI efforts.

AISG is driven by a Singapore government-wide partnership comprising NRF, Smart Nation Group (SNG), Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA), Economic Development Board (EDB), Enterprise Singapore (EnterpriseSG).

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