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Singapore Government Unveils Asia’s First AI Governance Framework at Davos


The government of Singapore has released an artificial intelligence (AI) governance framework to help businesses in the city-state tackle the ethical and governance challenges related to the increasing use of AI across industries. The model framework was announced at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, which takes place between January 22 and January 25. It was based on earlier guidelines detailed in a discussion paper first released in June 2018 by Singapore’s Personal Data Protection Commission (PDPC) and Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA). The framework, which is intended to guide the work of AI developers and experts, is founded on two high-level principles: AI implementations should be human-centric, and decisions made or assisted by AI should be explainable, transparent and fair to consumers. These principles, IMDA said, will enhance trust in and understanding of AI, as well as acceptance of how AI-related decisions are made for the benefit of users. Speaking at the WEF, Singapore’s minister for communications and information, S. Iswaran, said Singapore has always had “a certain mindshare” in terms of its ability to contribute to cutting-edge development and governance of policies, and how it is able to envision the future in collaboration with business and industry. “By announcing the model framework in Davos, we have the opportunity to both underscore Singapore’s continued role in that context, as well as invite global feedback on what we are doing,” Iswaran said. Iswaran pointed out that the ideas outlined in the model framework are particularly suited to a small, open and business-oriented economy such as Singapore, which supports a rules-based trading and economic environment. “Therefore, when we propose some of these ideas, they tend to be seen in that context,” Iswaran said.