National University of Singapore is partnering with Microsoft to boost AI capability in the region | Digital Asia

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Microsoft has inked an agreement with National University of (NUS) and AI during the Times Higher Education World Academic Summit 2018 at NUS. The content of the agreement features the acknowledgment of the regional skills shortage in AI and how will both parties address it head-on, as reported by Channel News Asia.

Microsoft is on board under a three-year-long initiative called Microsoft-AISG joint innovation that seeks to up-skill professionals, managers, executives, and technicians (PMETs) with expertise in AI.

“We are thrilled to see how this cooperation can further improve our research productivity as well as boost our ability to develop and deliver better solutions to address the critical and complex issues that are relevant to Singapore, Asia and beyond with accelerated AI capabilities,” said Professor Tan Eng Chye, president of the National University of Singapore.

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The agreement covers three components of AI, which are ‘AI immersion program’, ‘AI for real’, and ‘AI for research’.

Using the curriculum from the Microsoft professional program, PMETs will be equipped with the necessary skills needed in the industry. Microsoft program will also provide support for placing them into new jobs through the AI for real program.

In the curriculum, both organisations will be in charge of workshops that comprise materials like AI for Earth and AI for Accessibility, which will also identify socially beneficial projects powered by AI.

Kevin Wo, managing director of Microsoft Singapore, highlighted the importance of having the proper system of the workshops for them to be effective. “Because the skills required for jobs in the AI economy are changing so rapidly, we need to ensure that our systems prepare, educate, train and retrain current and workforce. It’s important that we realise the potential of AI on the economy and society,” said Wo.

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Not only preparing talents, NUS will also collaborate with Microsoft to leverage the Azure-hosted Microsoft Academic Graph (MAG) combined with AI technology to extract and analyse knowledge embedded in the publications’ . This is to benefit the researchers and to provide an open and heterogeneous graph containing scientific publication records, citation relationships between those publications, as well as authors, institutions, journals, conferences, and fields of study.

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In the pipeline, the researchers from the NUS school of computing will use the MAG to conduct healthcare-related research it was revealed.

Right now, sponsored by IDC Microsoft’s study confirmed that a culture of AI-based innovation and learning was a top priority for regional educators as well as for higher education leaders in the Asia Pacific. which required an agile research capability. The study also shared that 93 per cent of Singapore respondents felt that jobs will be transformed in the next three years due to digital transformation, and 62 per cent of the jobs in the market today will take a different route to higher value roles or re-skilled to meet the needs of the digital age.


Photo by Victor Garcia on Unsplash

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