DBS taps AWS to upskill workers in AI thru gamified learning

DBS is working with Amazon Web Services (AWS) to develop a critical mass of employees equipped with fundamental skills in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) by the end of the year.

To accelerate the use of AI and ML across the bank’s business, DBS and AWS have jointly launched the DBS x AWS DeepRacer League. DBS employees will learn the basics of AI and ML by participating in a series of hands-on online tutorials before putting their new knowledge to the test by programming their own autonomous model race car.

These ML models are then uploaded onto a virtual racing environment where employees can experiment and iteratively finetune their models as they engage each other in friendly competition.

Through this, DBS expects at least 3,000 employees, including the bank’s senior leadership, will learn new AI and ML skills this year. The DBS x AWS DeepRacer League will also be run completely online powered by AWS, from classroom to racetrack, as part of DBS’ drive to ingrain digital learning behaviours among employees.

This comes on the back of DBS’ effort to scale up its digital learning tools and platforms to enable its employees to upgrade their skills and pick up new knowledge even when they are not physically in the office.

While smaller corporate AWS DeepRacer Leagues have been organised in other parts of the world, this is the largest among Asian-headquartered enterprises and one of the first in the world to be organised at scale by a financial institution.

“We wanted to adopt a different approach from our previous digital and data skills revolutions,” said Paul Cobban, chief data and transformation officer at DBS.. “In line with our ethos of keeping work and learning fun, we sought to introduce gamification elements to better engage our employees, and the AWS DeepRacer League platform presented the perfect opportunity.”

Ray Goh, executive director of technology and operations at DBS, emerged as global champion in the recent virtual AWS DeepRacer League F1 ProAm Event run last May, even beating Renault F1 Team driver Daniel Ricciardo.

Four other DBS employees were placed in the global Top 20, and a total of six employees have qualified for the AWS DeepRacer Championship Cup to be held in Las Vegas at the close of the year.