Singapore wins Artificial Intelligence Governance and Ethics Initiatives award

WSIS 2019 award
Image courtesy of ITU

Singapore’s work in Artificial Intelligence (AI) Governance and Ethics has won a top award at the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) Prizes. 

The winners of the 18 categories of the WSIS Prizes were announced during an award ceremony at the annual WSIS Forum held in Geneva, Switzerland. Singapore won in the “Ethical Dimensions of the Information Society” category, beating four other finalists across the globe. 

The WSIS Prizes recognise outstanding digital projects globally, which foster socio-economic development across categories such as e-government, e-environment, e-science and media, and ethics in IT. Info-communications Media Development Authority (IMDA) Assistant Chief Executive (Data Protection and Innovation) Yeong Zee Kin received the prize at the ceremony in Geneva. 

Singapore’s AI Governance and Ethics initiatives aim to build an ecosystem of trust to support AI adoption. These include Asia’s first Model AI Governance Framework released in January 2019; an international and industry-led Advisory Council on the Ethical Use of AI and Data formed in June 2018; and a Research Programme on the Governance of AI and Data Use established in partnership with the Singapore Management University in September 2018. 

These initiatives advance Singapore’s vision to be a leading Digital Economy and Smart Nation through balancing business innovation and consumer trust and confidence in adopting AI. 

Minister for Communications and Information S Iswaran said, “Singapore’s win of the WSIS Award is affirmation of our approach that AI practices must be transparent, explainable and fair. These are important principles that will guide businesses in implementing AI solutions that are human-centric, while spurring innovation in a digital economy.” 

V K Rajah SC, Chairman of the Advisory Council on the Ethical Use of AI and Data said, “The Advisory Council congratulates Singapore’s win. This award affirms Singapore’s balanced and pragmatic approach towards AI governance. We look forward to working further with the Singapore Government in forming strong guidance which enable innovation while protecting consumer interests.”

Other Asia-Pacific winners of the awards included:

  • The Village Broadband Internet Project, Ministry of Digital Economy and Society (MDES), Thailand
  • Capacity Building through ene-to-end ICT enabled “Utkarsh Bangla” programme, Paschim Banga Society for Skill Development, Dept of Technical Education, Training & Skill Development, Govt. of West Bengal (UB), India
  • Data Encryption Leak-proof and Tamper-resistant Network System Based on Quantum Communication Trunk Line, China United Telecommunications Co., Ltd, China
  • Establishment of Bangladesh National Digital Architecture (BNDA) and e-Government Interoperability Framework (e-GIF), Bangladesh Computer Council (BCC), Bangladesh
  • BnC Bot, Vietnam