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Asia spurs transparency and digital economy growth 

From generating artworks to creating sustainable supply chains, artificial intelligence (AI) has become a critical tool in a myriad of economic sectors worldwide. As global enterprises increasingly use AI to gain a competitive edge, governments are also working hard to fuel innovation and growth with AI.

In recent years, Asian countries have stepped up efforts to support the rapid growth of their digital economies. These include measures to equip businesses with the necessary tools and infrastructure to use emerging technologies, such as AI, and support innovation and foster global confidence in them.


Singapore has unveiled the world’s first AI governance testing framework and toolkit. Named AI Verify, it is currently a minimum viable product at a pilot stage.

The ‘innovative regulator’

“We have a belief that being an innovative regulator is not an oxymoron,” says Lew Chuen Hong, chief executive of Singapore’s Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA). “And the real role of the regulator is to build the foundations for trust, so that businesses, governments, and consumers have the trust to innovate and co-create in the digital domain.”

As AI fast becomes ubiquitous in day-to-day activities, calls for more robust governance to ensure AI systems are fair, transparent, and safe are increasing. For example, the European Union is negotiating a new AI Act and the U.S. Federal Trade Commission is working on new legislation to allow it to rule on issues of AI discrimination, fraud, and related data misuse.

In Asia, countries such as Korea, India, and Singapore are trying to chart their own paths in AI ethics and governance. Among them, Singapore is taking a balanced approach by working with various stakeholders to build a more trusted AI environment.

In 2020, Singapore released its Model AI Governance Framework to provide detailed guidance—with implementable measures and practices—to help companies deploy AI responsibly. Besides showcasing use cases from different industries, IMDA also collaborated with the World Economic Forum’s Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution to release a guide to help organizations align their AI governance practices with the framework.

Putting AI governance to the test

In 2022, Singapore took another step forward to help companies validate the implementation of responsible AI. The island nation unveiled the world’s first AI governance testing framework and toolkit, named AI Verify, designed to provide a standardized method to verify AI systems’ performance in relation to internationally recognized ethical principles.

Currently a minimum viable product at a pilot stage, AI Verify is a testing framework that comprises process checks and technical tests. For a start, the technical tests will focus on verifying the fairness, robustness, and explainability of some supervised learning models. Companies that test with AI Verify can use the reports it generates to improve their AI models and demonstrate how their AI systems align with their claimed performance. Rather than setting ethical standards, AI Verify helps companies be more transparent about their AI implementation.

Following feedback and preliminary testing with partners such as Singapore-based bank DBS, Google, Meta, Microsoft, Singapore Airlines, and Standard Chartered Bank, AI Verify is available for international pilot. Policymakers, regulators, AI system developers, and business owners can participate and provide feedback on the global viability of the framework.

Robust growth, high digital penetration

The role of AI governance will become even more significant as Asia’s digital economy continues to grow. While a tech slowdown has dogged the U.S.—with more than 91,000 workers laid off in 2022—Asia seems unfazed. According to a Google, Temasek, and Bain & Company report in October 2022, Southeast Asia’s leading digital economies likely amounted to S$ 200 billion (US$ 149 billion) in 2022, marking a 20% increase from 2021. Far from this being a short-term growth spurt, the region’s digital economy is forecast to reach S$ 300 billion (US$ 224 billion) by 2025

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By: MIT Technology Review Insights
Title: Asia spurs transparency and digital economy growth 
Sourced From: www.technologyreview.com/2023/03/09/1069546/asia-spurs-transparency-and-digital-economy-growth/
Published Date: Thu, 09 Mar 2023 05:30:07 +0000

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