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Google Cloud deepens its commitment to encourage generative AI development in Singapore

Nurdianah Md Nur
Nurdianah Md Nur • 6 min read
Google Cloud deepens its commitment to encourage generative AI development in Singapore
The hyperscaler will expand its AI Trailblazers initiative, nurture 100 AI start-ups, and provide more Google Career Certificate scholarships to support Singapore's National AI Strategy. Photo: Unsplash
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Academic staff at Nanyang Polytechnic (NYP) will soon be able to reduce the time required for course preparation by using the NYP Course AutoBot.

The bot is an automated course content creation system developed using Google Cloud’s Vertex AI platform and foundation models. It can guide academic staff through the course content generation process – such as for teaching slides, e-learning content, and assessment questions – offering curated reference materials based on inputs like module or course synopsis and desired learning outcomes.

Meanwhile, Temus used Google Cloud’s toolsets to build generative AI-powered talent acquisition and talent development platforms. The talent acquisition platform can ingest candidate CVs, and features a conversational agent that a hiring manager can interact with through voice or text prompts to obtain fully-customisable, individual-level evaluations to aid their candidate selection process. The hiring manager can also ask the conversational agent to assist with drafting an email to invite a chosen candidate for an interview. This solution has so far shortened the time spent evaluating candidate profiles by up to 90%.

As for Temus’s new talent development platform, it aggregates data sources like resumes and performance reviews to provide a visual assessment of skills competencies and skills gaps. It also features a conversational agent that can assist managers in delivering actionable feedback and recommend options for precision training to catalyse professional growth. This solution is undergoing further user testing ahead of being implemented across the company.

 NYP and Temus are among the 84 organisations across government and industry that have utilised Google Cloud’s unified AI stack to build their own generative AI solutions under the AI Trailblazers initiative. Other participants include People’s Association (PA), the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI), biopharma firm GSK, business process outsourcing services provider TDCX, AI start-up AI Palette, and provider of metaverse services STEPVR.

Launched in July 2023, the AI Trailblazers is a joint initiative by Google Cloud, the Ministry of Communications and Information (MCI), Digital Industry Singapore (DISG), and Smart Nation and Digital Government Office (SNDGO). It provided access to two innovation sandboxes that enabled participating organisations to use Google Cloud’s unified AI stack at no cost to develop their production-ready generative AI solutions.

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After iteration, testing, and technical reviews, participating organisations demonstrated their working solutions to a panel from MCI, DISG, SNG, and Google Cloud, who evaluated and accredited these solutions based on design, usability, reliability, functionality, and propensity for real-world application.

AI Trailblazers 2.0

To help 150 more organisations solve real-world challenges with generative AI, MCI, DISG, SNG, and Google Cloud today announced plans for AI Trailblazers 2.0.

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The expanded initiative will feature enhanced innovation sandboxes that provide participating organisations with access to Google Cloud’s unified AI stack, as well as support from Google Cloud engineers, at no cost for up to 10 weeks. Participants will also be given access to Google’s AI model Gemini and Duet AI for Developers, an always-on AI collaborator that helps developers build, deploy, and operate applications faster.

Interested organisations can express early interest in joining the expanded initiative here: https://go.gov.sg/ai-trailblazers.

“Participants [of the AI Trailblazers initiative have] capitalised on the transformative impact of generative AI and developed applications to improve their business. These efforts will contribute to Singapore’s ambition of becoming a hub for AI innovation. With the success of the first AI Trailblazers initiative, we look forward to continuing this partnership with Google Cloud and will announce further details on AI Trailblazers 2.0 soon,” says Philbert Gomez, DISG’s vice president and head.

Nurturing AI start-ups

Google Cloud and EnterpriseSG today also launched "Google for Startups Accelerator: AI First Singapore" to nurture and support globally-oriented innovators that use generative AI as the core technology to build their products. The programme aims to cultivate 100 high-potential AI start-ups over the next three years and scale the reach of their products into new markets.

Set to commence in April 2024, the three-month programme is looking for its first cohort of 20 start-ups. It will provide participants with access to Google Cloud’s unified AI stack as well as mentorship and technical project support from Google’s product development teams, AI engineers, and start-up ecosystem network partners like Alpha JWC Ventures, Co-Creation Lab, Golden Gate Ventures, Manulife, Red Dragon AI, and Touchstone Partners. Participants will also receive up to US$350,000 in Google Cloud credits upon graduation from the programme.

“As the adoption of AI technologies gains momentum, it is important for Singapore to nurture a thriving AI ecosystem with start-ups that can push the boundaries in this field with new innovations. Our AI ecosystem can also serve to offer their AI expertise to uplift the growth and capabilities of wider industries. Through this partnership with Google Cloud, we aim to give promising start-ups a boost as they look to pursue AI-related innovation and commercialise their solutions,” says Soh Leng Wan, assistant chief executive officer of EnterpriseSG.

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Addressing the growing demand for AI skills

To help close the AI skills gap, Google will provide an additional 3,000 Google Career Certificate scholarships to local distribution partners, with a focus on upskilling mid-career professionals.

The nine Google Career Certificates span high-growth fields such as cybersecurity, data analytics, and IT support. They can be completed within three to six months through flexible, self-paced online training, with no relevant experience required.

Google Cloud will also offer introductory-level microlearning courses in generative AI that are open to all learners, at no cost. These courses aim to help them learn the fundamentals of generative AI, how it differs from other types of AI, and how to apply AI responsibly.

Moreover, Google Cloud is collaborating with NYP to further complement the school’s curriculum. NYP will incorporate advanced industry training programmes from Google Cloud into its core curriculum for more than 1,000 full-time diploma students in its School of Information Technology. These training programmes include Google Cloud’s Cloud Digital Leader certification, Professional Data Engineer certification, courses on training image classification models, and courses on building and deploying AI solutions on Vertex AI.

“Our continued collaboration with the Singapore Government on AI Trailblazers 2.0, Google for Startups Accelerator: AI First Singapore, various skilling programmes, and the AI Verify Foundation will help organisations access best-in-class resources, tools, and talent to innovate with AI boldly and responsibly. As part of our four-pronged strategic collaboration, these initiatives will help advance the Singapore government’s goal of uplifting people and businesses and unlocking the country’s next frontier of economic growth,” says Mark Micallef, Google Cloud’s managing director for Southeast Asia.

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