ExploreAI Summit in Singapore Unveils Groundbreaking AI Innovations

Estimated read time 6 min read
  • I attended the ExploreAI summit on January 29, which marked the successful conclusion of the AI Trailblazers initiative. 
  • The Trailblazers initiative aided Singaporean organizations in building their own generative AI solutions.
  • Minister Josephine revealed AI Trailblazers 2.0 to advance Singapore’s National AI Strategy 2.0 and deepen AI use across Singapore.
  • This article is part of our “Business for Good” series spotlighting business leaders and companies that are driving meaningful changes from Singapore.

By Kris LeBoutillier, a journalist and content creator who has worked across Asia for 25 years. Currently based in Singapore, he’s serving as our trusted resource for the innovative projects unfolding in one of the world’s most advanced and progressive business hubs.

On January 29, I had the opportunity to attend ExploreAI, a summit held at the Google Asia Pacific campus in Singapore. The event marked the successful conclusion of the AI Trailblazers initiative — an effort to help Singapore-based organizations develop 100 generative AI (GenAI) solutions over 100 days. 

Participating organizations ran the gamut from government to healthcare to higher education. After speaking to them at ExploreAI, I’m convinced that practically every industry can benefit from deploying GenAI.  

Since the initiative kicked off, 84 organizations have addressed over 100 GenAI use cases. These examples were supported in large part by public and private entities alike, including Singapore’s Ministry of Communications and Information (MCI), Digital Industry Singapore (DISG), Smart Nation Group (SNG), Enterprise Singapore (EnterpriseSG), and Google Cloud. 

Participating organizations receive access to Singapore’s first-ever AI Innovation Sandboxes at no cost, along with resources like Google Cloud’s unified AI stack to accelerate the production of their own GenAI solutions. Mark Micallef, the managing director of Southeast Asia for Google Cloud, emphasized the initiative’s role in advancing Singapore’s economic growth. 

The ExploreAI summit highlighted 43 institutions and their world-changing solutions — and I got a firsthand glimpse at a few of them. 

1. AI that speeds up hiring processes 

The first person I spoke with was John Ang, associate director, data & AI, at Temus, a company that provides digital transformation solutions for private and public sector agencies. In 2023, Temus experienced rapid growth, doubling its headcount to 400 employees. This change revealed inefficiencies in its talent acquisition and management processes. 

To address this, Temus developed two AI platforms using Google’s toolsets. First, the company introduced a talent acquisition platform that enables hiring managers to evaluate candidate resumes with a conversational agent, reducing profile evaluation time by 80% to 90%. Temus also launched a talent development platform to aggregate data to assess internal skills, offer feedback, and recommend training for professional growth.

“The AI helps our HR team identify the needle in the haystack,” Ang said. 

2. AI that builds curriculum for educators 

Singapore’s universities and trade schools are also using GenAI to solve problems in higher education. I learned from Tan Soon Keow, director of the School of Information Technology at Nanyang Polytechnic (NYP) that course development and design are time-consuming for instructors — and sometimes take months to complete. 

Tan introduced me to NYP’s solution — the NYP Course Autobot — which guides academic staff through the course content generation process, reducing tedious prep time so instructors can focus their attention on teaching. She said that the solution is expected to be implemented at NYP and could eventually reach academic staff at other higher-learning institutes in Singapore. 

Additionally, in response to the growing demand for GenAI skills, Google Cloud will partner with Nanyang Polytechnic (NYP) to enhance the school’s cloud computing and AI curriculum. This collaboration includes integrating Google Cloud’s Computing Foundations program and introductory microlearning courses in AI.

3. AI that trains new hires in call centers 

Long Yin, the global data science and solutions director at TDCX, a provider of business process outsourcing services, showed me the TDCX Fast Track platform. This AI-powered assistive tool streamlines the training process for new hires in call centers by converting customer audio recordings to text, analyzing agent-customer interactions, and generating tailored improvement strategies. Additionally, the platform provides valuable insights for management, such as top customer concerns, coaching suggestions, and weekly performance analyses. 

4. AI that books badminton courts

I was also impressed with how Singapore’s government is embracing AI to meet its citizen’s needs. The People’s Association (PA), which runs a network of community clubs across the island, sought to improve the booking process for badminton courts — a popular activity here in Singapore. The PA addressed a common frustration among members trying to schedule games by developing the onePA Facilities Booking Recommender, a conversational AI agent that can identify and reserve open courts hassle-free. 

What’s next for AI in Singapore

As an attendee, I was also excited to hear the keynote speech from guest-of-honor Minister Josephine Teo of the Ministry of Communications and Information (MCI), which unveiled a new phase for AI in Singapore. 

Josephine Teo, Minister for Communications and Information, delivering her speech at the Google Cloud ExploreAI summit.

Google Cloud

“Today’s major milestone for Trailblazers actually ticks all of the boxes that I described,” she said. “The power of good governance; bringing together the infrastructure, utilities, and tools; building enterprise and people capabilities; trying to understand how you can be inclusive and yet, at the same time, responsible in the ways we implement AI.”

Minister Teo announced plans to build on the success of the first AI Trailblazers program with AI Trailblazers 2.0. This larger initiative will support Singapore’s commitment to advancing its National AI Strategy 2.0 (NAIS 2.0) — a goal to enhance AI use across the country and boost the economy by supporting a robust community of AI startups and talent. 

“Beyond the dollar value is the idea that we are building up very quickly this capacity within Singapore, and the imagination and interest to use the tools of generative AI to significantly improve and transform the way business is done,” Minister Teo said. 

This collaboration between AI Trailblazers and Google exemplifies Singapore’s dedication to using AI for the betterment of everyone, from residents to businesses. As someone who has lived in Singapore for quite some time, I find it incredibly reassuring to see generative AI being put to good use in the community. I’m eager to see what other remarkable innovations emerge from this program in the coming year. 

Learn more about why so many are partnering with Singapore to drive meaningful change. 

This post was created by Insider Studios with the Singapore Economic Development Board.