Google wants to help Singapore companies unlock data and AI responsibly

Google aims to provide organizations in Singapore with the cloud tools and skills they need to use data for greater efficiency and better service delivery. It also hopes to help them use artificial intelligence (AI) in a responsible way, based on its own best practices and principles.

As organizations worldwide digitally transform their businesses, including those in Singapore and Malaysia, the US cloud provider is keen to explore how its technology and infrastructure can facilitate those efforts.

Data, in particular, will prove crucial in enabling businesses to unlock new opportunities in a digital economy, said Sherie Ng, Google Cloud’s country director for Singapore and Malaysia, in an interview with ZDNET.

She said companies need to figure out how to use data to better understand and serve customers, as well as reduce inefficiencies and improve work processes. The ability to extract insights from the right data would also be essential for businesses not only to launch new businesses and products and services, but also to find ways to measure and reduce their energy use and costs, Ng said.

This means building digital infrastructures with global reach and capable of supporting real-time access to data, she noted. She added that companies in some markets like Singapore are now looking to derive more value from their cloud adoption as they move up the model.

“They’re not just interested in moving workloads to the cloud. We’re seeing customers who really want to be cloud native,” she said. These organizations built their DevOps teams and adopted cloud-native technologies like containers and Kubernetes, Ng added.

But in doing so, they faced the challenge of finding the right talent and skillset to help them transform to cloud-native environments, she said. It’s an area Google has hoped to address through programs like the Skills Ignition SG training program, which launched in 2020, and developer hubs for startups, she noted.

Google also aims to offer the technology that can give companies the transparency they need, for example when measuring their carbon footprint, she said, adding that a company’s entire ecosystem should be sustainable, including its core infrastructure and supply chain.

Ng, who assumed her current role in December 2021 from Microsoft, where she was general manager of public sector, said her top priority over the next few years is to enable companies in the two Asian markets to not only transform digitally, but also to do so on a green and sustainable basis.

In Singapore, this included working with the government on AI research and capacity building, where Google would provide training resources and certification programs to build AI and machine learning proficiency among local public sector officials.

In addition, the cloud provider would support government initiatives to advance AI governance and ethics in sectors such as finance. Google had contributed to Singapore’s Model AI Governance Framework and Business Self-Assessment Guide and sat on the country’s Advisory Board on the Ethical Use of AI.

Ng noted that AI is an important technology but needs effective regulation to ensure it is used forever. Echoing the Singapore government’s call for “guard rails,” she said these are necessary to promote responsible use of AI.

“And there will be conversations about what works for Singapore as a country… each country will have its nuances,” she said, adding that Google is keen to share its own best practices and principles for AI, which it uses globally take over. For example, data it uses must be inclusive to mitigate the risk of bias. Humans are also involved in final decisions to establish accountability.

Google itself had to deal with some controversy surrounding its ethical AI unit when it fired a team member last year for what the company said was violating its code of conduct and security policies. Reports have suggested the move is related to the departure of another researcher over her criticism that Google is “silencing marginal voices,” and she co-authored a research paper urging tech giants to ensure AI language systems aren’t gender biased promote prejudice.


Laisser un commentaire

Votre adresse e-mail ne sera pas publiée. Les champs obligatoires sont indiqués avec *