China Investing $15 Billion to Develop Artificial Intelligence in Singapore and Here Is Why

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Alibaba Group, the largest multinational Internet, artificial intelligence, and technology conglomerate in China is set to invest in a joint research institute in Singapore. Establishing an educational facility overseas in partnership with Nanyang Technological University (NTU), the Alibaba Group hopes to develop AI solutions to resolve social issues and improve urban transportation.

According to the joint statement issued on behalf of both corporations, the Joint Research Institute will kick off with a pool of 50 researchers. The educational establishment will use a combination of human-centered AI technology (NTU) and natural language processing, machine learning, cloud computing (Alibaba). The Institute will create AI solutions to enhance the city’s efficiency and people’s lives.

Why Is China Investing in AI?

The Alibaba Group has pledged to invest $15 billion in research and development over the next 3 years. Making significant investments in artificial intelligence research is part of China’s national strategy. The ambition is to make the country an innovation center in the sphere of technology by 2030.

The investment will be obtained from the Alibaba Discovery, Adventure, Momentum, and Outlook (Damo) Academy. One of the seven research labs under the Damo programme founded in 2017 will settle in Singapore.

The World Recognition in AI Research

Before rolling out the latest AI solutions in Singapore and Southeast Asia, these technologies will be thoroughly tested in the NTU campus. Make no mistake, AI technologies development isn’t happening in the void space. The students and academics from NTU will be able to exchange knowledge and experience with Alibaba while conducting a joint AI research.

According to the last year’s Nikkei and Elsevier reports, NTU ranked as the top university for citations in AI-related research papers. In 2017, Singapore was ranked second after Switzerland in another Elsevier report on the impact of AI research. The initial squad of 50 AI researchers is going to expand by recruiting talent from across the world.  


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