Singapore’s AI agenda gets double boost!

NVIDIA Fellow Dr David Kirk
NVIDIA Fellow Dr David Kirk delivers the keynote address at the NVIDIA AI Conference.

Singapore’s aim to be an artificial intelligence (AI) hub has been boosted with two initiatives — the setting up of a shared AI platform for researchers and the awarding of scholarships to develop AI talents.

At the NVIDIA AI Conference in Singapore yesterday, NVIDIA and Singapore’s National Supercomputing Centre (NSCC) agreed to establish a platform to bolster AI capabilities among its academic, research and industry stakeholders and in support of AI Singapore (AISG), a national programme set up in May to drive AI adoption, research and innovation in Singapore.

Called AI.Platform@NSCC, it will provide AI training, technical expertise and computing services to AISG, which brings together all Singapore-based research and tertiary institutions, including the National University of Singapore (NUS), Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore University of Design and Technology (SUTD), Singapore Management University (SMU), as well as research institutions in the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR).

The platform will be launched early next year and located at NSCC’s Data Centre in Connexis Building, Fusionopolis. For training and research, it will be equipped with six NVIDIA DGX-1 deep learning supercomputers, which deliver the highest levels of computing power to drive next-generation AI applications, allowing researchers to dramatically reduce the time to train larger, more sophisticated deep neural networks to meet the computing demands of AISG.

The supercomputers are packed with 48 NVIDIA Tesla V100 GPUs, which provide up to 99x more throughput than standard CPUs – offering up to six Tensor petaflops of AI computing power for AISG’s researchers and collaborators to run AI frameworks and algorithm, and conduct proofs of concept.

The agreement also covers the provision of intensive deep learning training for at least 400 persons through NVIDIA’s Deep Learning Institute (DLI). The planned workshops offer hands-on training for developers, data scientists and researchers looking to solve some of the world’s most challenging problems with deep learning. Through self-paced labs and instructor-led workshops, DLI provides training on the latest techniques for designing, training and deploying neural networks across a variety of application domains. Participants will explore widely used open-source frameworks as well as NVIDIA’s latest GPU-accelerated deep learning platforms.

Chng Kai Fong, Managing Director, EDB
Chng Kai Fong, Managing Director of EDB: “The EDB-NVIDIA Future Talents Program will help us to build the next generation of AI talent in Singapore, and strengthen our position as a hub for AI development and adoption.”

Talents programme
The EDB-NVIDIA Future Talents Program, a partnership between NVIDIA and the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB) to develop and train a strong pool of AI talent in Singapore, was also launched at the NVIDIA AI Conference.

Under the programme, 30 postgraduate scholarships will be awarded to citizens or permanent residents of Singapore to study neural networks, machine learning and architecture development for graphics processing units (GPUs). Together with local universities, NVIDIA will mentor the Master’s and Ph.D. candidates to develop AI skills that address industry specific needs.

“Electronics enables the adoption of AI in applications such as autonomous vehicles, advanced manufacturing, and fintech,” said Chng Kai Fong, Managing Director of EDB. “Singapore’s strong electronics ecosystem brings us closer to our vision to be a Smart Nation. The EDB-NVIDIA Future Talents Program will help us to build the next generation of AI talent in Singapore, and strengthen our position as a hub for AI development and adoption.”

In conjunction with the Future Talents Program, NVIDIA will establish an AI Lab at the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD).

“Through the scholarships and the establishment of the AI Lab in SUTD, NVIDIA hopes to nurture AI talent that can help Singapore with its Smart Nation initiatives. Our GPUs are transforming industries across the world and we believe that we can help Singapore transform and advance with deep learning,” said Raymond Teh, Vice President of APAC Sales and Marketing, NVIDIA