Singapore has inked a deal with British vendor iProov to provide face verification technology used in the Asian country's national digital identity system. Already launched as a pilot earlier this year, the feature allows SingPass users to access e-government services via a biometric, bypassing the need for passwords. The agreement also sees Singapore-based digital government services specialist, Toppan, involved in the deployment of the facial verification technology. Both vendors were selected following an open tender issued by Government Technology Agency (GovTech) and months of user tests, the companies said in a joint statement Tuesday. Its agreement with the Singapore government also is the first time the vendor's cloud facial verification technology is used to secure a country's national digital identity.
The National AI Strategy announced by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance Heng Swee Keat at the Singapore FinTech Festival last November mapped out how Singapore will develop and deploy AI solutions to transform the economy and improve lives. The National AI Strategy focuses on five key areas -- healthcare, security, smart estates, education and logistics -- and is led by the National AI Office, an agency created under the Smart Nation and Digital Government Office. Some of the areas where results are already beginning to show in real time are in using AI and robots in the fight against Covid-19, AI analysis for better Covid-19 contact tracing, smart AI robots for patrol and surveillance, smart sensors and meters to save water and AI in data analytics for tourism insights. A recent example of using AI-powered video analytics is VigilantGantry, which automatically screens temperatures of individuals passing through a gantry or entrance with a regular video camera and thermal scanner. The software can detect and screen the temperatures of those wearing caps or items that cover their foreheads.
Visitors to parks, gardens, and nature reserves in Singapore may now run into a four-legged robot deployed to issue reminders about the need to observe safe distancing amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Dubbed Spot, these Boston Dynamics' droids also are equipped with cameras to track the number of visitors at parks. Part of a pilot launched by Singapore's National Parks Board (NParks) and Digital Government Group, which comprises Smart Nation and Digital Government Office and Government Technology Agency (GovTech), the robots aim to help efforts to ensure safe distancing measures are adopted and reduce the manpower required for park patrols. The Boston Dynamics Spot robots have been deployed, for a fortnight during off-peak hours, over an area spanning 3km in the River Plains section of Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park, said the government agencies in a joint statement Friday. A recorded message will be broadcast from the robots, reminding visitors about the need to practise safe distancing.
The finals of the Government Technology Agency (GovTech)'s inaugural National Data Visualisation Video Challenge were held today in Singapore. The Challenge themed "How Open Data makes a difference for you and me" was launched in February 2017. Students from universities, polytechnics, junior colleges and institutes of technical education (ITE), were asked to use and analyse government datasets from Singapore government's open data portal, Data.gov.sg The objective of the Challenge was to encourage greater use of open government data, starting with students, to raise awareness, catalyse innovation and create greater economic value, in line with Singapore's Smart Nation vision. The Challenge was supported by six industry partners, namely Amazon Web Services, Carousell, Cloudera, Microsoft, Google and The Straits Times.
There are few places better positioned to become a "smart city" than Singapore. That's an easy statement to justify. Singapore is an island city-state just 30 miles across that has been governed by the same party for decades. Putting the implied democratic flaws to one side, the geography and political stability of Singapore have aided the city in preparing for the future. Two years ago, those preparations got a name: "Smart Nation," an ambitious program to push the city, its residents and its government into the digital age.