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Singapore unveils startup fund to fuel maritime digital transformation

ZDNet

Singapore is offering funds to help startups pilot projects for the maritime industry, which can also access sandboxes to test new technologies. A new zone also has been dedicated to testbed drone technologies for maritime applications, as the country navigates its ambition of becoming a global maritime startup hub. Technology had played an integral role in keeping the sector resilient during the COVID-19 outbreak and would continue to do so in a post-pandemic era, said Chee Hong Tat, Singapore's Senior Minister of State for Foreign Affairs and Transport. To help the industry navigate this, it needed an environment that supported risk-taking and experimentation as well as collaborations with internal and external partners, Chee said. Speaking Tuesday at the Singapore Maritime Technology Conference, the minister said market players needed a conducive environment to test out new ideas and "a safe place [for experiments] to fail".


Singapore sends 'robot couriers' out for delivery

ZDNet

Autonomous robots are hitting the streets of Singapore in a one-year pilot to facilitate on-demand food and grocery deliveries. The Singapore government hopes the trial will lead to a wider deployment of the drones to provide consumers with more flexible delivery services. Currently underway in Punggol, the one-tests would enable residents in the area to choose when they would like their items delivered, rather than accommodating the online retailer's fixed delivery schedule. Shoppers at the supermarket, for instance, could drop off their purchases at a concierge counter and arrange for these to be delivered to their residential apartment at a time they desired, and continue with their shopping or dining. Perishables including food and flowers as well as some controlled items such as medicine could be delivered through the "robot couriers", according to a statement Thursday by Singapore's Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA), the government agency leading the initiative.


First commercial autonomous bus services hit Singapore roads

ZDNet

Commercial autonomous bus services have been rolled out for the first time in Singapore, running two routes at Singapore Science Park 2 and Jurong Island. They will operate during a three-month trial during which data will be collected to assess the viability of the on-demand service as well as passenger safety and service reliability and efficiency. Development of the project involved multiple organisations and government agencies, with the aim to drive and accelerate sustainable deployment of robotics in the country. Led collectively under the Alliance for Action (AfA) on Robotics, the initiative also was facilitated by the Economic Development Board and Land Transport Authority. The AfA itself was brought together by the Emerging Stronger Taskforce, established by the government to review how Singapore could stay economically resilient and tap new areas of growth amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.


ABB robots accelerate coronavirus testing in Singapore

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A 10-day race to develop three germ-blasting robots

ZDNet

Stories have been emerging about epic, even life-saving development sprints in the days after COVID-19 took hold. Teams working in a variety of spaces, from data management and tele-health to robotics and IoT spotted adjacent opportunities to develop technologies to fight the pandemic during what may turn out to be one of the most fertile technology sprints in modern history. A new entry in the list is Weston Robot, a Singapore-based robot developer and supplier that, at the time of the first outbreaks, had designed a variety of robots for various markets, including compact surveillance robots with wheels designed for uneven terrain, as well as autonomous cars and even robotic exoskeletons. As the pressing demands of the pandemic began to sink in, the Weston team turned its focus on a critical problem: Using the mobile robots in its product well to aid in disinfecting. "We asked ourselves, 'Can we add something to these robots, for example, a spray gun to spray chemical disinfectant?'" says Dr. Yanliang Zhang, managing director and chief scientist of Weston Robot.


How AI and ML is Set to Transform Healthcare and Agriculture in India - NASSCOM Community

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When the whole world seems to come to a standstill because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the two sectors that have become extremely critical are agriculture and healthcare. Agriculture is the backbone of any economy, and it has become all the more important during this crisis to keep the global food supply chain running smoothly to ensure that there is no food crisis. On the other hand, the healthcare sector is the most stressed out sector right now that is working hard to ensure the health and safety of the population. While technology has played a critical role in ensuring business continuity across various sectors, let us take a look at how the latest technologies like AI and ML are set to transform these two critical industries. AI in Agriculture The food crisis has plagued the world for long. Add on top of that the havoc being unleashed on agriculture due to climate change, and we have a ripe case for AI and ML application to solve the food crisis. This is being touted as the next major agricultural revolution. By leveraging such next-generation technologies and by working smarter, a lot of ground can be covered. It is estimated that the AI in the agriculture market will grow to USD 4.0 billion by 2026. So, what are the various use cases of AI in agriculture? Let’s take a look Yield Optimization: Yield optimization is beyond just historical data analysis. There are components such as data about weather predictions, soil data, and even the economic conditions of the regions which come into play. Using AL/ ML models to analyze these parameters, farmers can not only predict the yield but also know how to optimize the same. Livestock Management: Cattle and livestock are important assets for farmers. They not only help in the farming process but also provide other sources of income in the form of meat as well as dairy. Their health is of utmost importance, and the whole herd can be affected adversely by diseases of foot and mouth. Farmers now deploy infrared sensors and other smart monitors to detect anomalies in the herd movement or temperature reading to identify and cure the particular animal and prevent the disease from becoming a catastrophe. Weed Detection: The same principle can be extended to crop disease and weed detection. Farmers can use smart devices, robotics, and machine learning to constantly monitor and identify the changes in the vitals of the crop and see if unwanted weeds are growing on the soil. AI bots can help farmers cull out the weed at the nascent stages and harvest a higher volume crop at a faster pace. Soil and Water Management: AI-powered smart metering can help farmers in the economical usage of water resources and help them in cost-saving. Similarly, these technologies can help them with the optimal utilization of soil. Over usage of the soil can lead to depletion of its natural resources and optimal usage can ensure that the soil retains its vitality. By adopting AI and ML, farmers can know when the soil might need replenishment and how the intervals need to be spaced out considering the weather, yield, and soil time. This can help them make more accurate decisions regarding sowing, seed selection, and fertilizer usage to get a higher yield per hectare. AI in Healthcare AI has come a long way in healthcare and has already delivered a high impact on this industry. It has played a pivotal role in giving rise to a patient-centric model. Here are some of the many ways AI and ML are transforming the healthcare industry – Drug Discovery: On average, $2.7 billion are spent by the pharmaceutical companies for every drug. Pharma companies have started leveraging AI in drug design to better predict molecular dynamics. It is helping them improve development efficiency and reduce drug development costs. Improve Operational Efficiencies: Hospitals need to optimally manage various parameters such as temperature, humidity, and air regulation to run the facilities smoothly. AI is allowing hospitals to smoothly carry out facility management while ensuring the physical safety of the patients and staff members. These technologies are also enabling predictive maintenance of hospital assets and the tracking of healthcare devices to ensure proper allocation and deliver better care outcomes. Pandemic Management: Countries like Taiwan, Japan, and Singapore leveraged the power of AI and ML to curtail the spread of coronavirus. Borrowing from the principles of how communicable diseases spread, AI/ ML helped in predicting the spread of the coronavirus and allowed the government agencies to put in place the required logistics, ensure border controls, and protect their most vulnerable staff members. Remote Health Monitoring: Remote health monitoring and telemedicine have shifted care from a hospital to a more personal environment, such as the patient’s home. It is helping patients in saving their care costs and also helping in reducing the workload on hospitals. With wearable devices monitoring the basic vitals of a patient and periodically streaming those to the caregivers, the quality of care has improved. Precision Surgeries: AI robots are not new anymore. Those are being increasingly adopted in hospitals for carrying out precision surgeries. These medical robots are also being used in rehabilitation facilities. Today, a large volume of data is being generated from various sources. The future will be driven by technologies like AI and ML and their ability to crunch this data to deliver actionable insights. These insights will have a significant impact on the lives of people!


Autonomous Robots Are Coming to the Operating Room

#artificialintelligence

Benjamin Tee has long been captivated by a scene in "Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back" where the surgical droid 2-1B replaces Luke Skywalker's hand after Darth Vader slices it off with a lightsaber in a battle on Cloud City. A fully autonomous robot surgeon is the Holy Grail--and many years off, says Dr. Tee, assistant professor of materials science and engineering at the National University of Singapore. He and other researchers are developing devices that can perform surgical tasks with minimal human oversight. Dr. Tee's latest project is an "artificial skin" that would give robots a sense of touch, allowing them to do things like differentiate between healthy tissue and tumors and make surgical incisions. Other researchers are working on robots that stitch up incisions and navigate to repair organs.


Singapore gathers global energy firms to seek out new innovation for sector

ZDNet

Four international energy companies have joined hands with Enterprise Singapore in their call for startups to pitch and develop digital solutions to help address key challenges in their sector. Specifically, 19 challenge statements around robotics, sustainability, work flow, and asset management have been issued. Shell, Chevron, ExxonMobil, and ConocoPhillips as well as the Singapore government agency together launched the Energy Open Innovation Challenge, which they said would give small and midsize businesses (SMBs) and startups the opportunity to pitch and testbed their solutions alongside the energy companies. In a joint statement issued Thursday, they said the COVID-19 pandemic had impacted the global energy sector, where lockdown measures and restricted air travel resulting in a significant dip in demand for energy. Remote work arrangements also had affected how energy companies manage their operations and workforce deployment.


Share of accounting tasks done by machines to surge by 80%: study

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MORE than half of the 11 finance roles picked for a study will be moderately to highly changed by technology in the next three to five years. Those in the two most junior roles will likely be taken over by machines, while the most senior roles will be least affected, a new study showed. The study, entitled "Redefining the Finance Function with Job Redesign", said the Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated the pace of digital transformation. Within the next three to five years, there could be a wider adoption of technological enablers such as robotic process automation (RPA), artificial intelligence (AI), advanced analytics/Big Data and blockchain. This shift will have a pronounced impact on the finance functions of 2025, according to the study, conducted by the Institute of Singapore Chartered Accountants (ISCA), Lee Kuan Yew Centre for Innovative Cities (LKYCIC) at the Singapore University of Technology and Design, and Ernst & Young Advisory Pte Ltd (EY).


How Artificial Intelligence is helping Singapore to achieve its Smart Nation vision during the pandemic – OpenGov New

#artificialintelligence

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.