Singapore’s Smart Nation and Digital Government Office (SNDGO) on Wednesday announced the launch of the Artificial Intelligence Government Cloud Cluster (AGCC).
AGCC, set up in collaboration with Google Cloud, is to be a comprehensive platform designed to accelerate AI adoption in Singapore’s public sector, advance local research efforts in applied AI, and support the growth of the local AI startup ecosystem, SNDGO said in a statement.
AGCC is hosted in a dedicated cloud computing environment in Singapore and has been designed for use by Singapore’s government agencies and research, innovation, and enterprise (RIE) ecosystem.
SNDGO said AGCC will allow government agencies to take advantage of Google Cloud’s enterprise-grade AI technology stack and extensive partner ecosystem of software-as-a-service companies, consultancies, and AI startups to build and deploy scalable and impactful AI applications quickly, securely, responsibly, and cost-effectively.
The Government Technology Agency (GovTech) will be the first public sector organisation in Singapore to leverage the AGCC.
GovTech’s Open Government Products (OGP) team has integrated with Google Cloud’s Vertex AI and is exploring the use of its models in Pair, which are large language model-powered assistants that civil servants can use to help them boost their productivity, with privacy and security safeguards in place to maintain the confidentiality of government information.
Google Cloud will partner with GovTech to design and run whole-of-government Digital Academy programs that help agencies build in-house data science and AI expertise, develop AI innovation strategies, and implement data governance best practices. These training programs are an expansion of Google Cloud’s existing public-sector skilling commitments.
The programs will be offered in various tailored forms to 150,000 public officers across 16 ministries and more than 50 statutory boards.
From this month onwards, government agencies in Singapore can access the AGCC and other accredited Google Cloud services through the Government on Commercial Cloud (GCC) 2.0 platform.
Built by GovTech, the GCC platform provides agencies with a consistent and regulated way to adopt commercial cloud solutions.
GCC 2.0, the second iteration of the platform, is integrated with cloud-native capabilities and cloud security practices, allowing agencies to tap a wider ecosystem of services and talent to accelerate the development of modern digital applications.
According to SNDGO, the capabilities of the Google Cloud’s AI technology stack include:
- AI-optimised infrastructure: High-performance A2 supercomputers powered by NVIDIA’s A100 Graphics Processing Units (GPUs) and hosted on Google Cloud’s open, scalable, secure, and energy-efficient infrastructure. This enables cloud engineers to train computationally intensive AI models at high velocity while optimising cost and mitigating the associated environmental impact.
- Customisable first-party, third-party, and open-source AI models: A central repository for AI practitioners to access pre-trained generative AI models, with integrated features to help them customise these models for specific needs.
- No-code AI developer tools: A Generative AI App Builder for developers - including those with limited technical skills - to quickly build chatbots and enterprise search experiences powered by Google Cloud’s generative AI models, and seamlessly embed them into applications and websites.
- Explainable AI and data governance toolkits: A suite of built-in tools that can help government agencies deploy AI securely and responsibly. This includes features for access control and content moderation, unique mechanisms for incorporating human feedback to improve model performance, and the ability to audit the sources behind AI models’ outputs to detect and resolve potential bias and ensure that model behaviour is compliant with regulations.
Google Cloud’s Singapore Country Director, Sherie Ng, said the company looks “forward to working with GovTech to build a vibrant pool of homegrown talent across a range of AI-related roles in public service, to help advance Singapore’s national strategy for deploying scalable and responsible AI innovations.”