AI and machines could help Singapore’s economic growth to double

Integrating machines like self-driving cars into Singapore's economy could help the domestic growth rate to almost double and significantly lift labour productivity, Accenture said in a report.

Singapore's annual growth rate could be increased to 5.4 percent in 18 years, should artificial intelligence be fully adopted. This would be the largest increase among 33 countries studied.

It also translates into an additional $215 billion in gross value added, Todayonline reported on July 25, 2017. Without AI, Singapore's economy is predicted to expand only 3.2 per cent.

Self-driving bus at Nanyang Technological University. Photo courtesy: NTU
Self-driving bus at Nanyang Technological University. Photo courtesy: NTU

“As Singapore advances its smart nation vision, the adoption of AI will propel economic growth and potentially serve as a powerful remedy for stagnant productivity and labor shortages,” said Lee Joon Seong, South-east Asia managing director of Accenture Analytics.

Machines can help to increase productivity by allowing workers to use their time more effectively. They can also be freed from manual tasks to focus on innovation, said the report. This helps countries with an ageing workforce to tackle labour crunch problems.

Singapore has been aggressively pushing its Smart Nation initiative to become a global high-tech hub. This has seen the government, agencies, and companies actively encouraging the study and implementation of technology across industries. Existing uses range from self-driving buses and taxis, to robots assisting the elderly with exercise.

The government has also recently begun to place greater emphasis on developing artificial intelligence and data analytic capabilities.