Singapore must take caution with AI use, review approach to public trust

In its quest to drive the adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) across the country, multi-ethnic Singapore needs to take special care navigating its use in some areas, specifically, law enforcement and crime prevention. It should further foster its belief that trust is crucial for citizens to be comfortable with AI, along with the recognition that doing so will require nurturing public trust across different aspects within its society. 

It must have been at least two decades ago now when I attended a media briefing, during which an executive was demonstrating the company’s latest speech recognition software. As most demos went, no matter how much you prepared for it, things would go desperately wrong. 

Her voice-directed commands often were wrongly executed and several spoken words in every sentence were inaccurately translated into text. The harder she tried, the more things went wrong, and by the end of the demo, she looked clearly flustered. 

She had a relatively strong accent and I’d assumed that was likely the main issue, but she had spent hours training the software. This company was known, at that time, specifically for its speech recognition products so it wouldn’t be wrong to assume its technology then was the

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