Singapore is trying to fill the gap in artificial intelligence (AI) skill sets in the financial sector by consolidating demand and working with stakeholders.
The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) cited a survey of 131 local financial institutions and found that 44% of respondents said the shortage of AI and data analytics talent was the biggest challenge in adopting such applications. He said that he considers
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The central bank wants to address this skills gap with new initiatives aimed at aggregating role demand and building capacity through educational institutions and training service providers.
Leading companies in these sectors, including financial institutions, have formed a consortium to work together to advance this effort. These institutions include FactSet UK, National University of Singapore, Ngee Ann Polytechnic, Visa, Overseas Chinese Banking Corporation and United Overseas Bank.
MAS said it will aggregate skill demand across various AI and data analytics roles through this group, based on the stage of adoption of these technologies by financial institutions. The regulator will then work with financial institutions, higher education institutions and training service providers to develop programs to meet demand.
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Together, these organizations will co-curate training modules and curricula that incorporate the latest market developments and trends in AI and data analytics for applications in the financial sector. Efforts here include developing case studies that encourage sharing of sound use cases and industry-specific data resources.
In this new initiative, called the Financial Sector AI and Data Analytics (AIDA) Talent Development Program, a workgroup will assess the implementation stages of financial institutions. Workgroups then match organizations with training institutions that have the ability to design customized programs to meet skill demand. MAS said the consortium will provide expertise in curriculum development for AI-specific modules.
The group also plans to publish a white paper in the second half of this year outlining the current AI and data analytics talent landscape in the financial sector. This document includes case studies and skill development processes to serve as a roadmap for role development in the financial industry, including details of the required discipline-specific technical skill sets. Case studies highlight key applications of AI and data analytics, including fraud monitoring, investment decisions, and compliance.
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Sopnedu Mohanty, Chief Fintech Officer at MAS, said, “Supporting the adoption of AI and data analytics is a key strategy for helping financial institutions evolve and adopt innovative AI technologies. There is one, but talent shortages are limiting the industry’s growth potential.”
Mohanty said Singapore aims to promote the adoption of AI and data analytics in the financial industry through new talent development programs, providing “highly-demanded technical skills” to the local workforce.
MAS launched a software toolkit in February 2022 aimed at helping financial institutions use AI responsibly. Five whitepapers have been released to guide organizations in evaluating their implementation based on predefined principles. According to MAS, the document details a methodology for incorporating his FEAT principles of fairness, ethics, accountability and transparency into the use of AI within the financial sector.
Last October, the Singapore government identified AI as one of the key technology trends that will drive demand for skillsets over the next three to five years, alongside 5G and the Internet of Things. But governments warn that infrastructure and operations roles are at risk of being replaced, requiring reskilling of talent as part of the shift to automation and DevOps.