Countries must ensure they have the right skills to strengthen their cyberdefenses and protect their digital borders as technologies such as generative artificial intelligence (AI) are adopted and continue to evolve.
Singapore, for one, wants to equip its cyber armed forces and train future talent with advanced AI capabilities. The Singapore Armed Forces’ cyberdefense unit, known as the Digital and Intelligence Service (DIS), signed an agreement with AI Singapore on Saturday to “deepen national AI expertise” for digital defense.
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Launched in May 2017 by the National Research Foundation, AI Singapore is tasked with building the country’s AI capabilities and ecosystem, comprising local startups and companies developing AI products.
The collaboration will help DIS advance AI innovation in academia and industry. It is hoped that this integrated approach will ensure that the armed forces’ cyberdefense can tap into the growing amount of data to better detect and respond to Singapore’s growing cyber threats, said the Ministry of Defense.
The ministry said that DIS can use the industry and AI Singapore’s talent development schemes, including the 100 Experiments and AI Apprenticeship Program. These skills will be used to develop the ability to deploy advanced AI techniques, such as large-scale language models, and integrate them into the country’s defense operations.
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The partnership will also see DIS expand its course offerings to include AI Singapore’s LearnAI modules. DIS will tap into AI Singapore’s existing student networks to develop its talent pool. Participants in the AI Apprenticeship Program, for example, can contribute to the development of national defense through various projects.
“Our partnership with DIS will ensure that Singapore has a strong and robust pipeline of AI talents with knowledge of issues related to national defense and relevant expertise to protect our digital assets. border and protect Singapore,” said Koo Seng Meng, head of AI Singapore. Learning AI.
A cybersecurity training program was also launched on Friday targeting mid-career professionals and recent graduates without prior training. Known as the CSIT Cyber Traineeship Program, this full-time, paid training course for seven months aims to train and retrain 100 individuals over the next three years.
The training scheme is managed by the Center for Strategic Infocomm Technologies (CSIT), a technical agency sitting within Singapore’s Ministry of Defence. Selected course applicants will be paired with a CSIT mentor and cybersecurity specialist, who will guide students through their reskilling and training journey.
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Candidates who complete the program will be offered a permanent role at CSIT, with a minimum tenure of two years.
Teo Chee Hean, senior minister and coordinating minister for national security, said building a strong cybersecurity talent pool is important as new technologies, including machine learning, AI, Internet of Things, and Web 3.0 , integrated into everyday life.
Speaking at CSIT’s 20th anniversary celebration, where he announced the launch of the training scheme, Teo said: “Bad actors are exploiting technology for their nefarious purposes. The security picture, therefore, Malicious actors use sophisticated technologies and tactics, steal sensitive information or take down critical infrastructure for political reasons or for profit.
“Ransomware attacks around the world have brought down digital government services for a long time. Corporations are not spared. Hackers continue to breach sophisticated systems and place stolen personal data for sale, and classified information.”
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Teo also said that deepfakes and bot farms produce fake news to manipulate public opinion, with highly sophisticated content that blurs the line between fact and fiction that tends to emerge as generative AI tools, such as of ChatGPT, is mature and can be used by many.
“Threats like this reinforce our need to develop robust capabilities that will support our security agencies and keep Singapore safe,” the minister said. “The security landscape especially in the digital domain is constantly evolving. We need to anticipate new technologies, and create solutions that strengthen our defense and security.
Singapore’s information communications workforce has grown by 40% in the past five years, but Teo noted that demand for professionals remains strong. He said there were 9,000 job openings in the sector last September, adding that this number was the reason for a series of tech layoffs last year.