Over the course of the past few decades, Singapore has grown into one of Asia’s most vibrant economies, and much of the credit for the stupendous growth is down to the fact that the government does not indulge in bureaucratic delay when it comes to business deals. That has seen billion of dollars in investment flowing into the country over the course of the past decades, and it will continue in the same vein as long as the same principles are maintained. In a new development, it has emerged that the Chinese e-commerce and tech giant Alibaba has been granted an Artificial Intelligence (AI) by the concerned authorities in Singapore within a record time of 3 months.
As it has now become well known, Alibaba is now no longer only an e-commerce company and has expanded into a range of business, including payments and tech in a big way. The patent was granted by the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS) under the provisions of its Accelerated Initiative for Artificial Intelligence (AI2) initiative. IPOS went on to state that usually; it takes around two to four years for granting such a patent. The larger point about such an accelerated grant is that it is a signal to tech giants as well as innovators in the rest of the world. It shows that innovators, startups and other tech giants can now bring in their AI related innovations to Singapore without fear of waiting years for a patent.
In the long run, this particular development could lead to Singapore becoming one of the biggest hubs in Asia with regards to AI innovation. In the same way that it became a financial hub, this approach could help the city-state in becoming a tech hub of the highest order. This is a big development for Alibaba as well and the VP and chief Intellectual Property counsel of Ant Financial, Benjamin Bai spoke on the matter. He said,
“Companies looking to implement AI solutions globally have grown exponentially. Against this backdrop, the speed at which a patent can be granted is critical. Singapore plays a pivotal role as it facilitates our entry into markets of our interest rapidly.”
It would be interesting to see whether this development eventually leads to a large flow of patent applications in Singapore. However, it is clearly a step that is designed to facilitate that.