Huawei opens AI lab in Singapore

Running on a 5G network, the Chinese tech giant's lab offers a testbed for artificial intelligence development projects, which includes use of its cloud and ModelArts AI platforms.

Huawei Technologies has opened a lab in Singapore to provide a testbed for artificial intelligence (AI) development projects, offering access to its cloud and ModelArts AI platforms, amongst others. Located at its local office in Changi Business Park, the facility also runs on a 5G network and includes training sessions and workshops. 

Huawei said Friday the lab offered proof-of-concepts, free trials, and offline AI development kits to facilitate research and development efforts in AI. Through the new facility, the Chinese vendor said it aimed to help cultivate a local AI ecosystem as part of Singapore's recently launched national AI strategy.

Huawei added that the opening of the lab included learnings from AI case studies by its customers DIGI and Ulearning, and the signing of five memorandum of understandings (MOUs) with local organisations such as MI Robotic, Navinfo Datatech, OTSAW, and Neolix Technologies, as well as Shanghai Zhenhua Heavy Industries Company and Shanghai Enfon Robotics Co. Local augmented reality and virtual reality companies, Hiverlab and Hellohold, also were part of the MOUs. 

These partnerships would involve development efforts in maritime operations, autonomous vehicles, robotics, and smart manufacturing. 

Huawei Cloud's Asia-Pacific CMO Neo Teck Guan said: "We believe AI and its solutions should be accessible to everyone, and that the convergence of AI, cloud, and 5G, lays the foundation of the technology ecosystem for the digital economy of the future."

The Chinese vendor also unveiled its "1+3+n" programme to be delivered through the AI lab, with the aim to nurture 100 AI architects and 1,000 AI developers in Singapore over the next three years. The initiative would focus on three key areas, including information and knowledge sharing as well as consulting and design of an ICT talent skills framework.

Huawei in April launched a https://www.zdnet.com/article/huawei-cloud-ramps-up-ai-efforts-with-singapore-lab-partners/ to develop local skillsets and offer resources to help universities and enterprises conduct research and build cloud and AI applications. It said then that the lab would provide Huawei's AI services such as research and development robots, development toolkits, and Traffic Intelligent Twins.

In August, it officially released its AI chip Ascend 910, which it said had a maximum power consumption of just 310W -- this is lower than its originally planned specs of 350W. It also announced the commercial availability of its MindSpore AI computing framework, which it said was designed to ease the development of AI applications and improve the efficiencies of such tools. 

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