How AI Singapore is Leveraging Generative AI to Scale AIAP and Our Team

Introductions

A global trend is emerging where large organisations attribute the rise of Generative AI as an excuse to slow down, halt or remove roles that they think are susceptible to replacement by Generative AI. While this shift has sparked concerns about job security in certain industries, innovative and agile organizations instead leverage Generative AI for new business growth.

At AI Singapore, we are users and innovators in AI. Recognizing the potential of Large Language Models (LLM), we are harnessing its power to scale up our signature programs – the 100 Experiments (100E) and the AI Apprenticeship Programme (AIAP). This pioneering application of Generative AI is a game-changer. It scales the impact of our programs and illustrates how Generative AI technology can bring about positive transformations in job creation and talent development.

Increasing the number of AIAP Apprentices

Over the last 14 batches, we have seen the following: there is a 50% dropout for each of the stages of the AIAP recruitment. If we receive 200 applications, we will only receive around 50% or 100 submissions for the technical assessment (TA). Of the 100 who submitted, only about 50% will pass. We will then invite these 50 to the interview; typically, only 50% will pass the final interview stage. So we are left with 25 candidates to whom we will make an offer for the AIAP programme.

So, to grow the AIAP cohort and at the same time maintain the same standard of intake, we can do two things:

  1. Increase the number of applicants who are not aware of AI Singapore and the AIAP
  2. Increase the acceptance rate of applicants who apply

Increasing the number of applicants who apply to AIAP is a marketing and outreach activity, and AI Singapore will scale these up.

This article will focus instead on getting more applicants who already know of AIAP and studying to pass the technical assessment.

The AIAP Field Guide and Boot Camp

The AIAP Field Guide is now in its fourth iteration. We have added new content and reorganise the structure for better clarity and ease of use.

From the Preface of the field guide:

This field guide serves several needs:

For aspiring AIAP™ applicants, this field guide provides a structured 12 to 18 months learning pathway to attain the requisite level for acceptance into AIAP™. 

For experienced applicants to AIAP™, this field guide provides the necessary knowledge required, and applicants can check themselves against the content outlined here before they apply for AIAP™. 

Unsuccessful applicants can also evaluate their skill set against the content listed here and use this Field Guide to deepen their knowledge required before applying to AIAP™ again.

As AI and machine learning are developing rapidly, we will update this content based on our engineer’s experience executing the 100E projects and your feedback

To complement this AIAP Field Guide, the AIAP team have launched the AIAP Preparatory BootCamp.

AIAP Preparatory Bootcamp offers an avenue for aspiring AIAP applicants to review their learnings with a synthetic project and receive mentorship from AISG AI Engineers to accelerate the mastering of the application of their existing knowledge to a project. The mentoring sessions are based on our AIAP model, where participants are split into groups, each led by AISG AI Engineers, to facilitate sharing and discussion. 

The first boot camp to be held in September 2023 is fully subscribed. More runs will be planned in the future.

Ask Kevin! A Generative AI, LLM-based Co-Evaluator

Ask Kevin! is an LLM-based AI Engineering assistant that will be used during the AIAP recruitment and during AIAP itself.

AIAP Recruitment Phase

We are developing Ask Kevin! as a co-evaluator to our AI Engineer as a tool to accelerate the evaluation process of AIAP applicants’ technical test scripts during the AIAP application process. This tool helps our AI Engineers assess applicants’ code submissions and ensure consistent scores are assigned, mistakes are identified, and recommended solutions are proposed so that the applicants can learn from their mistakes, understand where they are weak and improve and try for the next batch of AIAP recruitment. This innovation in the evaluation process can allow us to handle more AIAP applications as we grow the AIAP program over the next few years.

Deep Skilling and Project Phase

Ask Kevin! will also be used during the deep skilling and project phase of the AIAP. Apprentices using Ask Kevin! can receive immediate feedback without waiting for an AI mentor’s availability, hence accelerating their learning process. This allows AI mentors to oversee larger groups (12-18 apprentices) at a time, up from 4-6, thereby increasing our efficiency.

Why Ask Kevin! ? This is because the current Head of AIAP is Kevin and he is the goto guy for any AIAP technical questions.

The Big Board! – A Generative AI, LLM-based Simulator

Another project the AIAP team is working on is called the The Big Board! – which is an LLM-based AIAP Simulator that provides a virtual and immersive learning experience modelled after the AIAP experience.

The simulator will enable apprentices to experience the AIAP in a controlled virtual environment, accelerating their learning while experiencing the development activities and sprints of a real-world 100E project – warts and all. If The Big Board! is successful, it would offer prospective AIAP applicants a better way to prepare for the rigour of the AIAP programme and complete the programme successfully.

This application is called The BIg Board! because our discussion area where we host alot of discussions, presentations, meals happen is called The Big Board.

Ask Kevin! is in Beta, and we will use it for evaluating the AIAP batch 15 recruitment happening this month. The Big Board! is currently being built by the AIAP Team and is expected to go on beta testing by the end of this year.

Conclusion

Far from reducing our engineering team headcount, Ask Kevin! and The Big Board! will allow our AI Engineering team to grow to support the scale-up of the AI Apprenticeship Programme (AIAP) and 100 Experiments (100E) initiative.

With Generative AI, we will be able to mentor and train more Singaporeans via AIAP and help more companies begin their 100E AI journey!

Author

  • Laurence Liew

    Passionate about growing the next generation of Singaporean AI talents, I spend my time figuring out the best ways to groom more Singaporeans for AI, getting our kids interested in STEM and accelerating SMEs’ adoption of AI through AI Singapore 100E programmes.