offfstock - Fotolia

IBM, AI Singapore to bolster Sea-Lion LLM

IBM will work with AI Singapore on technical exchanges to enhance Sea-Lion and make the region’s first LLM available to data scientists and engineers through its AI use case library

IBM and AI Singapore have teamed up to bolster the capabilities of Sea-Lion, Southeast Asia’s first large language model (LLM) in areas such as governance to drive its adoption among businesses.

Under the agreement, both parties will test Sea-Lion using IBM’s AI technology as well as its data and AI platform watsonx, and collaborate on technical exchanges and knowledge sharing to enhance the model.

These include plans to incorporate AI governance into the model to assist companies in managing AI compliance, risk management and model lifecycle management.

To drive adoption, IBM will also incorporate Sea-Lion into its AI use case library to allow data scientists, developers and engineers to explore the use of localised generative AI models to support different use cases.

Catherine Lian, general manager and technology leader at IBM ASEAN, said further progress of generative AI will bring greater performance in smaller language models, with users given the opportunity to personalise models based on their business and industry requirements.

“No one model is a one-size-fits-all for businesses, and organisations must be empowered with a choice to use their models based on their needs. AI Singapore’s Sea-Lion LLM is a big step forward in creating an open AI system and in addressing the ASEAN language challenges that companies and governments face when working with AI,” she added.

Leslie Teo, senior director of AI products at AI Singapore, noted that his organisation’s work with IBM is a testament to the significance of public and private partnerships in the strive to build deeper AI capabilities across Southeast Asia.

“We look forward to working with IBM to expand the adoption of Sea-Lion across various use cases and help Southeast Asian organisations scale AI safely and responsibly,” he said.

Apart from IBM, AI Singapore is working with Google Research Asia-Pacific to build a corpus of training data that can be used to train, finetune and evaluate LLMs in Southeast Asian languages.

Dubbed Project SEALD (Southeast Asian Languages in One Network Data), the initiative will drive the creation of training data in Indonesian, Thai, Tamil, Filipino and Burmese, and is expected to improve the performance of models such as Sea-Lion.

Sea-Lion was developed by AI Singapore to address the need for localised LLMs that better reflect the context and values of Southeast Asia. The open-source model was designed to be smaller, more flexible and faster than commonly used LLMs in the market today.

Read more about AI in ASEAN

  • SingPost group CIO outlines the company’s efforts to leverage AI and automation to improve operations, emphasising the importance of building the right culture as it expands its regional footprint.
  • DBS Bank’s AI Industrialisation Programme has been instrumental is industrialising the use of data and AI across its business, resulting in over S$370m of incremental economic benefits.
  • Alibaba’s SeaLLMs are built to address the linguistic diversity and nuances in Southeast Asia, enabling businesses to deploy localised chatbots and translation applications.
  • Malaysian startup Aerodyne is running its drone platform on AWS to expand its footprint globally and support a variety of use cases, from agriculture seeding to cellular tower maintenance.

Read more on Artificial intelligence, automation and robotics

Data Center
Data Management