DBS partners Amazon to upskill 3,000 employees in AI and machine learning

Financial services company DBS has collaborated with Amazon Web Services (AWS) to launch DBS x AWS DeepRacer League in a bid to equip its employees with fundamental skills in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) by the end of the year. This comes as DBS sets its sights on accelerating the use of AI and ML across its business.

Through the DBS x AWS DeepRacer League, DBS expects at least 3,000 employees, including the bank’s senior leadership, to learn new AI and ML skills this year. During the programme, employees will participate in a series of hands-on online tutorials before putting their new knowledge to the test by programming autonomous model race car. These ML models will then be uploaded onto a virtual racing environment where employees can experiment and iteratively fine tune their models as they engage each other in friendly competition.

As part of DBS’ drive to ingrain digital learning behaviours among employees, the DBS x AWS DeepRacer League will be run completely online powered by AWS, from classroom to racetrack. This comes on the back of DBS’ effort to scale up its digital learning tools and platforms to enable its employees to upgrade their skills and pick up new knowledge even when they are not physically in the office.

Paul Cobban, chief data and transformation officer at DBS said that the company is "aware of the need to stay ahead of the technology curve to continue exceeding its customers’ expectations". He added that DBS had never believed in limiting digital expertise to a small team, and instead passionately believed in democratising technology skillsets among all employees, so that they could run alongside the company as it advanced on its digital transformation.

“Additionally, we wanted to adopt a different approach from our previous digital and data skills revolutions. In line with our ethos of keeping work and learning fun, we sought to introduce gamification elements to better engage our employees, and the AWS DeepRacer League platform presented the perfect opportunity,” Cobban explained.

Conor McNamara, MD of AWS ASEAN said the financial services industry was rapidly evolving, and that DBS once again demonstrated “why it was a global award-winning bank by transforming its workforce for the digital age and equipping them with the latest knowledge on cloud technology”. “We are excited to collaborate with DBS to develop a talent pool that can further unlock the flexibility and power of cloud technology," McNamara added.

In 2019, DBS digitalised and simplified end-to-end credit processing, setting the foundation for advanced credit risk management using data analytics and ML. It also deployed an AI-powered engine to provide accurate self-service digital options to its retail customers based on their digital footprint, according to its press statement. Separately, DBS recently partnered with ride-hailing company Gojek to integrate Gojek’s services into its PayLah! platform. Aimed at boosting the adoption of digital payments, this partnership allowed DBS PayLah! users to book and pay for their Gojek rides directly through the PayLah! platform.

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