Singapore tech company Acronis to invest S$13.6m in artificial intelligence

SINGAPORE — Singaporean tech company Acronis said on Wednesday (Aug 23) it is investing US$10 million (S$13.6 million) in the next few years in artificial intelligence (AI) and ramping up its hiring in this area.

It currently has 30 research and development (R&D) staff in Singapore comprising engineers, software developers, data scientists, and data analysts. It plans to double the amount by the end of next year.

At least half of the US$10 million will be invested directly in Singapore, said Acronis founder and CEO Serguei Beloussov, a Russian-born Singaporean.

The investment will be self-funded by the company, and Mr Beloussov said Acronis has been investing in AI since about two years ago. “AI is very useful in security because it is very fast. If you use human analysts, it will take several days to actually find a solution in ransomware … With AI, you can do the same in milliseconds. That is why AI is so critical in security,” he said.

Mr Beloussov was speaking at an event on the company’s latest backup software Acronis True Image 2018. The software incorporates an AI-based technology designed to actively protect data against ransomware.

Mr Beloussov also has plans in the near term to use AI to categorise data. “What we are trying to build – and we will release in subsequent versions of this product and business product — is the automatic categorisation of your messages, of your data … filed into different places, so that you can browse it and search it easily,” he said.

He added: “There is a lot of value in data, unless you can categorise it and take care of it, this value will be lost.”

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