Singapore Is Crowned As The Most AI-Ready City. But, Is The World Truly Ready For AI?


Singapore attains the highest rank in the AI Readiness Index 2019 report. Here is the list of  the top 20 cities.


The AI Readiness Index was created by the Oliver Wyman Forum to serve as a metric of the capability of a city to thrive and adapt once the age of AI comes.

How the Index was formed

The global research covers 105 cities all over the globe. The readiness of a city of AI tech was measured by Oliver Wyman Forum using four components they call vectors:

01. Visions, Priorities, and Mindset

  • Quality of city strategy/ vision
  • Importance of information and communications technology to country strategy

02. Activation

  • Quality of life and diversity
  • Demographic enablers
  • Legal and governmental enablers

03. Asset Base

  • Companies
  • Workforce
  • Funding
  • Education & Research
  • Infrastructure

04. Trajectory and Development

  • Activation (development over time)
  • Asset base (growth over time)

Apart from managing the vital aspects of city life and health, Oliver Wyman Forum also emphasizes the importance of moving forward in these vectors for a city to be fully prepared for the changes AI tech will bring.


Singapore was ranked the highest for this year’s report, gaining an overall score of 75.8.

Meanwhile, cities from the United States dominate the rankings, occupying 7 spots out of the top 20.

Singapore’s triumph can be attributed to its high score in the vision component, gaining a score of 98.44, making it also the first in rank in this particular category.

According to Oliver Wyman managing partner Jacob Hook, Singapore is among the few governments which have developed an AI governance framework for addressing ethical dilemmas.

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Earlier this year, Singapore presented their ethical framework in Davos during the annual World Economic Forum (WEF) meeting.

The global state of AI readiness

While there are some standout cities for this year’s rankings, Oliver Wyman’s perceives that global readiness for AI still needs a lot of work. They cited three key insights:

01. “No city is close to being ready for the challenges ahead.” Right now, no city is ranked within the top 20 across all four vectors. Even across just three vectors, none of the cities made it through the top 10.

02. “Size is good, but focus is better.” Apart from mere numbers, cities should also strengthen their vision and their governments in order to prepare for AI tech.

03. “City governments need to get real.” A huge number of cities remain to overlook the potential major changes that AI will bring.


The changes that AI will bring into the world are materializing in a quick pace.

Now more than ever do we need governments who recognize the reality of this matter. Now more than ever do we need cities that are willing to tackle the challenges the developments of AI will bring in all seriousness.

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