1. EPF data safe despite fire this Morning
  2. Singapore RCEP meeting crucial, Says MITI
  3. Singapore proposes new guidelines to protect consumers using e-payments
  4. German workers win right to a 28-hour week for a better work-life balance
  5. Singapore SMBs to stride into cloud transformation with Oracle Digital Hub
  6. Pioneering study takes a unique approach to applying cutting edge deep learning technology to apparel design

EPF Data Safe Despite Fire This Morning
The Employees Provident Fund has assured that the savings and data of all contributors are safe despite the fire that broke out at its Jalan Gasing building in Petaling Jaya this morning. “We would like to assure members that there has been no compromise to the data integrity or members’ savings in any manner,” the EPF said in a statement. The fund said its EPF Crisis Response team worked closely with the Fire and Rescue Department to ensure that the fire did not spread to any other floor or to surrounding areas. The EPF said that members and employers who wish to perform any EPF transactions are advised to contact or visit their nearest EPF branch. Alternatively, members may call the EPF Contact Management Centre at 03-8922 6000 or forward their enquiries via the myEPF website. The fire broke out at about 11.50am this morning. The Fire and Rescue Department said about 40% of the six-floor building was affected. No casualties were reported. The cause of the fire is being investigated.

Singapore RCEP Meeting Crucial, Says MITI
Minister of International Trade and Industry, Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed said that the next Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) meeting, which will be held at ministerial level next month will be a crucial one to discuss the progress of the trade deal. He was confident the meeting, which would be held in Singapore, would serve as a platform to bridge the gap between ASEAN and other countries. Datuk Seri Mustapa said Malaysia still hoped for the proposed trade deal to be sealed this year.

Singapore Proposes New Guidelines to Protect Consumers Using e-payments
The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has proposed new guidelines for financial institutions to protect the interests of uses and make it easier for consumers and small businesses to get their money back if fraud or mistakes occur when electronic payments are made. “The proposed E-payments User Protection Guidelines aim to encourage wider adoption of e-payments by setting standards on the responsibilities of financial institutions and e-payment users,” MAS said in its media release. The guidelines spell out duties of users like the need for them to not voluntarily disclose access codes to third parties, to keep records in secure locations, and to use strong passwords for their accounts.

German Workers Win Right to a 28-hour Week for a Better Work-life Balance
German workers have won the right to a 28-hour week as part of efforts to ensure a better work-life balance. The collective deal covers around 900,000 metal and engineering workers but is expected to prompt changes across Germany and in other industries. Industrial union IG Metall, Europe’s largest trade union, has won its workers the right to work the equivalent of under six hours a day in a deal that could eventually impact almost 4 million people in the country. The collective deal covers around 900,000 metal and engineering workers in the south-western state of Baden-Württemberg, but it is expected to prompt changes across the country and in other industries.

Singapore SMBs to Stride into Cloud Transformation with Oracle Digital Hub
Small and Medium Businesses (SMBs) in Singapore can now further reap the benefits of cloud technologies with the opening of Oracle’s new Digital Hub in Singapore. Aimed at nurturing SMBs with the cloud solutions and resources they need for innovation and growth, this new facility in Singapore reflects Oracle’s commitment to better serving the SMB market. The new hub, located in Mapletree Business City, will house Oracle’s digital sales team and focus on helping mid-size organisations transition to the cloud efficiently. The team will provide timely, personalised and effective support to customers, using the latest collaboration tools, techniques and technologies to transform the buying experience. The Oracle Digital Hub in Singapore is the second in Southeast Asia, following the opening of the Digital Hub in Kuala Lumpur last year.

Pioneering Study Takes a Unique Approach to Applying Cutting Edge Deep Learning Technology to Apparel Design
Appier, a leading artificial intelligence (AI) company, demonstrated pioneering research that showcased AI’s ability to be creative at the 32nd AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence (AAAI-18), one of the world’s leading conferences in AI. AI’s ability to create and design items that humans will find appealing is considered the next important breakthrough in the field – and Appier’s research suggests that the day when AI can help designers in their day-to-day work might be closer than we thought. The Appier team designed an AI model that first mimics the human ability to put together and design outfits, after observing and learning from examples of good design. They did this with deep learning techniques in combination with a new Projected Compatibility Distance (PCD) methodology which they designed, that discerns the distance between compatible items. This compatibility distance is then used to run through a unique application of Generative Adversarial Networks (GANs) to generate novel compatible apparel items when apparel images are input. The output results capture the designers’ concept of how different apparel items combine with one another and is then used to create new apparel designs.