SINGAPORE, June 27 (Xinhua) -- Singapore can play a useful role in the region and even globally as a place where progressive minds meet, ideas flourish, and new paths are forged so as to advance the cause of peace and enable progress in humanity, Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen said here on Wednesday.
He said at the opening dinner for Singapore Defence Technology Summit that his country does not seek only to gather people who agree.
"But instead, through the contest of ideas and sharing of different perspectives, we also hope to provide Singapore as a safe physical and intellectual haven where new possibilities abound and hope is renewed," he added.
The Singapore Defence Technology Summit is organized by the Defence Science and Technology Agency under Singapore's Defence Ministry.
According to the agency, the summit will last for three days. It has attracted some 400 leading thought leaders, policymakers, high-ranking defence industry insiders, academics and entrepreneurs from over 15 countries or regions, who are convening to explore new ways to innovate and build collaborations.
"I hope that this tech summit can play a role in helping all countries deal with many blessings as well as challenges that technological disruptions will bring in their wake," said the minister.
According to Ng, participants need to confront risks and dilemmas at the summit so as to "ensure that new technologies do not undermine our collective security."
Taking about the use of new technologies by terrorists as an example, he said they and their networks use encrypted messenger apps to orchestrate plots, as well as drones to conduct surveillance and deliver improvised explosive devices.
He added that there will be discussions on the potential of artificial intelligence and the ethical implications of machines replacing human decision-making at the summit.