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#YKA April – Bot or Not: Perceptions of Customer Service in AI

May 25th, 2017 Posted in Monthly Community Sentiment Singapore (YKA)

Facebook and Microsoft have gone head-to-head with new “chatbots” – digital contacts on your phone whom you can text if you want something done. In light of such advancement, chatbots, which can work any and all times of the day and can be trained up instantly, are touted to replace Customer Service agents in the future. However, our latest YKA findings reveal that Singaporeans are still lukewarm about adopting automated artificial intelligence.

Read on below to find out more and see the latest Singapore Government Satisfaction Index for April 2017.

YKA - Apr 2017

Fake News Also a Growing Worry in Singapore

May 3rd, 2017 Posted in Blackbox in the Media

An independent study conducted by Blackbox Research revealed that many Singaporeans are concerned about fake news, especially online and on social media sites. About 42% of all Singaporeans polled commented that they regularly wonder if the news they read online is true or false.

The proliferation of fake news also worries Singaporeans. Around 61% of those polled say they worry about reading fake news online to “some” extent, with one-third of them concerned about fake news “a lot”.

Nearly half of the survey population (47%) believe that at least “some” of the local news on social media is fake. Mainstream media news sites such as SPH, MediaCorp and Yahoo are seen as being far less likely to publish fake or misleading news compared to emerging online news outlets.

Some of the findings were published in The Straits Times on 1 May 2017. For the full report, please see below.

YKA -Apr-2017-Poll Findings – Fake News

#YKA March – Water Price Hike Sees the Govt take a (Public) Bath

April 27th, 2017 Posted in Monthly Community Sentiment Singapore (YKA)

Our latest YKA findings reveal that Singaporeans are far from happy about the recent increase in water prices. Around 2 in 3 do not buy the Government’s reasoning for the hike. Is the Government now guilty of taking missteps with utilities as it did previously with public transport?

Our exclusive forensics on the 2017 Budget also show that Singaporeans rate the latest Budget lower than in 2016 and have struggled to identify any clear winners this year.


#YKA February – Singapore Politics: Four in Ten 4G Leaders are not as Good as Previous Generations

March 31st, 2017 Posted in Monthly Community Sentiment Singapore (YKA)

Leadership was very much a topic again in February, following Prime Minister Lee’s appearance on BBC’s flagship global interview show, ‘Hard Talk’. In the wake of this, we asked Singaporeans how they feel the next generation of Singaporean leaders are shaping up.


SG-Budget 2017: Singaporeans Call for More Support of Older PMETs

February 17th, 2017 Posted in White Papers and Public Research

SG Budget 2017 Infographic – Updated


On February 20th 2017, Singapore’s 51st Budget will be announced in Parliament by Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat. Exclusive Blackbox polling on the Budget shows that Singaporeans have the economy very much at the forefront of their minds. They are now increasingly worried about future job prospects for older professionals, managers, executives and technicians (PMETs). Despite satisfaction amongst the general public with future adult educational opportunities (70%) and SkillsFuture (72%), this is not translating into confidence about older professionals’ job prospects. Clearly, with tough economic times persisting, fears are rising amongst white collar professionals, who are now looking to the Government for leadership as the Singapore economy transforms.

Besides the economy, healthcare is also a clear worry for the Government: only 34% of Singaporeans are satisfied with current cost levels and only 39% are satisfied with clinic waiting times.

Further findings from Blackbox’s pre-Budget polling show:

  • Two-thirds (66%) of Singaporeans think that the priority for the 2017 Budget should be on the economy and employment opportunities, vs. 17% who think that priority should be given to healthcare, 8% on social welfare, 7% on transport, 6% on education and 4% on housing.
  • 34% of Singaporeans say that the top economic priority should be job opportunities for PMETs. Currently, 34% of Singaporeans are satisfied with job opportunities for older PMETs, vs. 41% who are satisfied with opportunities for older blue collar workers.
  • In terms of new measures required across policy areas, Singaporeans responded as follows:

  • Singaporeans also expressed their priorities in the following areas:

AI: Are Asians Ready to Embrace Non-Human Alternatives in Everyday Life?

February 7th, 2017 Posted in White Papers and Public Research

Is artificial intelligence (AI) finally about to enter our everyday reality? 

Whether it’s your home, your car, your supermarket or your local family restaurant, artificial intelligence looks set to enter our everyday lives in a big way.

As recently featured on Yahoo News Singapore, Blackbox Research has put together an exclusive white paper looking at how Asians currently feel about robots and artificial intelligence becoming part of their everyday reality, whether it be at home or in other areas of life.

Our five country regional survey found that most Asians are indeed relaxed about AI becoming part of everyday life, albeit to varying degrees across different aspects of life. Most surprising is how people across Asia have a different take on the topic, highlighting cultural differences. Of real interest, however, is how the Chinese, more than any other people are ready to embrace AI in their lives. What does this tell us about the future of employment in the country with the most number of working people globally?

Most importantly, although previously confined to the shackles of science-fiction, the conversation about AI has now shifted quite markedly from a technology discussion into a community and lifestyle discussion. As such, AI is very much a topic about life today: how much governments, communities and consumers are willing to accept when it comes to transferring ordinary, everyday responsibilities to non-human intelligence.


Singapore’s News Personality of the Year

February 3rd, 2017 Posted in White Papers and Public Research

Screen Shot 2017-02-03 at 11.29.09 AM

To commemorate the end of the year of the Monkey, Blackbox Research took to the streets, asking Singaporeans who they would crown the news personality of 2016. 1,000 Singaporean respondents then placed their top three picks from a list of 17 news-makers.

Having snatched Singapore’s first ever Olympic gold medal at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, it comes as little surprise that 68% of Singaporeans crowned Joseph Schooling as Singapore’s 2016 news personality of the year. Aged just 21, Schooling rose to national fame as beat out his opponents – including personal idol, Michael Phelps – to a record 50.39 second win in the 100m butterfly.

Singapore’s third Prime Minister, Lee Hsien Loong, came in second place with 58%. Already in his third term as Prime Minster, Lee continues to enjoy high popularity, and Blackbox’s findings validate this. Last year often saw Lee in the spotlight for a number of reasons: under his leadership, the Committee for the Future Economy (CFE) was launched, the bilateral agreement for a high-speed train between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore was signed, and his Government rolled out Skillsfuture. The nation was also momentarily rattled by a brief health-scare during his National Day Rally speech, and the media pondered  the question of his potential future succession.

Late President S.R. Nathan took third place with 36%. The findings further highlight the nations reverence and affection for him, his place in the Nation’s heart clearly visible at the time of his passing. Showing further interest in Singapore’s political and sporting spheres, Deputy Prime Minister, Tharman Shanmugaratnam, took fourth place with 28%, whilst two-time gold medal Paralympian, Yip Pin Xiu, took fifth place with 26%. Trailing behind in sixth place was controversial video blogger and enfant terrible, Amos Yee at 14%. Yee is currently being held in detention in McHenry Country Adult Correctional Facility in Illinois, awaiting a court hearing on March 7th for political asylum in the United States of America.

A full review of 2016 will be released next week by Blackbox Research, detailing which areas the Government performed best and worst in over 2016, as well as taking a look at Singaporeans’ top priorities for 2017. Stay tuned for more information!

51 and Out

December 22nd, 2016 Posted in White Papers and Public Research

bb-dec-51-v2-jpg2To commemorate the end of 2016 and Singapore’s 51st year since independence, Blackbox interviewed 51 Singaporeans aged fifty-one, asking them to tell us how they feel as Singaporeans at this moment in time. Below, we share some of their thoughts and highlights.

  • “It’s been a journey of development. 50 years is very short for a nation, but we have come so far. I have grown up with Singapore. This is a beautiful place to call home.”
  • “I was born in 1965 and feel proud and honoured to grow and develop with our nation.  For the past 51 years, Singapore has achieved so much – from a little red dot to a well-known country with good infrastructure, uncorrupt government, clean and green country, multi-racial harmony, etc.  Looking forward to the future, I sincerely hope that all Singaporeans continue to unite as a nation to maintain continued peace and prosperity for our country and face all challengers together such as terrorism.”
  • “We are a nation of hard-working pragmatists, our sights fixed upon the job in hand and the opportunities ahead.”
  • “As for the journey, I had experienced kampung living as a kid to private condominium as an adult. It won’t be possible if we do not have capable Govt. who tries to improve the life of its people and motivated and hardworking citizens who are determined to strive for the better. However, life in Singapore is getting more and more stressful. Physically, life has improved tremendously for me, but mentally, it has become more and more pressurised.”  
  • “Great as we’ve progress so well for the last 50 years & in fact, I’m as old as our nation since I’m born on 9/8/1965. Looking forward to many more great years ahead. Cheers, Singapore!”
  • “I am happy to be a Singaporean.”
  • “Singapore is doing extremely well, I will be a real happy person if I am doing as well as Singapore.”
  • “I feel proud to be a Singapore.  I am proud of my government who righteous and God fearing man and woman to govern our country.”
  • “I have seen the country of kampong to a country with high skyscraper.”
  • “Singapore has progressed from third world to first world country, even it is only just ‘a little red dot’.”
  • “I couldn’t ask for more and hope that Singapore will be in peace and harmony and won’t the target for the terrorists.”
  • “It’s very challenging in terms of political leadership, readiness and economic viability.”
  •  “Economically, we have grown from strength to strength.”
  • “Singapore has been blessed with a good government working with a pragmatic population to gain political stability, economic prosperity & social harmony in nation-building.”
  • “Not easy. Very thankful to The Late Mr Lee’s credit and also the people who had contributed.”
  • “Progress is good, however, I think the government still need to consider rewarding those older folks who have contribute a lot to the nation building of Singapore by giving them, if possible free admission to attractions, free public transport..etc”
  • “Good and bad time. Happy and sad movement. Up and down throughout 51 years.”
  • “Though we are still a very young independent country, we have much to boast about, such as the transport infrastructure, world class standard hospitals, high literacy rate etc.”

#YKA Telcos: The Price of Reliability

December 21st, 2016 Posted in Monthly Community Sentiment Singapore (YKA)

On October 22nd and 24th, StarHub’s broadband internet network was brought down in a series of attacks on the Nation’s second biggest telco. Although no customers’ data was compromised in the attacks, they were unprecedented for Singapore, being the first to ever hit the Republic. A similarly drastic event struck Singtel on December 3rd, where the network saw its fibre broadband network suffer a day-long outage. In this month’s YKA, Blackbox takes a look at the price of reliability for telcos, as well as the cost of cyber-attacks.


Singaporeans Think Online Gambling Exemptions Will Exacerbate Gambling Addiction

December 15th, 2016 Posted in White Papers and Public Research


In September, Singapore’s Government decided to allow limited online betting take place. The move, a first for Singapore, would see the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) exempt Singapore-based lottery operators Singapore Pools and Singapore TurfClub from the Remote Gambling Act, which bans online and phone gambling. In a media release from MHA, the ministry commented on their reasoning for the exemptions. “A complete ban would only serve to drive remote gambling underground, making it harder to detect, and exacerbate the associated law and order, and social concerns.”

Community polling by Blackbox reveals that just under three-quarters of all Singaporeans (74%) are either opposed or strongly opposed to both online and offline gambling. In line with this, over seven in ten (76%) are concerned that the new exemptions will exacerbate gambling addiction in Singapore.

Despite their concerns, two in five Singaporeans (40%) support the new exemptions to online gambling, whilst just over one in five (21%) feel that they do not know enough about the issue. Younger Singaporeans – aged 15-24 – are more supportive of the new measures (46%) than the over 50s (36%). Just under two in five Singaporeans believe that the move will drive more visitors to casinos.

In order to be served the exemption, both Singapore Pools and Singapore TurfClub will have to put stringent safeguards in place, including age and identity verification, as well as daily spending limits. Breaches of these safeguards are punishable with fines of up to $1 million, as well as a revocation of operating license.

2015 saw the generation of $2.71 billion in betting taxes for the Nation. The Government revealed last year that Singapore’s two gambling resorts contributed between 1.5 and 2 percent of Singapore’s GDP and have created over 20,000 jobs.