CONNECT WITH: MARTIN HUANG
Hi Martin, please introduce yourself
I am the Managing Director of SenseTime International; my responsibility is to manage and grow the business operations in Southeast Asia. Since choosing computer science as the major for my tertiary education during the first Internet boom, my career has revolved around the development of the digital economy, and I have enjoyed the global trajectory it has taken me on immensely. It has truly been a rewarding experience to be based in Singapore and working with the rich cultural diversity the region has to offer.
Can you tell us a little more about what SenseTime does?
SenseTime is a leading global company focused on developing AI technologies that advance the world’s economies, society, and humanity for a better tomorrow. The deep learning and computer vision technologies we have developed are trusted by customers and partners around the world, and are already empowering various industries across education, healthcare, automotive, communications and entertainment.
With our roots in the academic world, SenseTime invests in fundamental research to deepen understanding and advance state-of-the-art AI technology. We are a leading global AI algorithm provider and one of the most prolific contributors of related papers in the research community, striving to build a stronger AI ecosystem together with industry and academia.
In 2018, SenseTime expanded our footprint and established SenseTime International in Singapore as our regional headquarters and a springboard to the rest of Southeast Asia.
Why do you think it’s important for secondary/tertiary students to start learning about AI?
The emergence of the digital society and economy is transforming the way we live and how businesses operate at an unprecedented speed. AI and automation will be fundamental to the future ways of living, working, and doing business. We are committed to promoting AI education to cultivate AI talents for the future. In Singapore, we are collaborating with secondary and tertiary education institutions to tailor AI teaching materials to the local curriculum, and look to accelerate the development of AI education in the region.
We strongly believe that learning does not stop after graduation – lifelong learning to reskill and upskill is critical and essential for the public and workforce to thrive in this new era. Therefore, we also provide AI talent training and knowledge building across all age groups and levels of education.
Could you share a little more about what the AI curriculum is like?
Our curriculum comprises textbooks and courses co-created with teachers. Students may learn about AI and programming on our AI experimental platform SenseStudy; we also provide hands-on experience through learning tools such as the SenseStorm LEGO robots, and competitions for students to develop and showcase their own AI projects.
We have established a program to train instructors and empower teachers to be well-equipped in leveraging the AI programme’s teaching materials and tools as well.
What are some of the more exciting/innovative advancements in AI you’ve seen recently?
As stated earlier, AI is integrated into many parts of our lives. It goes far beyond just facial recognition with innovations in machine learning and deep-learning platforms, autonomous driving, and video and imaging analytics. Amongst many potential applications, it can improve public safety, improve disease diagnosis, and empower self-driving cars. At SenseTime, we believe that AI can be a force for good for both our society and humanity, and we are committed to a responsible usage of AI technologies.
One of the most exciting and innovative advancements recently is the use of AI and AR technology in arts and culture to redefine the way people perceive and engage with art. Art and culture can be made more accessible to the general public, and we can reshape the modern art experience by merging real and virtual worlds through digitalisation and interactive elements powered by AI technology.
AI has many upsides, but can you identify some areas where AI is lacking and what needs to be done?
AI and automation will transform the way we work and revolutionise industries as we head towards the future. However, to achieve the true potential of AI in businesses, we need to foster human-AI collaboration by involving humans in the process of its development and transformation in order to keep the human touch. For example, a service provider can leverage AI-powered chatbots to understand customer’s needs, and based on the information provided, humans can prepare and offer better assistance tailored to the customer’s need for an improved customer experience.
Finally, what do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
I really enjoy DIY IT projects – especially modding my own computers after classic builds. Swimming and basketball are some of my favourite sports, but nothing beats my love for table tennis (we even have a ping-pong table in the office!) Since living in Singapore, I have embraced the national hobby – exploring new eateries and cuisines – and I have cultivated a taste for spicy food such as Indian curry and Szechuan cuisine.
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