The Artificial Intelligence (AI) scene in Singapore is growing steadily. But who are the AI thought leaders behind the new startups and innovations bubbling in the city?
Let’s take a look below.
1. Foo Tiang Lim
Foo Tiang Lim is an operating partner at SeedPlus, a Singapore-based seed-stage venture firm. He is actively involved in seeking out AI investments and has invested in Evie.ai and Memetic.ai so far. With his in-depth industry experience, he predicted that Singapore will have a strong and active AI startup landscape in the next few years. This is due in part to the Government’s efforts to catalyse the ecosystem in Singapore. He also noted that there is an increasing number of AI startups in Singapore. He believed that this is due to better infrastructure, more experiments and more capital available for the technology.
2. Laurence Liew
Having graduated from National University of Singapore (NUS) with a Masters of Technology, Laurence Liew’s interests lie in AI, experts systems, neural networks and genetic algorithms. It drove him on a journey of founding startups, and managerial and director positions in various companies. Now, Laurence is the director of industry innovation in AI Singapore, an institution which focuses on AI R&D. He is passionate about encouraging AI adopter in local companies and developing skilled local AI talent. Laurence is also a member of the Microsoft Regional Director Programme, which works to decide Microsoft’s direction on open source, data science and AI-related topics.
3. Leong Tze Yun
Leong Tze Yun is currently the Director of AI Technology in AI Singapore. She concurrently holds the role of Professor of Practice of Computer Science at the School of Computing, NUS. She combines her passion in the fields of AI and health in directing the Medical Computing Laboratory at NUS. Her research interests include decision-theoretic AI, cognitive modelling, machine learning, adaptive computing, and biomedical and health informatics. She also serves on the editorial boards of leading international journals; and also on programme committees of conferences in AI and biomedical informatics.
4. Ong Yew Soon
Ong Yew Soon is the chairperson of Nanyang Technological University (NTU)’s School of Computer Science and Engineering. He was recognised as one of the World’s Most Influential Scientific Minds by Thomson Reuters in 2015.
Professor Ong is behind several innovations which have been commercialised. Notable ones include IntelliK, a software that can carry out programming for games on behalf of developers; and Dark dots, an action game born out of his research in crowd intelligence. He also created the Large-Scale Engineering Simulation for Complex Adaptive Systems (LesCaS) — a decision support system designed for large-scale modelling, simulation and optimisation of complex systems.
5. Xie Chao
Xie Chao is a Data Science Lead in Grab where he leads a 23-member team in the implementation of data science models. He was the keynote speaker at the Big Data & AI Leaders Summit Singapore 2018, on how Grab is using data science to provide better trips for its customers. Holding a Ph.D. in Bioinformatics from NUS, his research in AI have landed him accolades in the Kaggle Competition 2010. He is also one of 10 finalists for the 2010 ASEAN Technologist and Young Scientist award. Furthermore, Xie has won 2 notable competitions in the field: the TopCoder Data Science Marathon Match, and the DTRA Algorithm Challenge (a global competition with a USD1million cash prize award).
He has invented a fast method for Human Leukocyte Antigen Typing (or the process used to match patients and donors for bone marrow or cord blood transplants). He is currently awaiting approval for patent application of this innovation.
6. Akshat Kumar
Akshat Kumar is currently an Assistant Professor in School of Information Systems at Singapore Management University. The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Intelligent Systems Magazine recognised him as one of “AI’s 10 to Watch”. The magazine lauded his contributions in the field of AI, specifically for his work on automated planning and decision theoretic planning, among other topics.
7. Bo An
Similar to Akshat, the IEEE Intelligent Systems Magazine recognised Bo An on the “AI’s 10 to Watch” list. The magazine acknowledged his work in computational game theory security and sustainability.
An associate professor in NTU’s School of Computer Science and Engineering, his research interests include multiagent systems and game theory. On top of that, Bo An’s work has received numerous awards including the International Foundation for Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems’ (IFAAMAS) 2010 Victor Lesser Distinguished Dissertation Award. Bo An also led the team that won the 2017 Microsoft Project Malmo Collaborative AI Challenge. Teams were tasked to solve a game using collaborative AI agents.
8. Erik Cambria
Another inclusion on the “AI’s 10 to Watch” list is Erik Cambria, an assistant professor in NTU’s School of Computer Science and Engineering. He was recognised for his work in sentic computing – a multidisciplinary approach which aims to bring together statistical NLP (statistical inference used in natural language processing) and the other disciplinaries currently used to understand human language.
In addition, he has founded SenticNet, a company that offers B2B sentiment analysis services; and also serves as associate editor of several AI journals such as Artificial Intelligence Review, Knowledge-Based Systems, and Information Fusion.