Our CEO, Wee Tiong Ang shares about how he is advancing the AI work on Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) publication, Talent Times.
While some may shy away from the thought of a robot-powered world, Ang Wee Tiong remains pragmatic. “Like it or not, machines are here to stay.”
With a background in computer science and astrophysics, the articial intelligence (AI) researcher spent 10 years at A*STAR’s Institute for Infocomm Research (I2R) where he spearheaded AI research, development and translation. There, he witnessed rst- hand commercialisation of research IP and various collaborations with multi- national corporations (MNCs) and local small and medium- sized enterprises (SMEs).
Seeing his research applied to real-world problems inspired him to set up his own company in October 2015. Kooki, his brainchild, is a start-up that develops AI to boost the productivity and knowledge retention of enterprise professionals. Since then, it has made headway in four key areas, aiding job seekers (job intelligence), helping companies improve their products and services (media intelligence), driving online sales (customer intelligence) and capturing institutional knowledge (market intelligence).
“It’s a whole new world. Research has a logical process, but business also involves a lot of intuition, emotion, courage and luck,” said Wee Tiong. “It’s not easy to switch mindsets and succumb to the fact that the sum total of the success of your seemingly greatest-ever invention could depend on something as ‘illogical’ as timing and others’ perception.”
“As an entrepreneur, the hours are long and you don’t get a break,” he added.
Despite the challenges and the steep learning curve, if he could live his life all over again, he says it would without a doubt, be a decision he would make again. “I am really inspired when people bene t from my research and when my research is later used to generate solutions to problems.”