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MCI (P) 112/07/2017

MAN AND MACHINE: FRIEND OR FOE? 02 Is RPA Your Answer to Business Transformation and Productivity?

SOCIETY

04 How Artificial Intelligence can Make Our Port Smarter

The Magazine of the Singapore Computer Society

06 When Machines Hire Man

Issue

04 2017


Contents

Vision To be the leading infocomm and digital media professional society in Singapore

Mission Lead the Way To lead and contribute to the vibrancy and growth of Singapore’s infocomm and digital media industry

EDITOR’S MESSAGE

POWER BOOST

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We are Our Own Enemy, Not Machines

Your Next Teammate could be an AI

THE BIG IDEA

#LATEST@SCS

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Is RPA Your Answer to Business Transformation and Productivity?

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SCS 50 Drone Experience

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SCS Splash Awards 2017

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How Artificial Intelligence can Make Our Port Smarter

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New Special Interest Group – AI & Robotics

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When Machines Hire Man

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Inaugural Certified Chief Information Security Officer Workshop

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SCS Medals and Awards for Young Tech Talents

SPOTLIGHT 08

Koo Sengmeng Talks about Shaping an AI-Powered Nation

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IT Youth Council Welcomes New Committee

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Vladyslav Shares Why AI is Not Absolutely Intimidating

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Benefits of SCS Membership

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Mark Your Calendar for these Events

Add Value GEEK SPEAK

To add value to the infocomm and digital media professional’s career and personal development

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Rise of the Machines

Be the Voice To engage and be the voice of the infocomm and digital media community

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FROM THE EDITOR’S DESK

9:41 AM

Face It – We are Our Own Enemy, Not Machines

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hese days, it is almost an everyday affair to see news of people being displaced by machines. Naturally, it is easy to point fingers and attribute our inability to keep our jobs as the fault of the machines.

Then, if you actually consider that companies are actively exploring the use of AI algorithms to help them with hiring decisions, it may well mean that you have the machines to thank for helping you find your next employer!

How true is this accusation? Just imagine – without machines, your email about a technical problem to Singtel’s Technical Assistance Centre would have to wait in queue along with over 700 other emails. Today, thanks to machines, you can get a response in roughly about 15 minutes. On a larger scale, how did you think Singapore continues to be regarded as an attractive country to trade and do business in without our ever efficient, machine-driven ports?

Truth is, the AI movement in Singapore and globally is still evolving and potential is just waiting to be unleashed with the right drivers on board. Therefore, rather than worrying about being replaced by machines, maybe we should take the advice of Koo Sengmeng, Deputy Director (Strategic Alliances) of AI Singapore to focus our energy on understanding the business value of AI and actively harness its strength to augment our abilities.

And that is just the tip of the iceberg. Not only does artificial intelligence (AI) act as an invisible force to help make our lives better in various ways, there have been just as many instances where we saw how machines step up to the plate to help with the dull, the dirty and the dangerous tasks. One example is Vladyslav Koshelyev or whom we fondly call Vlad. He shared his personal experience on how AI has made his work less repetitive and more interesting.

As always, in the course of this journey, you can count on SCS and The IT Society to support your aspirations by keeping you abreast of the latest in the tech industry and stretching your imagination to new possibilities ahead. Happy reading!

EDITOR Tan Teng Cheong CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Chong Tack Chun Ku Liang Ping Tang Kim Yee EDITORIAL SUPPORT Claudia Lim

ADVERTISING SALES & ADMIN Claudia Lim For ad sales enquiries, Tel: 6226 2567 ext 12 Email: claudia.lim@scs.org.sg Mailing Address 53 Neil Road Singapore 088891 EMAIL scs.secretariat@scs.org.sg EDITORIAL & DESIGN Lancer Design Pte Ltd

TAN TENG CHEONG Editor Fellow, SCS tengcheong.tan@scs.org.sg

FEEDBACK We value your feedback for this magazine. Simply email scs.secretariat@scs.org.sg with your comments to help us produce an even more interesting and relevant magazine for you in subsequent issues. You are welcome to submit articles for inclusion consideration. For advertising enquiries, please call 6226 2567 or email scs.secretariat@scs.org.sg. The IT Society is the official publication of the Singapore Computer Society. Any part of this publication may be reproduced as long as credit is given to the publisher, Singapore Computer Society. All views expressed by contributors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Society.

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THE BIG IDEA

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THE IT SOCIETY / Issue 04/2017

People often associate robots with human-like androids featured in science fiction movies of the 70s, such as Star Wars. While these sci-fi fantasies have now become realities for businesses adopting Robotic Process Automation (RPA), the robots used don’t look quite the same as Star Wars creator George Lucas first imagined them to be when he made Star Wars characters R2-D2 and C-3PO.

TANG KIM YEE Director, Group Enterprise, Singtel

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onetheless, no matter how these robots look, it is a fact that they are becoming an indispensable tool for businesses seeking to boost productivity in this fast-paced digital world. RPA utilises software with artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities that can handle high volumes of repeatable tasks. According to estimates1 by Market Research Future, the global market for RPA will reach $2.7 billion by 2023 from under $1 billion in 2016. RPA AS A PRODUCTIVITY BOOSTER Singtel’s Group Enterprise business unit implemented RPA in late 2016 to process

https://www.marketresearchfuture.com/reports/robotic-process-automation-market-2209

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emails at our Technical Centre, which receives an average of 750 emails from telecommunications companies around the world to inform Singtel of their network maintenance requirements. Today, RPA automatically processes 80% of these emails every month, allowing Singtel to reduce the number of staff required to monitor such emails from five to two. Meanwhile, the three staff who used to perform these repetitive and mundane tasks have been redeployed to take on more value-added jobs. Besides boosting staff productivity, RPA has also enabled Singtel to respond more quickly to the needs of our enterprise customers. And that is not all, there are many other advantages for deploying RPA. For one, automation speeds up document processing across the organisation to allow different departments, such as billing and accounting, to track and collect receivables in a timely manner. In addition, with the ability to operate round


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the clock, robots can seamlessly support staff working in different time zones around the world. While more robots can be deployed to augment heightened manpower needs during peak periods, the number can also be easily scaled back in times of low demand, giving Singtel the flexibility to implement RPA when and where they are needed most. RPA AS A STANDARD-BEARER FOR QUALITY Beyond productivity, the adoption of automation has also greatly increased data authenticity and accuracy. Before the days of automation, workers across the value chain have to call and email one another to verify data accuracy. Now, with automation, the accuracy of the data is verified at the time when it was first recorded into the system. With more and more information being digitised and robots gathering additional

data at every stage of the process, it is foreseeable that data analytics will enable business processes to be more effectively interpreted and analysed. Important insights on how a task can be performed more efficiently can also be gleaned. Further, thanks to automation, managers can not only monitor project milestones in a timely manner, but also carry out proactive intervention at every stage of the project. The result is, control and compliance policies can be enforced with ease. RPA AS AN AGENT TO DRIVE DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION Ultimately, automation has the potential to generate cost savings across businesses, improve customer satisfaction and boost operating efficiencies. But the urgency for organisations to digitalise their operations are more far-reaching

RPA USE CASE

TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE CENTRE Average 750 emails/month

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THE BIG IDEA

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than these benefits – they run the risk of being disrupted by newer technologies. Automating an enterprise’s legacy systems, however, can be quite complex as such systems typically do not have an Application Programming Interface (API), which is needed to facilitate integration into more modern and sophisticated platforms. Fortunately, the RPA software can be programed to imitate a user’s actions in front of a desktop – opening enterprise applications and going through motions as a human would. It has only been a year since Singtel embarked on our RPA journey and we are now ready to scale up RPA throughout the organisation. This will be the springboard for us to explore upcoming technologies such as smart computing and advanced data analytics to further transform our operations and boost productivity.

Downtime Notifications from Telco Service Providers Around the World and the Impact to Singtel

IMPACTED CUSTOMER + CHANGE TICKETS Ticketing System

EMAILS CUSTOMER Average 15 minutes per process

PROCESSES EMAILS TO: 1. Extract down-time information 2. Find out customers impacted 3. Log change request tickets 4. Inform customers


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THE BIG IDEA

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THE IT SOCIETY / Issue 04/2017

How Artificial Intelligence can Make Our Port Smarter Take a look at the advancement of research in artificial intelligence (AI) before and after the turn of the millennium, and you will see that research focus has undergone a huge shift from optimisation and search algorithms, expert systems, data mining, artificial neural networks, statistics, and probability during the 1980s and 1990s to machine learning, perception and cognition, automated driving, robots, intelligent personal assistant, and predictive and prescriptive analytics today.

sense of data and use them to make better decisions.

KU LIANG PING Member, SCS Assistant Vice-President, Optimisation & Application Design, PSA Corporation

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arious factors have fuelled this progress. One of which is improvement in computer processing power. AI can now tackle complex real-world problems that cannot be solved within a reasonable amount of time previously. Exponential growth rate in data generation and availability – thanks to the advent of Internet of Things (IoT) – is yet another driver. That is why there are increasing demands for AI to make

THE CORNERSTONES OF OUR PORT OPERATIONS TODAY Like many other industries, AI is exerting an increasing influence on PSA’s port business operations. However, to better understand the impact of AI on the operational efficiency of the Singapore container terminal, we need to first understand what is involved in container terminal operations. Particularly, container handling for vessels constitutes a significant part of the container terminal operations. Upon a vessel’s arrival at a berth in the container terminal, containers are discharged from and loaded onto it. A typical discharging operation starts with a quay crane picking up a container

from the vessel and placing it onto a prime mover, which will then move to a storage yard. At the storage yard, a yard crane picks up the container from the prime mover and shifts it to a designated spot. Loading operations involve the movement of containers in the opposite direction, i.e. from the yard to the vessel. THE USE OF AI IN OUR PORT OPERATIONS TODAY Notably, three major decisions need to be made during a discharging operation, namely selecting which prime mover will transport the container from the quay crane to the yard, identifying which storage yard to send the prime mover (together with the container) to, and assigning a yard crane to serve the prime mover when it arrives at the yard. With the help of AI, not only can the estimated waiting time of the prime


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THE BIG IDEA

The Use of AI in Port Operations Today

Vessel

mover at various locations in the container terminal be better predicted, the best prime mover can also be deployed to pick up the container. Subsequently, AI conducts a real-time search by taking into consideration the waiting time of the prime mover at the yard and whether the container will eventually be trucked out or loaded onto another vessel before sending the prime mover and the container to an appropriate yard. Finally, when the prime mover approaches the yard, AI assigns a suitable yard crane that is ready to serve the prime mover when it reaches the yard. For this to happen, a prediction model is used to determine the locations of the prime mover and the yard cranes around the storage yard that the prime mover is heading to. This is followed by an optimisation process

Quay Crane

Storage Yard

Prime Mover

(AI sends prime mover and container to storage yard with the shortest waiting time and easiest retrieval for trucking out or reloading to vessel. AI also assigns a yard crane to serve the prime mover when it arrives at the yard.)

(AI deploys the nearest available prime mover to pick up the container.)

which allocates a yard crane to the approaching prime mover. Similarly, AI is also applied to loading operations, yard housekeeping operations, and various planning processes. These AI-powered decisions contribute towards the overall efficiency of container handling operations by enabling the transportation of containers between vessels and storage yards using three different sets of equipment – quay cranes, prime movers, and yard cranes – to be carried out seamlessly. These repeated operations over tens of millions of times a year means that any minute time and cost savings per operation is magnified a million-fold! THE FUTURE OF AI IN OUR PORT OPERATIONS Forging ahead, as PSA prepares to

move all container terminal operations to the Tuas terminal, it is foreseeable that AI will play a more pivotal role in fuelling the fully automated terminal. For one, AI will drive the automated guided vehicles (AGVs), which will replace the current prime movers, as if they were driven by humans – or even better than humans. Likewise, the quay cranes and yard cranes will also be replaced by their automated counterparts. With humans removed from the container terminal operations equation, we can expect more certainty in the way operations are conducted, paving the way for a more intelligent system that can orchestrate and synchronise different automated equipment. The road ahead for AI sure looks to be filled with endless possibilities!

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THE BIG IDEA

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THE IT SOCIETY / Issue 04/2017

When Machines Hire Man AI and Deep Learning in Talent Acquisition and Recruitment

We read every day about how artificial intelligence (AI) is changing industries and how things are no longer done the same way as before. And indeed, the impact of AI and Deep Learning is pervasive and touching almost every aspect of corporate functions – including talent acquisition and recruitment.

same platform. And, more importantly, the entire recruiting/hiring process is being managed through an elaborate Applicant Tracking System (ATS). TAN TENG CHEONG Fellow, SCS Director, BetterIDEAS

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he process of talent acquisition as a corporate function has undergone evolution and even revolution since the beginning of time. In its earliest days, hiring decisions used to be largely based on personal recommendations and walkin interviews. These were subsequently replaced by newspaper advertisements for job postings and mailed job applications. The advent of the digital age at the turn of the century has further changed the talent acquisition and recruitment landscape. While the processes have remained intact, they have mostly migrated online. Job requirements are posted on job boards and applications are received via the

Increasingly, recruiters are also expanding their talent search beyond traditional job boards such as Monster.com to include social media like LinkedIn. This is especially prevalent for job roles that require deep skills – because it is simply easier to hunt for what is needed than to wait for a suitable applicant to come along. Seemingly, one might wonder if going to such an extent is justifiable. It definitely is. The cost of a wrong hire is expensive, not just in terms of dollars spent but also the wasted time and investment. To make matters worse, losing a good candidate – either because of internal bureaucracy or an inexperienced recruiter – may also mean that this talent will be working for the competition. Again, something expensive but hard to quantify in dollar terms.

That is why recruiters are now capitalising on AI’s capacity to adapt and learn from past behaviours to fast track the talent acquisition process as well as score better hiring outcomes. IDENTIFYING POTENTIAL CANDIDATES Thanks to AI, the search for potential candidates is no longer just a waiting game or an endless hunting quest. There are now software that can crawl through potential and suitably qualified candidates’ social media profiles and interactions to assess their suitability for job roles. Recommendation is then made to the prospective hire to lead him/her to the company’s career site, and possibly put in a job application. PROFILING OF CANDIDATES In the present day context, the selection of one candidate over another is often clouded by personal biases of the recruitment manager. Therefore, rather than hiring for job fit and suitability, candidates could be hired for reasons


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ranging from their chemistry with the hiring manager to their outward appearance vis-à-vis that of other interviewees. However, with the intervention of AI and Deep Learning based software, candidates can now be assessed more objectively by taking into account their existing performance in the same role as well as the suitability of their personal attributes to the prevailing corporate culture. GOING BEYOND KEYWORD SEARCHES It is not unusual for Talent Acquisition (TA) Specialists to be unfamiliar with the job scopes they are hiring for and rely on “Key Word Searches” to identify suitable candidates. This is a hit-ormiss approach because research has shown that more than 30% of suitably qualified candidates do not use keywords present in the job description. With a human TA Specialist, many of these potentially good candidates will have been filtered out. But with AI and its natural language processing capability, resumes are now better “understood” and matched with job requirements. Resultantly, TA Specialists can be more certain that they are not missing out on suitable candidates as well as focus their attention on ensuring a smooth selection process. DEFINING CANDIDATES’ JOB ROLES Unknowingly, many opportunities are lost each time a hirer makes his decision on the selected candidates. The unsuitability of one candidate for a

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particular role does not necessarily mean that he/she is unsuited for the company. In fact, they could very well fit another role perfectly. But, in the traditional hiring process, these good candidates would be missed because they are suitable for job roles they did not apply for. The AI software intelligently “studies” the resumes of candidates and ranks their suitability for the various roles available, giving the jobseekers and the hiring companies a second and, even, a third chance to “find” each other. The influence of AI on talent acquisition and recruitment process continues to evolve today. In a time where mid-career professionals with deep experience are being displaced, AI empowered software brings hopes for better job matches and more effective workforce utilisation. So don’t be surprised when in the foreseeable future, a machine can help you land your next job!

THE BIG IDEA

Teng Cheong is a seasoned IT professional who headed up local and regional operations of several IT MNCs before founding his own search firm called BetterIDEAS. His company focuses on using seasoned IT professionals to hire IT talent for companies because he believes that "the best way to hire a professional is through an even more seasoned professional in the same field".

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SPOTLIGHT

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THE IT SOCIETY / Issue 04/2017

Shaping an AI-Powered Nation KOO SENGMENG Deputy Director (Strategic Alliances), AI Singapore Age: 44 First Brush with Technology: 10 years old First Tech Experience: Apple IIe Clone Computer Currently Reading: Books from David Weber, Timothy Zahn and Peter F Hamilton Pet Topic of the Moment: AI and Mixed Reality

Artificial intelligence (AI) is a thing of the now, and the rate of change and developments in the domain reaffirms that. An active advocate of AI development in Singapore, Koo Sengmeng, Deputy Director of Strategic Alliances, AI Singapore, sheds light on how beyond changing the way we live, work and play; AI has the potential to propel the continued growth of our economy.

Q: Question, SM: Sengmeng Q: Did AI only come about in the recent years? SM: Certainly not. If you think about the recommendation engines from the likes of Amazon, Google and Baidu? Or your email spam detector? And more recently, phone personal assistants like Siri and Google Now. Many of them have been around for a while now – and even become features that we rely on. Q: Then why is there increasing interest in AI in the recent years? SM: I always like to refer to my personal view of the “holy trinity” – Compute, Algorithm and Data. Affordable computing power such as Graphic Processing Unit (GPU), coupled with the development of cloud-based machine learning platforms by major tech companies – Alibaba Cloud Aliyun, Microsoft Azure Machine Learning Studio and Google Cloud – means that individuals and businesses can easily host

and run Al projects that use machine learning techniques. Concurrently, frameworks and tools such as Caffe and Tensorflow help accelerate the development of AI applications while software such as NVIDIA DIGITS help jump-start beginners who are keen to explore this domain. But of course, AI will not be able to take off successfully without data. Data is necessary to fuel the advancement of the AI engine. Thanks to the proliferation of smart phones and smart devices, huge amounts of data spanning different facets of our global digital economy is being created at an unprecedented speed. The synchronic growth of these three aspects have not only empowered AI applications to be developed at an accelerated rate to benefit people, but also drew much interest among developers to explore the potential of AI.


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Q: What do you see to be the future of AI? SM: AI has the potential to change our lives for the better in many ways. The three areas that I am most keen to see its impact in are healthcare, finance and smart cities. Healthcare is a big topic for many developed countries confronting ageing population. Healthcare costs continue to increase on the back of deteriorating experiences as healthcare systems get stressed by growing demand. With AI, there is the possibility of automating parts of routine health checks to cut down waiting time without compromising on results accuracy. More significantly, the reduced workload enables clinicians, nurses and allied health professionals to provide better care for patients. In this region, there is a substantial population that cannot access traditional financial services and unable to tap into the global digital economy. AI innovations in facial recognition and data analytics can enable new forms of banking services to allow financial inclusion for these unbanked segment. For example, a micro-financier can assess a person’s creditworthiness through his/

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her social media presence, and approve loans even if the person doesn’t have a bank account. With many governments looking to build smart cities, AI is set to play a very integral part in helping governments govern better through enabling them to better anticipate needs of citizens and provide relevant public services in a timely manner. On a personal level, I am also looking forward to the creation of Personal AI, sort of my “Intelligent Other Self”. With the development of Intelligence Augmentation (IA), I hope to see AI working alongside us in a symbiotic manner. Q: Do you think AI replacing human jobs is a very real concern? Why? SM: There is no doubt that AI has the ability to automate certain job functions performed by humans today. I am of the opinion that AI helps to eliminate the Dull, the Dirty and the Dangerous. For countries like Singapore, we are perennially facing labour shortage. AI actually helps firms here to be more

SPOTLIGHT

efficient in resourcing our manpower as well as stay operationally profitable. Meanwhile, from the perspective of individual workers, they also get opportunities to take on more mentally satisfying roles and not mindless repetitive tasks. Having said that, all known forms of AI today are only good at carrying out one or two specific tasks. Technically, we call this Artificial Narrow Intelligence, or ANI for short. Therefore, it is an inaccurate claim to say that AI can replace humans. Instead, it will be more accurate to state that AI is adopted to replace the repetitive tasks that were previously performed by humans. Taking this into context, stronger AI would mean better tools for humans. And it is up to us to determine how AI can help us and augment our abilities.

“For Singapore to harness the potential of AI, we need more people who have an appreciation for data and able to understand the business value of AI.”

The future of AI is exciting because…

What is one advice for tech professionals looking to venture into AI work?

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Who inspires you professionally?


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SPOTLIGHT

THE IT SOCIETY / Issue 04/2017

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Bust the Myth: AI is not always Absolutely Intimidating VLADYSLAV KOSHELYEV Member, “The IT Society” Editorial Committee Age: 34 Earliest Tech Experience: Playing games on a Pentium 386 (bought in Singapore) Role Model: His father Always Enjoy: A good book (physical or audio); a good conversation; first person shooter, strategy and role playing games Currently Reading: The Light of Other Days by Stephen Baxter Current Pet Topic: AI in Marketing and Advertising

Much has been said about artificial intelligence (AI) and its potential to someday completely displace humans at our workplace. Vladyslav Koshelyev, a media and marketing practitioner and a member of The IT Society Editorial Committee, believes otherwise. In this issue, he shares with The IT Society why as far as he is concerned the rise of AI is more exciting than worrisome. Q: Question, VK: Vladyslav Koshelyev THOUGHTS ON AI Q: What has inspired your interest in AI? VK: As a teenager, I was an avid reader of Ray Kurzweil’s books and was deeply intrigued by his theories about the future of humankind and technology. In the book, “The Age of Intelligent Machines”, Kurzweil predicts how the intellectual capacity of AI would become comparable and eventually surpass that of humans. His belief that AI will one day enjoy a collaborative and symbiotic relationship with humans was awe-inspiring. That was when my interest in AI was first seeded. At the time, Kurzweil’s books seemed to be science fiction, however today we see that most of his predictions has come true. My smartphone today is more powerful than a mainframe computer in my childhood days. And it’s just a start. Q: Can you share some AI developments that you are excited about? VK: Sure. I am very excited about AI starting

to help creative professionals. In a recent experiment, the advertising agency McCann Japan used its AI software to analyse a brief and successfully create a new campaign. While the project didn’t win any award, we should remember that digital technologies develop exponentially and will progress ever faster. More recently, a pop artist, Taryn Southern released a human/AI collaborative album. While the AI did the music composition, Taryn took care of the vocal melodies and lyrics. The result has all the ingredients of a good pop song – a catchy tune, a smooth progression, etc. Both developments are very different. Yet, they not only hint at the potential of AI to do amazing work in time to come, but also showcase that it is indeed possible for AI and humans to work together hand in hand, side by side.

Q: So are you looking forward to working alongside AI? VK: I very much do. Although I should note, this doesn’t mean my work will become easier. It’s actually the opposite. When I first started working in the digital media industry, my job was much simpler. Every week, as part of my routine, I had to do the same three/four tasks. They were technically complex and time consuming, but repetitive. Once I figured them out, I was all set. Today, there is an algorithm that takes care of these tasks. The good news is I don’t have to do them anymore. The not so good news is that my work has become more complex. Instead of doing these same tasks week after week, now my time is spent working with partners to understand their organisations, strategising how I can help them do better and finding solutions that provide greater value. Work has become less predictable, more challenging – but also more interesting. I am


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not afraid of losing my job to an AI but I know for sure that I will have to work harder and learn faster than ever to adapt. Q: Since AI can bring so much good, why do you think people are apprehensive about its rise? VK: It is good to be apprehensive. Technology is always a double-edged sword. When used well, it can help us to do more and better. However, if used for the wrong intent, it can be dangerous. It is therefore important that we are aware of both good and bad possibilities – so that we can take proactive actions to prevent negative impact even as we enjoy the benefits AI brings. It is understandable that people are concerned that AI may displace them. Although my own experience is that AI did change the focus of my work, but it did not replace me. In fact, it has given me the opportunity to dedicate my energy to more value-added work and hone my ability in aspects that truly matter. Similarly, in the example I shared earlier about Taryn Southern and her new album – she could focus on the composition

SPOTLIGHT

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“Just because AI could develop abilities beyond that of humankind, it doesn’t mean we would be supplanted. Instead, people and AI will become partners to create a better world together. I am a firm believer in that.” and stories her songs tell while letting AI handle the more minute details.

influencing the rise and fall of great states. They rose because they developed advanced technology, and they fell because they were unable to keep up. As part of the industry, you get to be involved in the process and change the way people live, in the present, and for generations to come.

Q: What is an area that you hope to see more AI developments in? VK: I look forward to the use of AI in healthcare. Traditionally, we rely a lot on the expertise of individual doctors. This expertise is usually lost when the doctor leaves. By integrating AI with healthcare systems, this problem will be mitigated because the system can objectively analyse a huge library of different cases and identify best practices; it can possibly even suggest preventive measures. ABOUT THE MAN Q: What do you love about working in the technology industry? VK: History is defined by technology,

Q: What drew you to Singapore? VK: I love the culture, architecture, landscapes and the climate among many other things. The weather makes me forsake my computer for the great outdoors, be it for a get-together with friends or a walk. The eclectic mix of towering skyscrapers and colourful shophouses combines with the many smart city technologies and ethnically rich population to make for a very vibrant place to live, work and play in.

10 Reasons Why AI won’t Kill Your Jobs “Humanity is still many decades away from encountering that sort of labour replacement at scale.” – Mustafa Suleyman, co-founder of DeepMind

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Humans will remain the ultimate controller of systems.

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Data scientists will get paid around 40% more.

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By 2025, 8.9 million new jobs will be circulating in US alone.

20% of work will be automated.

Only 5% jobs will be automated entirely using AI.

AI engineering will be among the top paid fields.

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Al will create new professions like bot monitoring professionals, data scientists and automation.

45% of work activities will be automated to help workers work conveniently.

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80% of enterprise employees agree that AI will make employees more productive.

Most high-wage, high-skill jobs have a significant number of activities that can be automated.

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Sources: https://www.forrester.com/Robots+AI+Will+Replace+7+Of+US+Job s+By+2025/-/E-PRE9246 http://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/digital-mckinsey/ourinsights/four-fundamentals-of-workplace-automation http://www.dataversity.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/nsinfo.png


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POWER BOOST

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Your Next Teammate Could be an AI! Everyone is talking about artificiaI intelligence (AI) these days. As much as it holds the promise to be the next big thing, many people are just as skeptical about its perceived power to truly improve our lives.

CHONG TACK CHUN Member, SCS

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or me, after my first real encounter with AI a few months ago, my curiosity is piqued to learn more about it. A COMPETENT PERSONAL ASSISTANT Following a telephone discussion with Adam Low, Chairman of e-commerce company Y Ventures, I sent an email to request for a follow up meeting on 5 May at 3pm. Adam replied, “Evie, arrange for meeting in office at 3pm.” I thought Adam had requested for his Personal Assistant (PA) to schedule the meeting with me. Nothing unusual. Within minutes, an email from Evie confirmed the meeting. Something struck me about Evie’s email address. Adam’s PA was an AI software! Speaking to Praveen Velu, Co-founder of Evie.ai, the company which developed Evie, Praveen revealed that Evie is an AI software agent that is capable of learning through its interaction with human users and new experiences. For now, Evie has mastered the task of scheduling meetings.

Many business professionals perform a wide range of tasks, and the scheduling of meetings can be time consuming. With AI such as Evie taking care of this function, professionals can now have more productive time working on their projects or meeting with clients for their business. A VALUABLE TEAM MEMBER In another business setting, I had the opportunity to witness how analysts are making use of AI support tools to analyse threats at a Cyber Security Operations Centre. Ken Lim, Vice-President of a local IT company explained, “Our analysts monitor threats round the clock and when specific threats are detected, we need to examine them. Given an ever increasing number of threats requiring investigation, AI-based analysis tools with increasing degrees of intelligence for detecting threats not only help our team save invaluable amounts of time, they also enable us to keep up with increasing workload and respond appropriately.”

With the help of AI, the human analyst can complete an analysis job using only 40% of the time needed without AI. AN INDISPENSABLE PARTNER With the advancement and widespread deployment of AI-based intelligent systems, it is inevitable for job scopes across every industry sector to undergo transformation. “The next generation of IT professionals cannot not be satisfied merely working alongside AI,” said Professor Steven Miller, Vice Provost (Research) at Singapore Management University. “They need to participate actively in the design, development and deployment of intelligent AI and machine learning applications required by companies, cities and nations going digital.” Indeed, I can already envision machines learning to work with us as much as we are learning to work alongside them today, in the foreseeable future.

The author thanks Professor Steven Miller of Singapore Management University for his help in reviewing this article.


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THE IT SOCIETY / Issue 04/2017

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Celebrating SCS 50th Anniversary and launching Lifelong Learning Festival 2017. From left: Ng Cher Pong (SkillsFuture Singapore), Howie Lau (SCS), Minister Ong Ye Kung, Tan Kay Yong (Lifelong Learning Council) and Lai Chung Han (Ministry of Education)

High-octane Bash at SCS 50 Drone Experience

O

n 28 October, SCS 50 Drone Experience – the finale of SCS 50th Anniversary celebrations and the anchor event for the Lifelong Learning Festival 2017 – brought together people of all ages for a day of carnival fun. For visitors who were keen to try their hands at navigating drones, they could fly Airblock drones through different obstacle courses, use micro drones to complete specific tasks at three different game stations and steer hovercrafts on an imposing racing track. The Splash Awards 2017, which saw 12 finalist teams pitting against one another in a Drone Challenge also drew much crowd support. There were also various interesting exhibition showcases and free talks and seminars taking place concurrently at the Devan Nair Institute of Employment and Employability.

Notably, Mr Ong Ye Kung, Minister for Education (Higher Learning & Skills) graced the event and witnessed the launch of SCS Artificial Intelligence & Robotics Special Interest Group and Certified Chief Information Security Officer Certification.

Rounding up the successful celebration, Howie Lau, SCS President, said, “Looking into SCS’ next 50 years, we see our role to be a catalyst for growth; and that can only happen if we continue to focus on people who make up the tech sector. To find innovative ways to improve our lives, homes and workplaces, we need to stay curious, connected and competent through lifelong learning.”


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Students demonstrating how to steer a hovercraft drone to Minister Ong

Taking a group shot with Minister Ong

2,500

Attendees playing at the carnival game stations

visitors of all ages

7 hours

of drone experience and carnival fun

1st

anchor event for Lifelong Learning Festival 2017

Attendees trying out the hovercraft drones


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#LATEST@SCS

THE IT SOCIETY / Issue 04/2017

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288

student participants

52 hours

of drone workshops

5-month

long competition

Splash Awards Winners Rise Up to the Drone Challenge

T

he SCS Splash Awards 2017 is back with its 14th edition. This year, in conjunction with the celebration of the SCS 50th Anniversary finale event, the competition was aptly themed “Drone Challenge”. All in the spirit of creativity, leveling up tech savviness and honing problem-solving skills, this flagship event – one of the longest running student infocomm competitions in Singapore – attracted close to 300 student participants from local and international Institutes of Higher Learning, Institutes of Technical Education, Junior Colleges and Secondary Schools. In this instalment, the competition provided an opportunity for students to dabble in new technology using codable drones. Eventually, it was “TechPomPoms” from Dunman High School which impressed the judging panel with their novel idea of using drones to substitute teachers and educators for mundane tasks such as exam invigilation. Meanwhile, the creative solution of using drones to dispense water and pesticide in agriculture by “Team AVD” from ITE College Central also won them the top prize for the Tertiary Category.

Judges for the Splash Awards finals. From left: Koo Sengmeng (AI Singapore), Kimberly Foo (IMDA), Ong Whee Teck (Trusted Source), Lionel Chng (HP) and Yeo Teck Guan (SingPools) TERTIARY CATEGORY

TEAM NAME

SCHOOL

Champion

Team AVD

ITE College Central

1 Runner Up

FireFlighters

National Technological University

2nd Runner Up

PINGU

Singapore Polytechnic

PRE-TERTIARY CATEGORY

TEAM NAME

SCHOOL

Champion

TechPomPoms

Dunman High School

1 Runner Up

iRevolutionary

Dunman High School

2 Runner Up

Canis Majoris

Naval Base Secondary School

st

st

nd

Check out the SCS Splash Awards 2017 microsite for more highlights at https://www.infopier.sg/scssplashawards/2017


The Magazine of the Singapore Computer Society

Check out Our New Artificial Intelligence & Robotics Special Interest Group!

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t is envisioned that AI will impact many aspects of our daily lives and business applications in the foreseeable future. Here are a few domains with intensive ongoing development:

Unmanned Systems and Drones

Natural Language Processing

Previously the area of defence companies, DJI had brought it into consumers’ daily world, fuelling the development of unmanned systems and autonomous vehicles in air, land and sea. Today, we see investments in driverless vehicles, autonomous unmanned vehicles and other such technologies.

We have seen movies of talking computers, including JARVIS in the latest Avengers and Ironman series of movies. The ability to detect and respond to speech has seen much advancement since the early days of Siri and Alexa. We foresee many more developments and applications in these areas.

17

We are sure you are already familiar with buzzwords such as unmanned, driverless vehicles, robots and artificial intelligence (AI). With all the talk about digital economy and smart nation, it is not hard to imagine that AI and robotics applications will fuel the next wave of technological improvements. But how much do you really understand about AI? What are the latest technological developments in the field of AI and robotics? How can you get involved in AI and robotics?

Computer Vision

Machine Learning

Using visuals to automatically recognise and authenticate has been an ongoing development by many. With machine learning and deep learning, we are expecting smarter and quicker ways to identify activities and objects in a video stream. Apple’s FaceID in the latest iPhone X is a case in point of the resilience of such an authentication system.

Developments in machine learning and related deep learning are powering more applications than what was possible a few years ago. While these concepts are not new, the ability to use computing power to generate insights from data and train computers to perform tasks has made the science fiction dream of AI & robotics a close reality.

AI & R SIG COMMITTEE The newly formed Artificial Intelligence & Robotics Special Interest Group (AI & R SIG) aims to spur members’ interest in AI and robotics through engaging and exchanging insights with technology stakeholders, known scholars, and other communities. Ultimately, the AI & R SIG hopes to promote the growth of these applications in Singapore.

ACTIVITIES OF AI & R SIG IN 2018 Chairman Toh Keng Hoe General Manager, Gowild

Committee Member Chuang Shin Wee Chief Executive, pand.ai

Committee Member Ayesha Khanna Chief Executive, ADDO AI

Committee Member David Leong Senior Manager (Cognitive Systems Technology Centre), Republic Polytechnic

• Application of AI in Drones • Chatbot • Computer Vision


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Welcoming the Inaugural Cohort of Certified Chief Information Security Officers

A

pproximately 20 chief information security officers and senior info-security professionals attended the first Certified Chief Information Security Officer (CCISO) workshop organised by SCS, Wissen and Quann from 13 to 17 November 2017. The CCISO certification is awarded by EC-Council, a leading international cybersecurity technical certification body. Aimed at preparing top-level information security executives in overcoming cyberattacks, the training and certification programme featured a war game session where participants got to experience and respond first-hand to a simulated cyberattack. In addition, they learnt to adapt business continuity plans and implement sound contingency plans. Bryan Tan, Partner of Pinsent Masons MPillay, also shared insights on MAS Technology Risk Management Guidelines at the workshop. Commending the CCISO workshop, one of the attendees, Yeo Teck Guan, Group Chief Information Officer of Singapore Pools shared, “The workshop enables the current or aspiring CISOs to gain a good understanding of knowledge and competencies necessary to perform their roles. All information security professionals who aspire to be in management positions are highly recommended to take up this course.�

Missed the first workshop? Stay tuned for the schedule of CCISO workshops in 2018!


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THE IT SOCIETY / Issue 04/2017

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Celebrating Excellence in Young Tech Talents

T

owards driving the continued growth and vibrancy of Singapore’s tech industry, SCS plays an active role in nurturing passion among young tech talents by recognising their achievements and efforts at the SCS Medals and Awards every year. About 20 youths from various Singapore tertiary institutions are awarded for their outstanding academic/internship performance this year.

Ngee Ann Polytechnic

Ngee Ann Polytechnic

Nanyang Polytechnic

AWARD

AWARD

AWARD

SCS Silver Medal

SCS Award for Most Outstanding Student in Internship

SCS Award for Outstanding Project Work

COURSE

COURSE

RECIPIENT

Diploma in Animation & 3D Arts

Diploma in Financial Informatics

Tan Wei Jie

RECIPIENT

RECIPIENT

Hoo Xin Jie

Alvin Ang Jian Hao

Nanyang Polytechnic

Nanyang Polytechnic

Nanyang Polytechnic

AWARD

AWARD

AWARD

SCS Award for Outstanding Project Work

SCS Award for Outstanding IT Youth

SCS Award for Outstanding IT Youth

COURSE

COURSE

COURSE

Diploma in Information Technology

Diploma in Financial Informatics

Diploma in Information Technology

RECIPIENT

RECIPIENT

RECIPIENT

Amabel Yeo Yi Jia

Alvin Ang Jian Hao

James Lee Hong Thern

Singapore Polytechnic

Singapore Polytechnic

Singapore Polytechnic

AWARD

AWARD

AWARD

SCS Silver Medal

SCS Silver Medal

SCS Silver Medal

COURSE

COURSE

COURSE

Diploma in Information Technology

Diploma in Infocomm Security Management

Diploma in Business Information Technology

RECIPIENT

RECIPIENT

RECIPIENT

Hardy Shein Nyein Chan

Soh Jun Qi

Loo Eu Gene

Temasek Polytechnic

National University of Singapore

AWARD

AWARD

SCS Skills Mastery Award

SCS Best Graduate Award

COURSE

COURSE

Diploma in Information Technology

Master of Computing in Information Security

RECIPIENT

RECIPIENT

Austin Teo Jun Yi

Elvin Poh Yiliang

Temasek Polytechnic

National University of Singapore

AWARD

AWARD

SCS Skills Mastery Award

SCS Best Graduate Award

COURSE

COURSE

Diploma in Game Design & Development

Master of Computing in Information Systems

RECIPIENT

RECIPIENT

Ambrose Wee Chong Yin

Tania Bernadette Roy

COURSE

Diploma in Information Technology

"I have enjoyed my course in Business Information Technology – it was challenging yet enjoyable. I feel honoured and privileged to receive the prestigious Singapore Computer Society (SCS) Silver Medal. As we transit into a more digitalised society, I see IT in business to be more than just the backbone of businesses. Rather, it is the muscle and heartbeat necessary to thrive in highly competitive business markets."


The Magazine of the Singapore Computer Society

Singapore Management University

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Singapore University of Technology and Design

Singapore University of Technology and Design

AWARD

AWARD

COURSE

COURSE

Ng Boon Thai

RECIPIENT

RECIPIENT

Singapore University of Technology and Design

Singapore University of Technology and Design

The University of Newcastle Singapore

AWARD

AWARD

SCS Award for Outstanding Final Year Student

SCS Gold Award (First Year)

COURSE

COURSE

Bachelor of Information Technology

AWARD

SCS Best Final Year Student Award COURSE

Bachelor of Science (Information Systems) RECIPIENT

SCS Award for Outstanding Final Year Student Bachelor of Engineering (Information Systems Technology and Design) RECIPIENT

Wang Siyuan

SCS Award for Top Final Year Student Bachelor of Engineering (Information Systems Technology and Design) Wang Yujia

21

SCS Award for Outstanding Final Year Student Bachelor of Engineering (Information Systems Technology and Design) Ryan Lim Zhi Han

Bachelor of Engineering (Information Systems Technology and Design) RECIPIENT

AWARD COURSE

RECIPIENT

Jermysen Ang

Tan Jun Qi

The University of Newcastle Singapore AWARD

SCS Gold Award (Second Year) COURSE

Bachelor of Information Technology RECIPIENT

David Koo

“To be selected as one of the awardees of SCS is an achievement. Being among other awardees at such an official event has inspired me to work harder and do better in school. In addition, I also feel encouraged to see how SCS wholeheartedly supports the local tech industry, from recognising efforts of IT students to bringing us together as a community.”

Unite, Disrupt and Progress with IT Youth Council

T

he IT Youth Council (ITYC) held its 3rd Annual General Meeting (AGM) on 21 December 2017. The event that was held in conjunction with a site visit to Amazon Web Services (AWS) saw a solid turnout of 120 attendees. Besides getting acquainted with cloud experts, solution architects and recruiters from AWS, the attendees were treated to a sumptuous spread at the 16th Youth Engagement Series (YES!) organised by the ITYC. They also got a rare chance of witnessing the proceedings of the ITYC AGM. Comprising young professionals from different industries and diverse domain expertise, the newly elected team is set to unite young professionals, disrupt the infocomm landscape and facilitate personal progression – bringing youth engagement to greater heights in 2018.

Check out the new ITYC committee members at https://www.scs.org.sg/it-youth-council/committe-members.php


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CONTACT US NOW! Email info@lithan.com with your <NAME> & <CONTACT NUMBER> or call us at +65 6324 9730. Or Scan QR Code


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Connecting People. Building Ecosystem. Disruption is here to stay, and we are here to help you keep up with change. Regardless of your career stage, we plug you into trending tech, connect you to our supportive network and create opportunities for you to advance your career.

Stay in the Know

Gain an Edge

Grow Mindshare

Keep pace with tech trends and best practices by gaining access to a wealth of information through our many activities and online resources

Benchmark skill sets and experience, track training needs, and distinguish yourself with our industrybased certifications

Engage in active discussions with our specialist groups, and master deep skills in your area of specialisation

Get Career Support Take the next step in your career journey through career/ training advisory and employment facilitation

A meeting of minds inspires change and sparks new possibilities. Be part of our 32,000-strong community. Letâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s work together to build our future ecosystem!

1-YEAR

$15 CapitaVouchers

3-YEAR

$42.80 off your membership fee + $30 CapitaVoucher + Hugo Boss Kite Grid Rollerball Pen worth over $90

5-YEAR

Free membership for the 5th year valued at $139.10

MEMBERSHIP

MEMBERSHIP

MEMBERSHIP

Enjoy Networking Connect with peers and industry leaders, and grow your circle of influence at our networking events

Promotion is valid for a limited period, so RENEW your membership now to enjoy rewards and savings. Invite your friends and colleagues to JOIN SCS membership too. They can enjoy an entrance fee waiver amounting to $85.60. Membership renewal/application is easy via SCS website on www.scs.org.sg. For enquiries, email to membership@scs.org.sg.

SCS EVENTS 2018 JAN

19 FEB

22 MAR

16

IDEAS Series: Creating Analytics Talent for the Future

Business IT Integration in Todayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Digital Era

BCM Conference

24

Roundtable @ Singtel: Hybrid Cloud Adoption Trends & Market Insights

13

FEB

MAR

MAR

JAN

CSTP Programme

26 - 2 MAR

16

IDEAS Series: AI Analytics

Feb

9 MAR

29

Using Container to Build a Microservices Architecture

SCS Gala Dinner & IT Leader Awards

SCS 51st Annual General Meeting

The event listing provided above is correct at the time of printing. You are encouraged to visit the SCS website for updates and latest information about the events.


24

GEEK SPEAK

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THE IT SOCIETY / Issue 04/2017

FIELD REPORTS from the Helpless (Service) Desk

Rise of the Machines? By Franky Siow

I

heard a rumour – they’re thinking of replacing me (with an AI system). No more helpless desk they say.

Gosh, I’m going to lose this job! When is this happening; what am I going to do next? Why are they doing this to me? So many questions, so few answers. In search for answers, I consulted my mentors and shifus. PEOPLE NEED PEOPLE Frans Lee Wan says, “There’s nothing to fear, people still want to speak with people!” He assured me that as long as there are human users, the helpdesk will never be replaced. And he reminded me how many calls I get a day for password resets despite the availability of “Forget Password” feature for so many years. There is also the countless “how can I connect my computer to the projector” enquiries although everything is already

connected and they simply need to plug in the computer and turn it on. He has a point – maybe we have given too much credit to users’ intelligence and their desire for self-help. IF YOU CAN’T BEAT THEM, JOIN THEM And then I went to see my mentor Kar Chew Kin. He chided me, “Why did you take so long? There’s no point fighting this; it’s a losing battle. Machines are getting smarter and soon we will all be replaced by robots, every kind of robots – big and small. And there’ll be robots everywhere – in factories, in restaurants, on the road, in the office and in the bedroom. He says the trick is to learn to program the robots and “tame” them. Instead of fighting them, learn to coexist with them. Become their master if possible. His perspective is interesting.

THERE’S NOTHING NEW UNDER THE SUN Finally, I visited the wise old Soloman. In his usual controlled pace, he said, “Do not fret Franky, what has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.” And he reminded me that neural networks were invented more than 30 years ago and now given a sexy label – Deep Learning, Machine Learning. What used to be databases, reports and analytics have also been slapped with the glossy labels of Big Data and Data Analytics. And if anyone thinks that chatbots are new, they should look for ELIZA, the 51-year-old (born 1966) computer therapist, and book a session with her. What will you do if you’re me?


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SCS Magazine 2017 Issue 4  

Singapore Computer Society Quarterly Magazine - 2017 Issue 4

SCS Magazine 2017 Issue 4  

Singapore Computer Society Quarterly Magazine - 2017 Issue 4

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