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MLDA Deep Learning Week

​​​NTU EEE’s MLDA club organised is 2nd annual Machine Learning Data Analytics Deep Learning Week from 12th – 18th Oct 2020. The week of activities included an opening panel session and various learning workshops for days. Panelist for the opening session included Mr Sim Kai from the Smart Nation and Digital Government Office, Mr Laurence Liew from the AI Industry Innovation, Dr Simon See from NVIDIA, Mrs Jane Shen from Pensees, Dr Pan Yaozhang from Shopee, and Assoc Prof Dr Yap Kim Hui from NTU EEE.

The panel was moderated by Dr Wesley Tan, senior lecturer at NTU EEE. Minister-in-Charge of the Smart Nation Initiative Vivian Balakrishnan was the guest of honour. Speaking virtually from another location to students, staff, alumni and members of the public, Dr Balakrishnan emphasised the need for university students to develop "deep technical skills" in areas such as data analytics, machine learning, and artificial intelligence (AI). "You are the dynamos that will drive our transformation and push the boundaries of how we can leverage technology to transform our economy and make a real difference," he said. The week-long activities were running from Monday to Sunday (Oct 12 to 18), and there will be AI-related workshops as well as a virtual AI career fair for students, ending with a machine learning hackathon, themed "AI in business and economics. 

MLDA club president and 4th Year EEE student Duan Jiafei believes the future day-to-day lives will be integrated very closely with AI. “It is when we can integrate artificial intelligence in our daily lives. One example is the use of IoT, like smart facial recognition for entry into labs or our homes and accessing our mobile phones. Singapore is a really small country and our economy relies a lot on deeply skilled labour and AI is the next step forward. Singapore needs to embrace and support the AI trend to open more doors and stay competitive globally”. 

Image may contain: 2 people, people on stage and indoor 
(Photo from left: Minister Vivan Balakrishnan, Prof Louis Phee, Dean, College of Engineering and the MLDA Deep Learning Industry Night Panelists)

MLDA hopes that students will be able to enjoy learning about the latest technology and also apply it in their projects. These skills they learn will upgrade their technical skills and improve employment opportunities. To achieve this, MLDA has partners with 13 industry partners, both government agencies and private corporations, namely A*STAR, AI Singapore, Aidrivers, Audacity, Motional, NVIDIA, Pensees, Quantum Black, SGInnovate, Shopee, Terra-AI, SYNTHESIS, and JABIL. The club’s motivation for organising this event is to highlight and celebrate the importance of ML and AI. 

By getting industry experts and the Minister of the Smart Nation Initiative to share, the club hopes it will spur and encourage more students to learn. The student club was particularly impressed with Dr Simon See. He talked about the possibility of an AI that can create AI. This is very interesting because there will come a future where robots will be fully autonomous in their targeted actions. The club also noted it was important to focus on a domain of knowledge. The quote" Jack of all trades, master of none" does not apply here. Different domains of deep learning require highly specialized knowledge so it is important to focus on one domain. Another idea discussed that intrigued the club was explainable AI. “AI currently is like a black box, we don’t know how the machine thinks and explainable AI aims to allow us to take a peek inside. This would help us a lot in understanding AI.

Published on 17 December 2020

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