The Bot-master of Singapore: Defending Borders and Protecting Our People
Experimenting with software that imitates how humans behave, and activating Artificial Intelligence (AI) to sniff out dangerous goods entering Singapore… Sounds crazy? It’s all in a day’s work for HTX Data Scientist Jason Ng.
With the pandemic restricting travel and confining people at home, the national consumption of digital goods and services reached an all-time high. Singapore saw a whopping 21.2 million low-value goods enter the country in 2020, up from 2019’s 10.5 million.
Faced with the high volume of foreign items swarming through Singapore’s borders, how can we ensure the safety of our country?
That’s where Jason and his team comes into play with two words: “Bots, activate!”
Hunting Illegal Goods with “Digital Bloodhounds”
Love online shopping? You may have noticed the decrease in contraband listings online, and this is partly thanks to the work of Jason and his team behind the scenes!
He secures the cyberspace for netizens by using the E-Commerce Surveillance Tool to enhance the efficiency of detecting contrabands on e-commerce platforms. This is a system that uses bots and artificial intelligence (AI) to sift through listings and detect contraband… like a digital bloodhound.
Instead of a human scrolling through online listings one at a time, the tool can get a week’s worth of work done within hours. After all, bots don’t get sore fingers or tired eyes!
By speeding up the analysis of data, Jason frees up precious human resources that can be focused on other pressing matters instead.
This tool also allows Singapore to monitor a wide range of lethal contraband such as drugs, dodgy counterfeit products, prohibited weapons, you name it.
Although Singapore is a safe country, illegal items may still sneak in. Making these instances few and far between, is something Jason takes pride in. “I’m glad that I’m able to work on these projects and play a part in Singapore’s safety.”
Harnessing Data… and Unleashing bots
The world is producing data at a frightening pace — too much to effectively sort through, really.
Which is why Jason and his colleagues are the go-to when it comes to streamlining workflows and simplifying mundane tasks.
As a Data Scientist, he experiments with information and AI at HTX (Home Team Science and Technology Agency) to offer organisations science-backed solutions.
At the click of a button, Jason can run automated data analysis that sorts through endless amounts of information at light speed. How? As he does with the E-Commerce Surveillance Tool, he harnesses both AI and Robotic Process Automation (RPA) to emulate human and software interactions.
“It’s exhilarating to work with data and technology because the opportunities, and game-changing outcomes, are endless,” Jason shares. For instance, he is currently working with Immigration and Checkpoints Authority’s (ICA) to adopt advanced software and data-driven models and keep Singapore’s borders secure.
Jason’s role includes a mix of science and technology for development, conceptualisation, and creating solutions in HTX. In the Information Age, Jason is at the forefront of science and technology to ensure that we can harness data without getting overwhelmed.
Master of AI
But his mastery means he must stay on the ball. As Jason explains, “AI technologies and algorithms evolve at a blistering pace. To ensure I’m up to date with new technology, I am constantly learning and attending courses, and am thankful to have the support and opportunities from HTX for continuous learning.”
The avid lover of technology isn’t afraid to enter unchartered territory. It’s why he decided to join HTX after graduating, and he hasn’t looked back since. It’s all part of the fun. Uncovering new and better technological capabilities never fails to give him a buzz.
“Collaborating with ICA has been a fulfilling and enriching experience. If you are an S&T enthusiast, enjoy learning and hope to contribute to Singapore, I urge you to enter the technological industry and consider joining HTX!. Besides learning about technology, I’ve also gained many life experiences and skills such as public speaking and presenting,” he continues.
If you’re hungry for knowledge and are a fast adapter, join Jason today — the bots are waiting.