Speaker Interview with Seng Khoon (SK) Teh, Senior Data Science and AI Manager at Kenvue

“To compete or be complemented by AI. Your choice.”

In this recent interview, we had the privilege of delving into Seng Khoon (SK) Teh's journey and expectations for The AI Summit Singapore. 

Currently serving as the Senior Data Science and AI Manager at Kenvue, SK Teh's roots in biomedical engineering paved the way for his immersion into AI. His initial exposure to addressing cancer detection challenges during postgraduate studies ignited a fervent interest in machine learning, prompting further studies in data science. 

Singapore is the fastest-grow for artificial intelligence (AI) talent in the Asia-Pacific, according to LinkedIn data - please elaborate on your background and relationship with tech, and how your journey lead you to your current role?

I was originally trained in biomedical engineering. Due to an opportunity to tackle a hard problem of cancer detection using data from advanced optical endo-micro-spectroscopy during my postgraduate studies, I was “fortunately” exposed to machine learning. For your information, this work eventually resulted in a spin-off from the University, impacting patients’ life. 

In fact, at that point of time, it was during the so-called “Artificial Intelligence (AI) winter” period where people in the field did not trust AI technology. However, due to my first-hand experience and satisfaction to translate machine learning models to impact in the real-world, I decided to further my part-time postgraduate studies in this area and eventually undergone another Master and Ph.D. training in data science to immerse myself in this state-of-the-art.  

Concomitantly during my part-time postgraduate trainings, coincidentally AI was entering into the “AI spring” period. There was increasing opportunity in Singapore, especially when Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB) was attracting Multi-National Company (MNC) to set up R&D centre here. Due to my experience in machine learning, I joined my first MNC R&D Lab, NEC Laboratories Singapore (NLS) to co-create healthcare solution leveraging on proprietary NEC AI technologies. In my first corporate experience, I gained the exposure to file for my first AI patent. To date, I have been a data science practitioner in corporate tech laboratory including NEC and Dell, and in technology team within health-related companies such as Medtronic and now in Kenvue. I have earned more than ten granted patents and authored more than ten peer-reviewed journal publications surrounding data science. These efforts help me to stay updated and relevant in the rapidly evolving tech field.  

Why do you believe collaborative AI is crucial for enterprises in the realm of data-driven decision-making?  

In fact, since my biomedical engineering postgraduate days, I have worked closely with the medical experts to understand the data and incorporate their knowledge into the machine learning models. There are at least two-fold advantages. One advantage is the establishment of relevancy, trust, and acceptance of the model from medical experts. Another is the ability to build the model with less noise, conferring better generalizability when deploying in the real-world.  

To date, I see that the two advantages still stand in the age of Generative AI. Not only that, as Generative AI suffers from the “hallucination” effect, it may not provide the most accurate information. Hence, it is even more critical for human to be in the loop to tap upon human real-world experiences to guide AI towards the right general direction, then allowing AI to determine the specific path forward. Only with this collaborative AI partnership, human then can fully leverage on the accuracy strength of AI for the best data-driven decision-making outcome.   

What excites you about The AI Summit Singapore, and what can the audience expect from your session? 

With the introduction of Generative AI to the world last year, it led to an “unprecedented demand” from companies across many industries to exploit the use of AI for improving employee’s productivity, and incorporation of AI into a company product for augmenting the user experiences.  

Today, AI can be said to be at the crossroad of entering into mainstream or fade as hype. To be at the AI Summit Singapore this year gives me great excitement to be sharing my AI experiences in the personal care space, as well as to be learning from fellow AI practitioners across many different industries. I am sure the exchanges of learnings, information in the AI space can stimulate and seed new ideas that we may transfer to our own company, enabling AI to further grow and impact in our organization.  

The AI Summit is coming to Singapore for the first time, 29-31 May! Join many tech professionals and listen to SK Teh speak by securing your ticket now!