What has been the most exciting thing that you worked on in 2017?
One of the most exciting things that my team and I worked on in 2017 was the various technology explorations – from trying out the ‘virtual PA’ (an AI scheduling assistant which will take over the tedious “email ping pong” for scheduling meetings) to playing with gestures-controlled wearables that can turn any surface into interactive screens to display and interact with contents from the laptop/smartphone.
What technology particularly interests you for 2018?
Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Augmented Reality (AR)/Virtual Reality (VR).
In 2018, I will be posted to the Ministry of Education and I am excited to push for greater adoption of technologies to positively transform education in the coming years. I hope to see the greater use of AR/VR in the classroom to create an immersive and experiential learning adventure, to re-ignite the passion for learning, and to make learning enjoyable for the students.
As for the teachers, AI could help perform some of the onerous tasks that take up a lot of their time. More importantly, there is great potential in using AI to provide instant feedback to teachers on the learning needs and skills gap of each student, enabling early intervention and customised teaching.
If you were to share one piece of advice that you learned in 2017, what would it be?
Carpe Diem – take full advantage of every opportunity, make the best of every situation, and be thankful.
What was the greatest challenge that you overcame in 2017?
It would be the reorganisation of the former Infocomm Development Authority (IDA) and Media Development Authority (MDA) into the Government Technology Agency (GovTech) and Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) in 2016.
My team and I worked relentlessly to transition the systems and ensure everyone could access the government infrastructure environment and systems on day 1 of the re-organisation.
After the successful transition, we embarked on a major endeavour in 2017 to consolidate and streamline the numerous systems while simultaneously building new ones to meet the evolving business needs. It has been a busy and challenging year, but I am blessed with an extremely dedicated and committed team who partnered with me in this journey.
Who inspired you in 2017, and why?
People who never give up in the face of adversity and challenging situations; people who make difficult and unpopular decisions for the good of the organisation and team; and people who dare to step out of their comfort zone to embark on new things – they are my MCI and IMDA teams, one of the Permanent Secretaries whom I used to work for, and my boys!