Glimpses of the World of Tech

AIQ Showcases its Patented VRT at AI-Centric Conference

10 December 2018

According to the latest survey of IT professionals conducted by Seagate Technology, the adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) in Singapore has become so robust that at least six in 10 organisations have implemented AI in one form or another like information technology, supply chain and logistics, customer support as well as research and development.

The inauguration of Corp’s second annual Big Data & AI Asia Conference was all about solutions for companies’ technological challenges comprising the important know-hows and trends of data acquisition, monetisation of real-time data, machine learning and the practical use of AI. On top of which, this event presents a unique opportunity to network, forge and deepen new relationships and benchmark against businesses which have succeeded within the big data and AI space.

Featuring representatives from the Big Data and AI ecosystem, the event offered visitors key takeaways on how to make their investment ROI worthwhile. Some of the noted personalities include CEO of SGInnovate Steve Leonard, Head of Data Science at DBS Bank Johnson Poh, Artificial Intelligence Lead at OCBC Bank Andrea Casati and Head of Data Science at Ernst & Young Dr Cao Hong, among others. Showcasing 40 exhibitors comprising startups and established companies, the event saw a turnout of approximately 2,000 attendees over the two days.

The show’s conference topics covered a wide spectrum of discussion points ranging from “AI in a Services 4.0 World” by Infocomm Media Development Authority; “Adoption of Big Data and Machine Learning in Your Core Business Processes” by DBS Bank; “Optimising Your Ride Experience Using Big Data and AI” as well as discussion session on “Bridging the Digital Divide – Would AI Kill Jobs?”, making it a worthwhile AI-show for AIQ to exhibit and network.

Meanwhile, the Tech Talks given within the premise of the exhibition hall by various tech experts and exhibiting companies provided plentiful for all to take in with respect to the myriad of AI applications AI offered at the show. From useful nuggets of information to valuable insights that dig deep into specific industries, the two-day Tech Talks certainly edify on how AI is disrupting operating models, including the digital landscape.

The pockets of networking sessions served as good opportunities for representatives of participating companies to exchange ideas with each other as well as explore ways of tapping into each company’s services and expertise to enhance their offerings. In addition, discussions on possible collaborative work to provide more cutting-edge technologies and solutions to benefit various industries.

AIQ Goes Beyond the World of QR Code

“Deep learning has garnered much interest in the recent years and for this to work for any company; they have to invest heavily upfront in areas such as human capital (research scientists) in order to start exploring the possibility of applying this to their business functions. Taking the same approach with our current technology, we are looking into ways of making deep learning "affordable" for everyone. Finally, we see ourselves as a solution provider, providing solutions rather than just the technology. We think that is crucial for anyone looking to build a deep learning image recognition business,” said Mr Khang Toh, CTO of AIQ.

AIQ had the opportunity to showcase its video-image-chatbot solution (VICS) at the second edition of the Big Data & AI Conference held at Suntec Convention Centre. Visitors of our booth were fascinated with our technology that is able to deliver outcome-driven solutions for businesses in verticals comprising outdoor media, MICE and retail. Many were also attracted by the capabilities of AIQ’s technology in being able to replace the scanning of QR Codes for quicker and seamless customer interactions.

Our CTO Mr Toh gave his presentation on the second day of the conference and exhibition. Titled “A.I, Visual and Chat – How to win the war in Mobile First Markets”, Mr Toh described how the next big thing in social and mobile usage is going to be video-centric, sans-keyboard user behaviour.

The onsite demonstration showcased how brands and organisations can take advantage of such trending usage, especially in the retail, MICE and outdoor media landscapes – by using AIQ’s seamless video-image-chat solutions with the four-year old start-up’s patented VRT.

This presentation is a symbiotic showcase to the RetailEX ASEAN 2018 show that the AIQ app was proudly adopted as the Official Event App Partner in the annual exhibition and conference. AIQ’s suite of AI services is able to do away with the daunting processes of filling up forms and hence streamlining event processes and management. In short, helping event organisers achieve efficiency and largely reduce overhead costs.

With the MICE industry being one of the verticals which AIQ hopes to bring an end-to-end solution to enhancing consumer brand experience and in saving overhead costs, we hope to continue to explore ways to help retailers connect information in the physical space to the wealth of information available online.

It was overall, a positive response received at AIQ’s exhibition booth, for we saw many curious individuals and business partners coming forth to enquire about the capabilities of AIQ’s video-image-chat solution (VICS) in achieving business-driven outcomes beyond what QR Codes can do.

(Photo Source: AIQ, Twipu)

A Suite of AI Services to Boost Traditional Media Businesses

6 December 2018

Whether you’re a technology geek, a television binge-watcher or a video junkie, you’re very likely to be aware that new technologies have completely changed the way we consume information as well as to connect and communicate with one another.

A statement implying that traditional media companies’ biggest competitors in the future could be the likes of Google and Facebook would have sounded crazy five years ago, but this could not have been more true today. The evidence is all around that tech, digital and platform giants are not only winning the ad serving battles online, but they have also entered the business of content creation and distribution with very significant investments.

What does this imply for traditional content creators?

Termed “race to the centre”, there exists a dynamic that is disrupting the traditional media industry. While the digital and technology players are making their way to become more proficient in the delivery and distribution of content creation, it becomes crucial for traditional media companies to become more adept in their use of data and technology.

Henceforth, the challenge for traditional content companies to remain competent in this digital age lies in sourcing for methods to tap onto the works of data and technology in a way that keeps themselves technologically in pace with new changers of the infocomm and digital scene, comprising startups and tech entrepreneurs.

Innovation and reinvention would be the keys for traditional media players to succeed and survive in the digitally disrupted landscape. By adopting cutting-edge technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, traditional media companies can continue to upgrade their offerings to compete with the burgeoning entrance of lean startups and well-funded tech giants.

Powered by AI, AIQ’s suite of video-image-chat solution offers an omnichannel solution that revitalises out of home (OOH) and traditional media businesses. By interacting with any print visual, magazine or newspaper, physical prints can have their usability enhanced to offer customers a new brand experience.

(Photo Source: OTS Solutions,, UnHerd)

Applications of Video-Image-Chatbot Solution for Efficient Events Management

22 November 2018

Similar to the applications of Mobile Events App in being a major disruptor in the events industry, AI Chatbots offer plenty of opportunities for event managers to maximise workflow and efficiency. With the combination of Video and Image Recognition Technology, let us take a look at how AIQ’s suite of AI solutions is able to help the MICE industry streamline their services and reduce overhead costs.

Ask any event manager and they’re likely to express that their biggest challenge in executing a business event would be the personalisation of services for exhibitors and event attendees. But this no longer surfaces as a pressing issue with AI Chatbots stepping in as the game changer for the events industry.

Imagine having 1,000 attendees responding to an invite and the need to fill up forms to register the interests of every individual. What a daunting process it is, along with the perils of having heavy expenditures set aside for paper and printing services.

With AIQ’s technology, event organisers can adopt our suite of AI-powered services comprising video and image recognition as well as our in-built chatbot solution to streamline event processes and management.

AIQ’s Video and Image Recognition Technology can be licensed within an event management app as a solution for events registration and efficient generation of attendees’ data and particulars, hence providing convenient solutions for event organisers and partners.

We foresee that there is no longer a need for the printing of numerous copies of event brochures, posters and other forms of physical collaterals. With the suite of AI services comprising Video-Image-Chatbot Solutions, AIQ seeks to offer paper-free and cost-saving event solutions to benefit the MICE industry.

(Photo Source: AIQ, Siensio, AIQ, Datafloq)

Positive Effects on E-Commerce: Combining Visual Recognition Technology with Chatbot

8 November 2018

Psychologist John Gartner predicts that by 2020, over 80 per cent of all customer interactions will be dominated by artificial intelligence (AI). Of which, one of the most powerful and trendy solutions would be visual and voice search.

For our blog post last week, we discussed the powers of AI chatbots in helping businesses to thrive in this digital age. Following which, we’d like to highlight to you the suite of benefits which the applications of AI can have on the e-commerce sector.

1. Providing Virtual Assistants

E-commerce has its emphasis on user experience. The use of AI through the application of chatbots is a way to drive conversions in the purchasing process. With a chatbot in place, online shopping experiences can be tailored to enhance customers’ shopping experience.

This effective and low-cost way of providing 24/7 customer service is likely to increase conversion rates for the e-commerce site.

2. Offering a Customer-Centric Visual Search

Often than not, consumers face the disappointment of ending up with product search results irrelevant to their searches. With AI, the use of natural language processing allows for the narrowing and contextualising of image and video searches to improve search results for online shoppers.

Just by taking a picture of your friend’s new pair of sports shoes or gym clothes and uploading it, AI allows you to find similar items within an e-commerce store.

3. Retargeting Potential Customers and Improving Sales Process

According to statistics provided by Conversica, at least 33 per cent of marketing leads are not followed up by the sales team. This translates to the fact that many pre-qualified potential buyers who are interested in a particular product are actually left out from marketing analytics. Furthermore, many teams are overloaded with unmanageable customer data, of which they could do little with.

At this point, AI is able to step in to help tailor problem-solving solutions as well as create strong sales messages to reach out to customers via the right platforms. By reaching out to consumers at the right time and the right means, AI paves the way for an effective CRM system to answer customer queries, solve problems and identify new opportunities for garnering sales.

(Photo Source: Medium, The Drum, Medium)

Tapping onto AI Chatbots for Messenger Marketing

25 October 2018

Powered by natural language processing (NLP), artificial intelligence (AI) and voice-controlled technology, AI chatbots are becoming a preferred communication tool for many businesses when it comes to customer service and marketing.

According to an article by Technology Writer Deena Zaidi published on 10 October 2018 on Chatbot Magazine, approximately 45 percent of end users prefer chatbots as a primary mode of communication for raising customer service inquiries.

Said Bernard Marr, author of the article titled "How Artificial Intelligence is Making Chatbots Better for Businesses" published on Forbes,

"Today, organisations are becoming more comfortable with the idea of integrating chatbots and intelligent assistants into their processes, and confident that it will lead to improvements in efficiency and customer satisfaction."

Measuring the level of efficiency from a business point of view, it does make sense to carry out 1,000 simultaneous customer service conversations at one point of time than to hire more staff members to manage a giant human call centre to attend to the same number of customers.

As Facebook Messenger Marketing is in prime position to become the world?~@~Ys number one marketing channel in the coming years, companies which are early adopters of this fast-growing channel are likely to have a great advantage over their competitors. According to a Forbes article dated 29 August 2018 by Omar Jenblat, there are a total of 100,000 chatbots available on Messenger as of this date.

Henceforth, it is interesting to see how chatbots or AI will be influencing social media marketing strategies for businesses. Coupled with the chatbot solution, Facebook Messenger Marketing is set to pave the way for businesses to thrive.

(Photo Source: School of Inspired Leadership, MarTech Today, Chatbots Life)

Debunking the Myths of Image Recognition

18 October 2018

Image recognition is defined as the pixel and patterned analysis of visuals that computers can undertake to interpret what is being captured by the technology. Speaking of which, image recognition is an integral part of the machine vision process that encompasses everything from object and character recognition (OCR) to text and sentiment analysis.

With the foreseeable induction of image recognition and computer vision into our daily lives, this prediction has ignited both positive and apprehensive responses across the globe.

Technology is a double-edged sword. With advancements in the capabilities of what artificial intelligence (AI) and image recognition can do, we hereby alleviate you from some of the common myths of image recognition:

Myth #1: Image Recognition Kills Creativity

According to ScriptBook, an AI company with a mission to assist stakeholders in film entertainment with automated scripts and financial forecasts, predictive algorithms have mastered the ability of accurately predicting the commercial and critical success of film and television.

Hesitations from the large public arise with the questionable doubt, “To what extent is AI capable of casting judgement upon human creative works?”

Debunking this myth, it is relieving to understand that despite a machine’s lack of emotions, it can compare the script of a movie with a very large set of dataset of other scripts to draw parallels with the story structures of movies filmed in the past.

Myth #2: Machine Learning Can Have Unintended Consequences

Research done by Metz for The New York Times in 2012 have demonstrated that the system behind image recognition can be fooled into seeing things which aren’t present. For instance, Google had gotten into trouble once when its image recognition service falsely identified some black people as gorillas (Metz, 2017).

Nonetheless, with proper government measures in place and the embrace of image recognition into our daily lives, it is believed that miscreants cannot be in control of the computer vision techniques that make their way into security cameras. Hence, the issue of accuracy when it comes to important tracking of data need not be viewed as a fear blown out of proportion.

Powered by artificial intelligence (AI). AIQ’s Video and Image Recognition Technology allows for instantaneous processing of videos and images. Looking forward, the company is looking to develop a consumer-facing lifestyle app whereby the technology can be applied to make brand experiences interactive.

The company also seeks to be the kickstarter of the green initiative by allowing for retailers and brands to reduce their printing costs and go paperless with the adoption of the Video and Image Recognition Technology to allow consumers to access information via a seamless connection between offline and online channels.

(Photo Source: ScriptBook Blog, TheRegister, TheRegister)

Tapping onto Second Screen Apps as an Innovative Way to Monetise

11 October 2018

One eye on the television screen, another on your smartphone…Do you relate with this scenario? In this digital age, more and more users (above 80 per cent) are using mobile devices while watching television, and this gives rise to the second screen phenomenon.

In line with the second screen phenomenon is the advent of second screen apps as a new way for advertisers to engage and monetise their ad placements. For the benefit of businesses and retailers, the purpose of creating second screen experiences for television viewers, apart from widening viewership and fan base, is none other than monetisation. The options for monetisation of second screen apps come in many ways as follows:

Targeted Ads

The availability of a second screen concept allows service providers to serve highly-targeted and personalised ads which are synced with the first screen, i.e. the television. For instance, a food delivery pitch could pop up to link the television viewer to a branded merchandise store during the streaming of a popular show.

Online Sales (m-commerce)

The concept of having a second screen brings product placement to a whole new level. At present, product placements could be far too conspicuous or overlooked. With the second screen phenomenon, content producers can shift viewers’ attention to the second screen and allow for the generation of sales conversions, especially for inexpensive items which drive impulse to purchase via a second screen on the mobile device.

How AIQ’s Video and Image Recognition Technology Comes into Play

With video and image recognition technology, television viewers can simply point their mobile devices at lucky draw contests and gamification ads to register themselves for the draws or to unlock prizes. With regards to this, AIQ collaborated with America’s Got Talent to create a new entertainment experience for their viewers in Southeast Asia.

By creating a second screen content for them to interact with using their mobile smart devices, viewers were encouraged to download the America’s Got Talent app and point their mobile devices at the screen (while the show was being aired) to uncover exclusive content, unlock prizes, be engaged in shop-able experiences as well as participate in entertaining quizzes. America’s Got Talent received a total of 12,331 interactions for the aforementioned campaign.

(Photo Source: Whitehardt, AIQ, AIQ)

Our CEO Marcus S Tan Speaking at RetailEX ASEAN 2018

4 October 2018

In last week’s blog post, we highlighted that AIQ was the Official Event App Partner for this year’s RetailEX ASEAN event. This week, we’d like to draw your attention to our CEO Marcus S Tan’s involvement at the large-scale event and exhibition as well as how AIQ’s technology is able to disrupt the retail scene.

It was a privilege for AIQ to be involved in RetailEX ASEAN 2018, whereby we managed to secure a booth to showcase our Video and Image Recognition Technology. With regards to which, it was a great honour to have the President of Thai Retailers Association Worawoot Ounjai amongst one of the VIPs who visited AIQ’s exhibition booth.

One of the afternoon sessions for Day 1 of the event was titled “The Future of Retail”, of which Marcus was one of the panelists for the session. The key message of this session is about the combination of technology in retail and ways to keep customers in the ever-changing retail scene.

Day 2 of the event saw our CEO Marcus being the moderator for the discussion which revolved around the topic of adopting omnichannel strategies to achieve retail success. The session focused on the importance for retailers to be plugged into the digital world to be able to deliver a seamless customer experience.

We leave the mention of the best show to the last, for it was a good opportunity for Marcus to give his presentation and sharing with regards to the topic of “Disrupting the Retail Industry with Artificial Intelligence and Visual Recognition Technology”. During which, Marcus elaborated on the importance of reviving and reinventing retail businesses to enhance customers’ in-store experience, while being in line with the rising trend of e-commerce.

With respect to this, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Visual Recognition Technology play an important role of bridging the digital gap between offline and online media, allowing for the increase of conversions with a more seamless customer experience which retailers can offer.

The RetailEX ASEAN app garnered over 2,000 interactions throughout the three-day exhibition.

AIQ as the Official Event App Partner for RetailEX ASEAN 2018

27 September 2018

AIQ was the Official Event App Partner for the RetailEX ASEAN event held from Wednesday, 19 September 2018 to Friday, 21 September 2018 at IMPACT Convention and Exhibition Center in Bangkok, Thailand. With that, it was a privilege to have all of the logos and posters belonging to the sponsors and exhibitors visually interactable with the RetailEX ASEAN app which is powered by AIQ’s technology.

This is the first time that video and image recognition technology is being used at a large-scale exhibition and conference in Asia. Throughout the three-day exhibition, we received positive responses from visitors – comprising both locals as well as trade partners – coming to our AIQ booth to find out about how our Video and Image Recognition Technology disrupts the retail scene.

Both the visitors and event stakeholders present were fascinated with how AIQ’s technology could generate leads and increase sales with the simple, yet useful application of offline-to-online (O2O) interaction. At the convenience of their smartphones and smart devices, both exhibitors and visitors were able to scan logos and posters at over 90 exhibitor and sponsor booths to receive specially curated content as well as participate in contests and respond to call-to-action.

With the visitors and event stakeholders engaged via the RetailEX ASEAN app, AIQ’s Video and Image Recognition Technology also helps in reducing the unnecessary printing of materials and contributes to sustainability and earth conservation. This has assisted in reducing the overhead costs for the event as well.

Featuring a mobile e-directory as well as detailed information containing speaker profiles, floor plans and conference schedules, the RetailEX ASEAN app was successful in offering visitors and event stakeholders pertinent information at the comfort of their fingertips!

What JDVirtual could’ve done with AIQ’s Video and Image Recognition Technology

20 September 2018

Just last Friday, e27 and TechInAsia reported the news about JD.ID introducing its modern retail by the name of “JDVirtual”

Tapping on the works of QR Code technology, JDVirtual offers a modern method of shopping by keeping in mind the convenience of borderless and cashless shopping for its customers. Using the JD.ID app, transactions can be processed efficiently through the steps of scanning on a QR Code and making payment through the app.

At present, JDVirtual can be found at Commuter Line train stations in the Greater Jakarta Area, which comprise stations such as Jakarta Kota, Sudirman, Sudimara, Juanda, Gondangdia, Cikini, Tebet, Pasar Minggu and Depok Baru.

By implementing the QR Code technology, JDVirtual allows users of the JD.ID app to immediately purchase their selected products by scanning the QR Codes available within the app.

JD had previously introduced the online-to-offline (O2O) concept in Indonesia, through the launch of the JD.ID X futuristic store at PIK Avenue. The difference between JDVirtual and JD.ID X lies in that the new JDVirtual allows the convenience of customers bring their selected products home by themselves.

Drawing relations to AIQ’s Video and Image Recognition Technology, here’s a Food for Thought question: What could JDVirtual have done, if they had incorporated AIQ’s Video and Image Recognition Technology instead?

Instead on relying on QR Codes, AIQ’s technology could allow shoppers to scan on any video or images of the products which they’re interested in purchasing. Through three simple steps “Point, Capture and Interact”, our offline-to-online (O2O) technology allows shoppers to use their smart devices to recognise feature points of videos and images of a particular brand’s product offerings and make transactions or purchases online, at the convenience of their smart devices.

QR Codes are made for machines to work with, but the human eye is inherently attracted to visuals. By adopting Video and Image Recognition Technology, brand equity can be increased and there’ll be greater ease on the user’s end. Doesn’t that sound like a more efficient adoption of technology for retail consumption?

(Photo Source: e27, TechInAsia, AIQ)