Ahead of the AI Accelerate Festival APAC, we caught up with Sabrina Ren, Director, Tech Scouting and Open Innovation of OPPO to discuss AI hardware, Machine Learning and Edge AI.

Q: To kick things off, it would be great to learn a bit more about your background. What led you to get into your chosen area of AI?

A: Early in my career, I had the opportunity to lead a large-scale multi-company data science project, first of its kind in Asia.

My biggest learning from this project is that a lot of the challenge of data science / AI commercialization project is not the science/tech part, it is more about translating technology into business value and drive the value creation.

As a result, a large part of my career has centered around bridging frontier technology with business implementation, being the tech innovator who drives business value.

Q: In your opinion, what are the biggest drivers of Edge AI demand?

A: From an on-device AI perspective, the biggest drivers are consumer needs such as privacy, real-time services, personalization, etc. Let us use digital health to illustrate the point.

After COVID-19, consumers around the world are embracing digital health more openly. We are used to shopping on mobile, banking on mobile, connecting on mobile, now we are also starting to take care of our health & wellness on mobile devices.

This will have some significance on the requirements which would be best met by Edge AI/ML.

Firstly, with digital health data, consumers will have even higher expectations of privacy. Making sure consumer data stays on devices and is better more suitable for consumer privacy protection is key.

Secondly, for health alerts and other time sensitive digital health services on mobile and wearable devices, the round-trip to the cloud will deem the service unreliable.

Thirdly, on-device AI/ML will enable further personalization to delight the consumers.

Q: How will Edge AI reshape the future?

A: In the consumer devices space, with further development of AI hardware & Machine Learning, Edge AI will spark a new wave of innovation and enable new consumer experiences which have the potential to change our lifestyle.

Q: What can we expect from your session at the AI Accelerate Festival APAC?

A: This session will focus on the development and future of AI/ML on consumer devices such as smartphones and wearable devices.

Combining my experience of both corporate R&D and startup innovation, this session will provide a consumer driven / device driven view of the trends, challenges and practical lessons learned from implementing AI on the edge.

Sabrina is presenting at the AI Accelerate Festival APAC. Check out her session 'Taking AI to the Edge: Challenges & Insight from Device Perspective'