How do you improve safety in construction sites? A smart video system that acts like an “eye” to monitor activities and flag safety violations 24 hours a day could be the answer. When it senses workers standing too close to moving excavators, for example, it will send alerts or warning signals to the site’s safety and health officers.
Ms Goh Jia Yi, 24, is part of a team to help create such a solution in collaboration with other government agencies. As an AI engineer in the Government Technology Agency’s (GovTech) Data Science and Artificial Intelligence Division’s video analytics team, she focuses on computer vision algorithms to come up with ways to enable computers to analyse videos and images.
“I experiment with cutting-edge models and techniques within the computer vision to hone AI capabilities and provide technical support to other government agencies on their projects,” she explains.
She has been involved in developing GovTech’s Video Analytics System, a platform that lets government agencies use video analytics and machine learning without any coding. They have used it to produce services such as Balefire and Mobius. The former is a smoking detection tool, while the latter analyses pedestrians, cyclists and traffic using video analytics.
She learnt about the Smart Nation Scholarship and applied for it while studying business analytics at the National University of Singapore. The scholarship, jointly offered by the Cyber Security Agency of Singapore, GovTech and Infocomm Media Development Authority, gives people a chance to carve out a career in technology and contribute to the public good.
“I’ve been interested in tech since young. I still remember the excitement I felt when I came across the scholarship. I knew that with it, I could contribute meaningfully to Singapore while furthering my passion for technology.”
Although she intended to be a data analyst, an internship at GovTech’s Smart City Technology Division in 2020 as part of being a scholar introduced her to computer vision. “I helped to build an exercise detection and rep counting application, which made me realise that I want to be a hands-on developer.” She also saw other GovTech staff put together a self-service temperature scanner to fight the spread of Covid-19.
These instances convinced her that she chose the right scholarship. She says: “I already admired many of GovTech’s products, including SingPass, but my internship experience showed me how agile the organisation is, how quickly it can respond to crises and build things. I’m constantly learning on the job, which is something that truly gives me joy.”
This article is brought to you by Smart Nation.