IWD2024 Online Feature Series - Tang Qing's Pursuit of Excellence in the Field of AI

Mar 8, 2024
Asia Market Entry
IWD2024 Online Feature Series - Tang Qing's Pursuit of Excellence in the Field of AI

This International Women's Day 2024, the team at Asia Market Entry reached out to the women in our network who are leaders in their various fields, ranging from AI to wine education. Tang Qing is a Senior Researcher at InterX's AI Lab, currently leading a team of 12 men. Read on for her journey and her unique interpretation of the #IWD2024 Theme of Invest in Women: Accelerate Progress.

In the landscape of technological advancement in Artificial Intelligence, women like Tang Qing are quietly but profoundly shaping the trajectory of progress. With humility and a steadfast commitment to bridging theoretical insights with practical solutions, Qing embodies the essence of this year's International Women's Day theme: "Invest in Women: Accelerate Progress."

From Academia to Industry

Tang Qing's journey from academia to the forefront of deeptech is as inspiring as it is transformative. With a PhD in Computer Vision and Deep Learning, she embarked on a quest to translate her passion for autonomous technologies into tangible solutions for real-world challenges. Her early fascination with innovation was sparked at a young age. “I remember being nine years old, and constantly thinking about inventing something autonomous, like a door that closes by itself. This dream of creating autonomous technologies has been a lifelong passion.” This served as the catalyst for her pursuit of excellence in the field of AI.

Originally from China, Qing joined Korean firm INTERX, a tech company specialising in autonomous factory platforms and solutions. This marked a pivotal moment in Qing's career. As a Senior Researcher, she found herself at the intersection of academia and industry, channelling her expertise to address efficiency and safety issues in the manufacturing sector. Her role shows the power of investing in women, as she leverages her skills and insights to drive meaningful change in traditionally male-dominated domains.

Multilingual Perspectives: A Global Outlook

One of Qing's most significant contributions lies in her unique perspective as a multilingual woman in tech with international experience. Her linguistic proficiency not only helps facilitate global collaborations but also fosters a deeper understanding of cultural nuances. And it’s good for business too. “Being a native mandarin speaker allows me to connect with global partners and clients more profoundly, ensuring that we comprehend their business practices within a more inclusive and collaborative environment.”

Challenges and Resilience

However, Tang Qing acknowledges the challenges inherent in her journey. She grapples with internalised gender norms and societal expectations, yet she refuses to be constrained by them. Instead, she boldly asserts her presence in male-dominated spaces, paving the way for future generations of women in tech. She leads a team of 12 men (all men) at InterX, and in her wider InterX Lab team of 30, there are only 5 women, including Qing herself.

Central to Qing's ethos is the notion of empowering women to overcome societal biases and unlock their full potential. She emphasises the importance of recognising and challenging ingrained stereotypes. “An example of these subtle yet deeply rooted societal biases is like reflecting on my own adolescence - I observed that novels for boys often depicted their ideal ending as achieving heroism, whereas for girls, the narrative focused on attaining romantic fulfilment. This dichotomy reinforces the notion that ambition for boys is heroism, while for girls, it is securing a romantic partner.” Realising these biases is key to overcoming them.

Fostering Innovation Through Diversity

Qing believes that innovation thrives on diversity. Her experiences, particularly in Singapore, underscore the critical role that diversity plays in driving innovative solutions. Qing's multilingual abilities and cultural sensitivities have enabled her to forge a strong local network, showcasing the undeniable value of embracing various cultural perspectives in business. Her broader team, comprising women and men from various cultural backgrounds, embodies this principle. By fostering an environment of inclusion and collaboration, she drives creative problem-solving and fosters a culture of innovation. Acknowledging that, despite efforts to eliminate bias, physiological differences between the sexes exist, such as variations in brain structure, she posits that these differences can and should be a source of strength to be drawn upon. The inclusion of more women in fields traditionally dominated by men, particularly technology, is seen as a catalyst for unprecedented levels of innovation and change. This perspective is aligned with the idea that diversity, including the distinct perspectives women bring to technology, can lead to more creative and innovative solutions. “Our team is composed of individuals from multiple countries, including Korea, China (like myself), and India. Interestingly, when we seek benchmarks, we can draw upon a wide range of international practices from different countries. This diversity of ideas enriches our brainstorming sessions, leading to the generation of more creative and innovative ideas.”

An Enduring Inspiration

At the heart of Qing's journey lies her unwavering admiration for her greatest inspiration: her mother. “My mother is a maths teacher. Her sayings and attitudes have shaped who I am today. She always told me to see myself as an individual and an adult before considering my gender." Guided by her mother's wisdom and resilience, she navigates the complexities of the tech industry with grace and determination. Her advice to aspiring women in tech echoes her mother's teachings: believe in yourself, challenge societal norms, and embrace the limitless possibilities that await.

A heartfelt message from Qing to all women this IWD2024 “When I feel frustrated, what gives me the most strength are the stories of successful women. That's why I want to be such a woman who inspires and motivates other women. If there is a woman who thinks she cannot be a leader in male-dominated fields, I wish my story could let her know that nothing is impossible for a woman. That's why I will do better in the present and the future. I see myself not just as an individual, but as a member of the community of women. This is my way of investing in women.”

As we celebrate International Women's Day 2024, Tang Qing's story serves as a testament to the transformative power of investing in women. Through her pioneering efforts, she accelerates progress, paving the way for a more inclusive and equitable future in technology and beyond.