Meet Ben, The Master of AI Researcher at Sertis
Delve into the story of Ben, our accomplished AI researcher, as she dedicates her utmost efforts to excel in her role at Sertis. Join us to uncover the enriching chapters of Ben's journey, filled with inspiration and growth through this interview.
What is your starting point for becoming an AI researcher?
The starting point for me to become an AI researcher began with guidance from my undergraduate advisor who introduced me to the field of AI and mentioned its growing significance when I was at the university. After that, I engaged in studies both within the classroom, such as courses like Mathematics for AI and Machine Learning, and outside the classroom, through online courses and educational videos from international universities. Finding these topics intriguing, I decided to pursue a master's degree in information technology, specializing in AI, and collaborate on a thesis with a knowledgeable professor in the AI field. All of these experiences ignited my interest in delving deeper into AI research, motivating me to embark on a career in AI research.
What do you need to study or graduate from to become an AI researcher?
To become an AI researcher, it's not strictly necessary to have a specific educational background. However, certain qualities and qualifications are important. Firstly, a genuine interest in conducting research, studying technologies, exploring new methods, and applying them to practical tasks or further developments is crucial. Furthermore, having a strong foundation in mathematics is highly beneficial. This knowledge enables a deeper understanding of research work and the ability to analyze the underlying causes and effects of research outcomes. I believe that regardless of the academic field you graduate from, becoming an AI researcher is attainable. The key lies in the passion for research and the drive to learn and innovate.
Why did you decide to join Sertis?
It’s because of my interest in AI research work, so I decided to look for jobs at various companies that excel in AI development. Then I came across the AI researcher position at Sertis, which not only involves developing AI to meet customer needs but also emphasizes continuous research and AI development. During the job interview at Sertis, I felt that the team didn’t just want someone capable of coding or creating AI models, but they also valued a deep understanding of mathematical fundamentals and the principles of research work. All of these factors have led to my interest in joining Sertis.
Your responsibilities within the AI Research team?
My main responsibilities within the AI Research team are divided into two main parts. The first part focuses on studying and developing AI to address the needs of customers in various industries. In this aspect, there is research conducted into current projects and the potential applications to meet customer requirements. Another part is research work aimed at advancing AI technology. The team has been involved in various development projects, such as creating models for Face Detection, Face Recognition, Face Landmark Localization, Presentation Attack Detection (PAD), and during the COVID-19 pandemic, we collaborated with medical professionals from Ramathibodi Hospital on developing a model for Face Mask Detection in public spaces which I had the opportunity to present this research project at the 19th International Joint Conference on Computer Science and Software Engineering (JCSSE 2022).
What have you learned and developed personally during your time at Sertis?
Over the past 3 years working at Sertis, I have learned a wide range of things through my experiences, whether in terms of hard skills or soft skills. At Sertis, we have a strong commitment to our best practices when it comes to coding. This includes aspects such as Git structure, experiment tracking, and data and model versioning. Apart from coding-related tasks, I have also honed my skills in researching, summarizing, and presenting research works.
We have a designated time weekly known as the "Journal Club," where members of the AI Research team select research papers of their interest, read them, summarize their findings, and present them to the team. This has greatly contributed to the enhancement of our research skills. Furthermore, we are encouraged to have opportunities to write and present research findings in journals and conferences.
In terms of soft skills, the way we work at Sertis involves cross-team collaboration on each project, which includes colleagues from various teams such as Business Development, Consulting and Delivery, Engineering, and Software Engineering. This environment has allowed me to develop strong communication skills within teams, helping me to understand the overall picture of the collaborative projects.
What aspects of working at Sertis have left an impression on you?
One of the things that impresses me the most about working at Sertis is the core values embraced within the company, known as HOMERUN (Helpful, Open, Modest, Ethical, Understanding, and New Learning). This core value among Sertizens fosters mutual support, open listening to opinions, and constructive feedback, allowing us to continually develop our skills.
Another remarkable aspect is that Sertis isn't just a company that applies AI, but it also places great importance on research work to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of AI applications.
Moreover, the ongoing feedback shared at work that comes from team leaders, colleagues, and even ourselves is impactful for everyone. This practice enables us to reflect on our actions, acknowledging what we have done well and what areas have potential for improvement based on the feedback of everyone we work with. Lastly, Sertis also offers a flexible approach to time management, enabling us to allocate our work time efficiently and maintain a good work-life balance. Additionally, there are various activities such as team activities, company parties, and company trips that allow us to interact with colleagues and build a sense of team spirit.
What are your goals moving forward from this point?
I aim to contribute to elevating the AI Research team by advancing research work in the field of Computer Vision to have our research published and presented at internationally recognized academic journals or conferences such as The Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR), The European Conference on Computer Vision (ECCV), or The International Conference on Computer Vision (ICCV).
During your free time or after work, what activities do you enjoy doing?
I mostly enjoy watching movies, listening to music, playing games, or attending concerts by my favorite artists. Also, I sometimes join badminton matches with my colleagues after work on certain days.
Any books or movies you would like to recommend?
I'd suggest trying the movie ‘Hidden Figures’, which revolves around the achievements
of African-American female mathematicians at NASA. For other biographical genres, I
suggest ‘On the Basis of Sex’, ‘Green Book’, or ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’. Apart from biographical films, I'd recommend musicals like ‘Les Misérables’, ‘La La Land’, and ‘The Greatest Showman’.