Pilot-Japan had the wonderful opportunity to talk to Dennis Hsueh, the CEO of Ingenta – an AI startup specialising in customised AI engines. AI is an extension of statistics that utilises data to make categorisations and predictions. Ingenta employs AI scientists and hardware and software engineers to work closely with clients to optimise business based on insights uncovered from data.
Born and raised in Taiwan, Mr Hsueh founded Ingenta after completing his education in the US, working in various global companies, and establishing another startup – a semiconductor IC design house in Silicon Valley and Taiwan. Ingenta has its roots in Silicon Valley, but also has offices in Tokyo and Taipei. In order to follow the Japanese business market, the operating headquarters were relocated to Tokyo in 2018. Mr Hsueh said that initially there were some cultural differences in business to overcome, but that Ingenta had an advantage in Japan as a company with both an understanding of Asian culture and innovative technology knowledge straight from Silicon Valley. Unlike the more competitive US or more conservative Taiwanese markets, Japan is beginning to embrace AI technology and companies are willing to invest in and try out the applications of AI.
Ingenta uses data to provide valuable information to its many clients from mostly mid to large companies from various industries such as pharmaceutical, cosmetic, manufacturing, and retail companies. AI is used in machines to do predictive maintenance, and for online shopping recommendations and offline retailers. Ingenta currently has a joint venture with one of the biggest companies in Japan to create high end and precise personalised shampoo and treatment. Customers go to the salon for a consultation with a stylist and then the AI provides a shampoo with the best composition for each customer’s hair.
Ingenta has clients from various industries but they have one thing in common – they are all interested in using AI to improve our lives. Ingenta’s aim is to have value centred AI that does not replace humanity but instead learns from us to better assist us. Although AI is much better than humans at dealing with vast amounts of data, repetitive tasks and objective decisions, AI lacks the ability to detect emotion. This lack of emotion is why Ingenta aims to make technology that originates in humanity because the beauty of civilisation comes from our emotions.
Mr Hsueh recognises the importance of applying AI to environmental issues. Ingenta is currently involved in optimising inventory to avoid food waste for a large supermarket chain in Japan, and for predicting the cost of private electricity sales and reducing energy waste by predicting the consumption of power. Some areas of AI are more advanced than others, and AI applications are ever improving but there is still a long way to go. Mr Hsueh believes that AI will change the world and help humanity. It will be exciting to see where Ingenta and AI take us!
Mr Hsueh encourages anyone interested to work in the technology field in Japan as it is not only a very safe country with a deep culture, but Japan also has many unique strengths in certain fields of technology. This means that there are certain fields of technology in Japan just waiting to be explored more and also many Japanese companies are currently struggling to keep the best engineers in Japan so there are many job opportunities even for foreigners.
In the near future, a new Research and Development Centre will open in Taiwan, and Ingenta will expand its business to provide AI as a service tool for clients in mid-2020. Mr Hsueh hopes to secure the market in Japan, to strengthen Ingenta’s business team in Japan by hiring more people, and to continue expanding the company to other Southeast Asian countries. Could you be a part of strengthening Ingenta’s team? Well, if you’re a development engineer or designer who can speak English then you might have a chance!
Click here to learn even more about Ingenta.