I actively translate my research into policy making, industry engagement and public education avenues so that my findings can be of direct benefit to stakeholders. I serve actively on several bodies including the Singapore Computer Society, Social Science Research Council, Singapore Environment Council and Media Literacy Council.
AI Ethics and Governance
As society digitalizes, AI is playing an ever expanding role in every realm of our everyday lives. For maximum benefits and minimum tradeoffs, ensuring that AI-driven systems are held to fairness, transparency, accountability, beneficence and explicability is therefore crucial. Currently, the commercial exploitation of data for algorithms that automate everything from online advertisements to social media feeds and insurance premiums remains an opaque exercise. Apart from information asymmetry, the technology platforms on which billions of people interact everyday do not demonstrate safety by design. Consequently, even as AI-driven innovation heralds tremendous benefits, there are also adverse effects society must address. Problems such as scams, online misinformation and disinformation, online harms, algorithmic biases and environmental costs of digitalization are becoming more severe and greater awareness of AI ethics is fundamental. As a public intellectual, I write extensively on issues relating to AI ethics and the impact of technology on society in popular media platforms to raise public awareness. As an academic, I drive research and education efforts to imbue in students AI ethics principles and offer industry and government data-driven insights. I also participate actively in professional bodies such as the Singapore Computer Society where I serve on the Executive Committee of the AI Ethics and Governance Special Interest Group.
Women in Technology
I believe strongly in boosting diversity in the technology industry. With technology deployed intensively across all sectors and strata of society, it is critical that it accommodates and reflects the needs of the broad swathe of users. Without sufficient representation or participation of women in the technology industry, technological innovation is necessarily less empathetic and inclusive. In my academic leadership, public advocacy, teaching and professional service contributions, I actively create more opportunities for women to be empowered and to empower other women. As Vice President of the Women in Tech Chapter of the Singapore Computer Society, we organize an extensive range of thought leadership, professionalization, networking, mentoring and community building sessions to attract and nurture women to work and thrive in the technology sector. When in Parliament, I spoke about the need for greater support for women in the tech sector through the introduction of more family friendly policies, tool kits to help managers on-board and re-integrate returning female workers who have taken caregiving career breaks, and larger upskilling subsidies for returning female workers due to their longer career gaps.
Social Media Resource Kit for Youths-at-Risk
Notably, I distilled my research findings on media and technology use by juvenile delinquents into the Social Media Resource Kit for Youths-at-Risk, supported by the Ministry of Social and Family Development. The kit offers teachers, social workers and counsellors a comprehensive resource for guiding youths and their families on the benefits and risks of social media use and is used by schools and youth sector organisations throughout Singapore. Colourful and reader-friendly, the kit provides comprehensive information on popular social media platforms. It contains factsheets, conversation guides for speaking to parents and youths, news reports, self-assessment quizzes, group activities and Powerpoint slides for classroom use.
Youth Work Mobile 2.0 (YOWOMO2.0) is a European Partnership developing a framework for Vocational and Educational Training (VET) of youth workers facing the growing significance of smartphones and social media in the life of their clients. I collaborated with Lutz Siemer, Lecturer at the School of Social Work at Saxion University of Applied Sciences in The Netherlands on YOWOMO 2.0. Principally, the key content of the Social Media Resource Kit was been adapted into a competence quiz for youth workers in Europe for them to assess their personal readiness for guiding young people in today’s media landscape. The quiz is available in English, German, Spanish and Turkish, with more language versions to come!
Membership on Committees
- 2023-present, Member, SkillsFuture Research Advisory Panel
- 2021-2022, Research Workstream Coordinator, Alliance for Action on Online Harms Against Women and Girls, Ministry of Communication and Information
- 2021-2022, co-organiser, International Day for the Eradication of Poverty: Finding the WE in Uni[we]rsal Digital Access
- 2020-present, Council Member, Social Science Research Council
- 2019-present, Board Director, Singapore Environment Council
- 2019-present, Academic Committee Member, St Joseph's Institution International
- 2018-present, Nominated Member of Parliament, 13th Parliament of Singapore
- 2014-present, Media Literacy Council, Infocomm Media Development Authority
- 2014-2016, Academic Board Member, Singapore Media Academy
- 2009-2011, National Youth Council, Ministry of Community, Culture, Youth and Sport
- 2007-2009, Advisory Committee on the Impact of New Media on Society Working Group, Media Development Authority
- 2006-2010, Internet & Media Advisory Committee, Media Development Authority
- 2008-2012, Chair, New Media Taskforce, National Committee on Youth Guidance & Rehabilitation, Ministry of Social and Family Development
- 2006-2012, Member, National Committee on Youth Guidance & Rehabilitation, Ministry of Social and Family Development
- 2005-2007, National Internet Advisory Committee, Media Development Authority