The funding will be used to drive talent acquisition for Saltmine’s Singapore-based teams, grow its portfolio of large corporate clients, and expand in the APAC region. San Francisco-headquartered digital workplace platform Saltmine has raised US$20 million in a Series A round of funding, the [...]
Enabling programmers to keep apace with the tech revolution
Tailwinds in technology are propelling the world headfirst into the age of automation, but professional talent is still catching up.
In a 2019 survey, 67% of organizations said they were facing a shortage of IT skills–an all-time high since 2008 (Harvey Nash-KMPG). While big data, cybersecurity, and artificial intelligence (AI) were top skills in short supply, demand for technical architects saw the most significant year-on-year drop of 17%.
“As an IT and AI practitioner, I always see the challenges of getting the right and talented professionals for development. It is always a pain for tech startups,” says Kami Intelligence Founder and CEO Alex Cheung.
Kami is a deeptech company that specializes in natural language processing (NLP). Founded in Hong Kong in 2015, Kami is now based in the United Kingdom and part of its Global Entrepreneurship Program. Its backers include HKX-Tech and Softbank-backed ARM Innovation Ecosystem Accelerator.
Kami’s NLP technology helps to better understand user intention and recall user information through AI-based chatbots. The company has also developed its own natural language generation (NLG) technology that combines modular knowledge graphs and text-infilling algorithms to enable computers to perform deductive reasoning with appropriate words for a more engaging and personalised experience.
IT is facing a skills gap
Cheung highlights a 2019 report by the International Labor Organization’s Global Commission on the Future of Work, where it noted that “today’s skills will not match the jobs of tomorrow, and newly acquired skills may quickly become obsolete.”
This trend indicates a tectonic shift in expectations from IT practitioners. For instance, jobs in engineering are expected to rise sharply due to frontier technologies such as AI. However, the shine has worn off traditional engineering roles, with flat demand for engineering talent in traditional industries, such as infrastructure and energy (World Economic Forum).
Further, the top five most demanded hard skills of 2020–blockchain, cloud computing, analytics, AI, and UX–are all IT skills, the demand for which is driven by a transformation of the tech landscape (LinkedIn).
Kami AI Tutor
Cheung chose to found Kami as a deep tech NLP company because he believes in AI as an empowering technology, aligning with his vision for enhanced machine-human collaboration. To realize this mission, Kami has also developed an AI Tutor that addresses skill gaps for programmers, and gives them access to data-based, personalized education.
Kami’s AI Tutor is a next-gen smart education platform; it tracks individual learning progress, identifies areas of improvement, and suggests strategies to improve performance. Feedback loops and ongoing automated performance support further bolster the learning process. The technology also allows for the real-time tracking of return on investment from the platform.
“Upskilling employees through AI Tutor is designed to improve targeted performance outcomes, both to inspire measurable positive impact and drive demonstrable value for the business,” says Cheung.
Kami has already partnered with educational and tech organizations, such as Carnegie Mellon University spinoff Proxor, to bring the platform to IT professionals needing upskilling. While Kami focuses on education with AI Tutor, Proxor provides an unbiased assessment with its machine-graded examination system.
The AI Tutor enables users to learn better and learn faster. Speed and efficacy are essential to companies because their success depends not only on who they hire, but also how well-trained they are. According to IBM, 84% of employees in the best performing organizations receive the training they need, whereas, in the worst-performing ones, only 14% receive such training.
It’s often said that companies are only as strong as their weakest link. With Kami’s revolutionary approach to employee retraining, companies now have the backing of data, automation, personalization, and long-term sustainability packed into one platform that can help employees level up.
Sharon is a staff writer at Jumpstart.
This article was written in partnership with Kami AI.