In the Asia Vision Series features we dive into key industry trends and issues with our subject matter experts and visionaries the region. In part 1 of 3 of this interview, Koh Buck Song, author and editor of more than twenty books and former political supervisor for Singapore’s national broadsheet The Straits Times, speaks with Dr. Hsiao-Wuen Hon, Corporate Vice President, Microsoft Research Asia, Microsoft Asia-Pacific R&D Group – a thought leader in the field of innovation especially artificial intelligence. He shares his personal journey toward chasing his passion for innovation, and the relationship between artificial and human intelligence.
I didn’t gain access to a computer until college, but I had always pictured a service that could answer any question since I was a young boy.
Even before Dr. Hsiao-Wuen Hon first laid hands on a computer in college in 1981, he already imagined a future where systems could answer any question posed by humans. Like today’s search engines or intelligent personal assistants such as Microsoft’s Cortana, young Dr. Hon believed this technology would help people overcome their fear of the unknown by providing information on how to perform tasks. His vision of the future shaped his entire education journey, from majoring in Electrical Engineering in National Taiwan University to receiving a PhD in Computer Science from Carnegie Mellon University.