This article is brought to you by the SUTD – Women x Tech & Design series.

As the world becomes more globalised than ever, you believe staying connected has never been as important as it is today – especially in times of crises, such as the COVID-19 pandemic.

And it’s not just for people like you and me. Our devices, networks and systems are all constantly “talking” to each other over cyberspace, and maintaining this vital connection is a large part of what keeps our modern world not just running but also driving the future’s digital development.

Could connectivity be the ultimate tool in our quest to build smarter, safer and more enlightened societies? Could you be the female innovator to lead the next great leap in communications technology?

Learning from the World

For someone studying to improve global connectivity, it was only apt that Information Systems Technology and Design (ISTD) student, Faith See would jump at an opportunity to travel to Lisbon, Portugal for an internship at Unbabel, a company that developed an AI-powered translation app.

Lisbon Machine Learning demo day

Providing what is known as “translation as a service”, its main area of focus is translation in customer service communications. Faith worked in the company’s Labs Product Team, where she worked on both existing products and the development of entirely new ones.

“There are few things as challenging as interning in one of the world’s fastest growing companies,” See says. “I learned far more than technical skills – I grew as a human being too.”

Experiences like these are intentionally curated for students at SUTD, empowering them to intern with companies that are exploring exciting new technologies in various fields. Read more about Faith’s experiences here.

For students like Faith, the work experience complements the coursework they partake in SUTD. Courses such as Cloud Computing and Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning allow students to dive into the innovations of tomorrow and getting hands-on experience prepares them to join the workforce as instant contributors, or as entrepreneurs with a vision of bringing something new to the world.

Entering a New Era of Connectivity

The emergence of 5G technology promises to completely revolutionise our world. It is not just about the immediate everyday effects, such as faster exchange of data. It unleashes the unlimited potential for development of cutting-edge technology.

“Take robots as an example,” says Professor Tony Quek, Head of the ISTD pillar. “While we already have robots that clean autonomously and identify obstacles in its path using embedded sensors, they are not able to distinguish if a certain obstacle is an inanimate object that can be approached closer for a thorough clean, or a small child, in which case it should maintain a safe distance.”

With the more powerful networks that 5G technology promises, says Professor Quek, the cleaning robot can support additional sensors that will make it better at identifying obstacles and making smarter decisions. Read more about how SUTD is helping lead the way in 5G innovation here.

Developing better, faster and more powerful networks will benefit both everyday people and our economy, as we continue to build a more cooperative, collaborative and more connected world.

Data and design have allowed for connectivity to make leaps beyond the unthinkable. And with SUTD’s ISTD programme, you will learn that it is not just about software, hardware, computing systems or infrastructure. It is about designing more human-centric and intelligent systems that integrate all the technologies to best fit user experiences and meet economic objectives. That’s one of the many ways design can truly deliver value to the world.

If the thought of being an innovator in this field and building a better world excites you, find out more about ISTD here.

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