AsianScientist (Jul. 6, 2018) – The World Economic Forum (WEF) has recognized five companies from Asia as Technology Pioneers of 2018. They join a global community of early-stage companies involved in pioneering new technologies and ideas across a diverse range of sectors, from agriculture to cybersecurity.
The network serves as a platform for members to discuss common problems, pitch new ideas to stakeholders and contribute to solving global issues. Past technology pioneers include mega-corporations such as Google, Twitter and Airbnb.
We feature here the five new Asian additions to the WEF Technology Pioneers community.
Seeing through the eyes of AI
Malong Technologies (Shenzhen, China)
In a world saturated with products and commodities, the retail scene is both more vibrant and competitive than ever before. To help enterprises achieve greater efficiency, quality and safety in their retail operations, Malong Technologies has invented artificial intelligence (AI) with human-level performance that relies on weakly-supervised deep learning technology to visually recognize products.
This technology has been picked up by over 100 companies across various industries, ranging from fashion to wine and automobiles. Malong Technologies currently boasts a reach of over 100 million end-users who mostly reside in China.
Overhauling tax collection with tech
OnlinePajak (Jakarta, Indonesia)
Technology, at its best, simplifies processes and improves the user experience. This is exactly what OnlinePajak’s platform is doing for Indonesia’s tax collection system. Founded in 2014, OnlinePajak is currently working with Indonesia’s Ministry of Finance to provide an online centralized platform that enables businesses to file their taxes more easily while making the entire process more transparent.
In this way, the company hopes to build efficacy and trust in the tax collection process, ultimately increasing the state revenue accrued through taxation. OnlinePajak is now the official tax filing application in Indonesia for business and commerce.
Cleaning up ‘dirty data’
SocialCops (New Delhi, India)
A sea of data surrounds us, but how do we maximize its utility? Compounding the problem is the fact that some data can be ‘dirty’—unstructured, unreliable or erroneous. ‘Dirty data’ can be particularly prevalent in emerging markets, which hinders efforts to perform advanced analytics or data visualization.
A data intelligence company called SocialCops is looking to combat ‘dirty data’ in India using its proprietary platform, cleaning up and transforming it into intuitive insights that facilitate decision-making. The technology was employed during the Chennai floods in India, where it was used to assess damage and manage relief inventory. The platform has since been used by over 150 organizations from over 20 countries for applications in agriculture and for empowering women.
Powering up the solar enterprise
ME SOLshare (Dhaka, Bangladesh)
Modern technology, while transforming urban cities, is also making its way back to the countryside. ME SOLshare has created a system to provide sustainable and affordable energy to low-income people in rural areas by tapping on existing infrastructure—solar home systems (SHS) that have already been installed in some households.
Using ME SOLshare’s decentralized peer-to-peer electricity trading platform, SHS owners can sell the excess electricity generated by their solar panels to other villagers. This creates a communal electricity grid that concurrently promotes rural electrification and empowerment.
Building the future of farming
My Crop Technologies (Ahmedabad, India)
Agriculture is getting a huge boost—this time not from fertilizers or pesticides, but from AI. My Crop Technologies (or MyCrop) is revolutionizing the way farming is done, combining big data, sensors and intelligent algorithms to provide farmers with real-time analytics to monitor their farmland, including parameters like soil and local weather conditions.
The enterprise also aims to use autonomous vehicles and drones in farming to create an intelligent system of systems. This technology-enabled platform will transform information into useful insights that are specific to each farmer, thereby maximizing their productivity and profitability, improving their standard of living, as well as boosting the agriculture industry as a whole.
Editor’s note: Asian Scientist Magazine editor-in-chief Dr. Juliana Chan was a member of the selection committee for the Technology Pioneers cohort of 2018.
Copyright: Asian Scientist Magazine; Photo: Shutterstock.
Disclaimer: This article does not necessarily reflect the views of AsianScientist or its staff.