Artificial intelligence is now playing a crucial role in the digital transformation of businesses. Eric Moy, chief executive of digital transformation consulting firm KBQuest, recently sat down with the Hong Kong Economic Journal to talk about his company and the growing deployment of AI-powered technology in business.
Q: Can you give us a brief background on KBQuest and what it is offering to clients?
A: As a global digital transformation consulting firm in business for nearly 19 years, KBQuest moved its headquarters to Hong Kong about 10 years ago. We can see that many existing businesses are being threatened by the rise of new technology and technology-focused startups. These businesses have been actively seeking to deploy new technology to help boost their competitiveness. KBQuest focuses on assisting companies on their journey of digital transformation, with our expertise in cloud computing, big data analytics, as well as artificial intelligence-enabled technology.
With our partnership with tech giant Microsoft, we have won clients among large-sized enterprises, retailers, financial institutions, banks, and public institutions. We have a dedicated team of professional consultants to handle our clients’ issues in digital transformation, and provide them with our proprietary technology solutions such as Ai-Knowie.
Q: How does KBQuest assist companies in the matter of digital transformation?
A: Artificial intelligence has emerged as the key to digital business. KBQuest has developed its own AI product, Ai-Knowie, pronounced like “I know it”. Designed to be an AI-powered enterprise knowledge engine, it enables users to instantly convert text-attached objects, say a photo with text on it, into a digital text file, by simply using a digital device’s camera. And it supports Chinese, English, and Japanese, among other languages.
What makes Ai-Knowie different from others is its AI-enabled technology, which can help users detect and identify the content of the text on the object with great ease and speed.
For example, in the approval process for financial services, auditors are required to scrutinize detailed information about the applicants – say his or her personal income, credit card, bank statements, etc. – and this takes up massive amounts of manpower and time. By using Ai-Knowie, it can convert various documents into digital text files, generate analyses and provide suggestions, allowing the auditors to adopt a more efficient and more accurate way of processing documents.
Q: For companies, what do you think is the right way for digital transformation?
A: When the business is good, companies, in general, do not have a strong need for transformation. But when things turn bad, they will start to consider business transformation and carefully examine how to deploy new technologies, say by using big data analytical techniques to generate business insights, with an aim to make their business future-ready.
We can see that in recent years, many companies have invested in technologies, such as automation solutions, to improve their operational efficiency and set a course to become a data-driven business.
But, in fact, one of the means for companies to succeed in digital transformation is to build synergies and team play with innovative tech startups. That is why we have been playing the bridging role between companies and startups, so that they can leverage their strengths and join hands to make the next leap in their growth.
Q: What do you think about the trend of adopting AI technology applications in the business world?
A: AI-powered technology has inherent advantages in imitating the repetitive tasks of humans at work, and in the future, humans can specialize in roles requiring creativity and decision-making.
For KBQuest, besides our core service offerings, we can work as a “mini startup hub” by developing innovative technology professionals. We can split our team and even launch a new venture.
Nowadays, it is not difficult to learn about new technologies. For the youth, they can learn big data analytics from scratch in a few months, master the technology in a year, and even develop their expertise in two to three years. I believe in the effectiveness of self-driven learning, and what companies should be looking for are those employees with motivation and enthusiasm.
This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on Oct 11
Translation by Ben Ng with additional reporting
[Chinese version 中文版]
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