Non-profit association for professionals and executives working abroad, GIPA or Global Indonesian Professionals’ Association, is striving to raise the importance of skilled human resources of Indonesians, within the country and abroad.
With the Indonesian Ministry of Research and Technology/National Research and Innovation Agency, as well as the Indonesian Embassy in Washington D.C., and supported by the Indonesian Student Association (PPI Dunia) and the Indonesian Professionals Association (IPA) in the U.S. and Singapore, they came together in hopes of inspiring the younger generation to courageously have a global career, especially in the field of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning (AI/ML).
More than 40 percent of companies rated lacking skilled human resources in AI/ML, according to McKinsey & Company. But applying these skills is predicted to increase global productivity by US$13 trillion in various industries. Therefore, the “Going Global Series: Predicting Your forum Roles in Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning” was held on 11th October 2020 with three inspirational sources who work at Microsoft, Citigroup, and Google in the United States and Singapore as part of their program for HR development Indonesia.
“We hope to build new enthusiasm and help students and professionals alike to be able to enter the AI??/ML field which is often considered complicated,” said Arcky Meraxa PhD, Head of Professional Development who is concurrently head of the American region at GIPA.
At least 1,100 students and young professionals who live in 120 cities and 24 countries attended this forum. Minister of Research and Technology/Head of the National Research and Innovation Agency Prof. Bambang P.S. Brodjonegoro PhD opened the forum. He emphasised its importance innovation to improve the quality of life and the success of Indonesia’s vision to advance in achieving high-income countries by 2045.
Indonesia has recently published its National AI Strategy as increasing development of AI technology in the country is visible. Optimistically, the professional community will contribute to foreign countries in five priority areas: health, bureaucratic reform, education and research, food security, as well as mobility and smart cities.
“More than ever, the presence of professionals and executives who are tech-savvy are urgently needed to bring about digital transformation in various industries in Indonesia,” he conveyed.
Nurvirta Monarizqa (Mona) then shared her journey into becoming a Data Scientist at Microsoft in Seattle, the US. Mona stressed that persistence in job hunting is very important as she had also been sending applications to hundreds of jobs.
“I realised that the main obstacle was not my technical skills, but it was my self-confidence. I decided to work for three years at a smaller company first, where I honed my soft-skills and level of confidence interacting directly with various clients before moving to Microsoft,” she recalled.
Kartina Saifuddin (Wina), a Senior Vice President at Citi in New York, the US added that the importance of keeping an open mind and willingness to learn are kept deep down in her career path, as “new challenges and skills obtained could be relevant in the next 20 years.”
Wina added, networking and finding good mentors as early as possible are also crucial to get input from people who have previously gone through the process is a great lesson to learn from.
Furthermore, Cipta Herwana remembers his passion for computers started when she saw Visual Basic books on her father’s bookshelf in junior high school. He became fascinated with the logical explanation behind complex matters.
Now working as Machine Learning Engineers at Google Pay, he shared that the youth is increasingly seeing the potential of technology implementation in various sectors.
“If we see now, AI/ML has transformed various aspects starting with handling methods from COVID-19 imposed in Singapore to the development of driverless cars. I can’t wait so that AI / ML can help humans in doing repetitive things,” Cipta enthusiastically said.
This forum was closed by Indonesian Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassadors (LBBP) Ambassador to the US, Muhammad Lutfi. He continued to add on emphasising innovation, especially in preparing Indonesia to become a developed country before demographic dividend end by 2038.
For instance, innovation in the sustainable infrastructure field. “Currently, electricity production in Indonesia comes from only green power plants of less than 5 percent – this figure should increase to 25 percent in the coming year. Indonesia can do this with people and professionals like you,” said Lutfi.
Through discussions similar to this one held by GIPA, Lutfi expects that more people can prepare on taking a leading role in shaping the solution.