Newswise — How wonderful would it be if we can make money in our free time while helping researchers enhance AI efficiency at the same time? This is the idea that came to the mind of two young engineers from Chulalongkorn University who successfully developed ‘Wang’ (Free), a multi-award-winning platform that matches your free time with business opportunities and creates benefits for society. Various innovation awards guarantee the platform is the best startup.
Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) are playing an increasingly crucial role in our daily lives, be it a smart assistant system like Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, Siri, or Customer Services systems such as ChatBot and intelligent call centers of various organizations, or medical equipment systems. The development of AI and ML requires a big and diverse data collection that costs a lot in terms of investment, manpower and time.
Such limitations became opportunities for two young students from Chula Faculty of Engineering to create a business that links AI/ML that relies on “big data” with “people with free time”(free time). Wang (Free Time) — a platform that allows “people with free time” to work on data labeling and data collection which are the most time-consuming tasks in AI creation.
The inception of “Wang”
Krit Kangwanpongphan, a master’s degree student from the Department of Computer Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Chulalongkorn University, founder of the startup K.G. & Patrick Co., Ltd., and owner of the ‘Wang’ platform, talked about the birth of his business idea. “During my master’s degree study, I did my research on AI and ML and found that the pain point in AI/ML market was insufficient quantitative and qualitative data, and the lack of variety of data to match the needs of data users. This counteracts the growth in the ML market which is playing an increasingly important role in our daily life. So, I wanted to bridge this gap from the data users’ side.”
“In creating AI/ML, we have to imagine it as to be an infant. We must gradually teach it what things are, what we want it to do. We have to keep feeding it information. So, the most important thing in ML is ‘data’. No AI project would work without sufficient data. The more the data, the better the work,” Krit emphasized the importance of data collection as the foundation of AI/ML.
‘Wang: Data Market’ generates income, jobs, and social opportunities
Wang: Data Market is a platform for data collection and labeling for AI research that will benefit the government, private companies, and organizations. The data will be particularly useful for research on education, marketing, consumer behavior for products and services design, public opinion survey for public policy decisions, and so on.
“Wang” serves as a link between people who need to use the data or “data requesters” and people with free time who are online on the platform all over the country, simply called “free people”. Data labeling tasks are distributed among free people, enabling the task to be done quickly at a low cost. It is controllable and has a wider variety than normal data. Free people can also earn extra money in their free time,” Krit elaborated on his business.
Kritin Decheunhom, a third-year student, Chula Faculty of Engineering, Co-Founder of K.G. & Patrick Co., Ltd. and the person responsible for finding free people or those with free time after work or after school added that free people can put their free to use, earn extra income, and be part of the technological advancement of this world as well,”
Wang also opens up space to people who lack access to jobs.
“We recently had the opportunity to bring Wang to join the projects of Thailand Institute of Justice, and the Thailand Institute for Development to help marginalized people including young people in juvenile detention centers, prisoners, low-income people in overcrowded communities, to let them earn extra income while helping the society,” Kristin said.
Currently, over 18,000 free people have joined Wang and are earning real money from data labeling tasks — such as sound recording, classifying objects in pictures, and so on.
“In the future, we want to develop Wang into a community of free people by finding them more variety of tasks that match the members’ lifestyle,” added Kritin.
Award and Encouragement for the Future
Wang has received numerous awards from various institutions, with the most recent being the Community Services or Social Assistance Award from the TICTA (Thailand Information and Communication Technology Award).
“The awards we’ve received are the milestones of our long journey since I was a bachelor-degree student, while Wang was just an idea, when Wang was a prototype, and when it became a real product competing at home and abroad,” Krit told us about his path to success.
“Joining competitions is about finding friendships and networks in the same industry, along with seeking advice, customers, and markets. It is to enrich our experience and to rekindle our passion to work as well. We have received support from many people and organizations including Dr. Ekapol Chuangsuwanich, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Proadpran Punyabukkana, Assoc. Prof. Atiwong Suchato, Chula Faculty of Engineering, our colleagues from CU Innovation Hub and the industry, as well as our clients, who have given useful advice leading Wang: Data Market to be at the stage we’re in today.”
Krit added about his future goals that he, his co-founder, and the company will continue to develop the platform to meet all the market needs and expand the reach of the market both in terms of jobs and customer base domestically and internationally. Learn more about Wang: Data Market at www.facebook.com/wang.datamarket.