Elaine Zhong Xiaohan, Senior Engineer, CCT
Elaine Zhong is a Senior Engineer specialised in FinTech in the Cybersecurity, Cryptography and Trusted Technologies (CCT) division. Joined ASTRI since 2018, she started her career as an engineer and was promoted to senior engineer in 2021.
Q. Tell us about what you do at ASTRI.
I have done multiple projects involving virtual bank, adversarial attack detection and defense, blockchain system, face recognition and federated learning. In December 2019, I worked with Dr Kam Hong Shum for a project which we proposed building an effective alternative credit scoring ecosystem for banks and providers of alternative data in Hong Kong. In November 2021, we released the White Paper “Alternative Credit Scoring of Micro-, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs)” commissioned by Hong Kong Monetary Authority. The White Paper aims to promote the adoption of alternative credit scoring by banks in Hong Kong with a view to improving MSMEs’ access to finance and supporting banks to scale up their business in MSME financing services.
Q. How did you join ASTRI?
I joined ASTRI through Research Talent Hub (RTH), which is funded by the Innovation and Technology Commission (ITC).
Q. What are your motivations for getting into this field of research?
In the artificial intelligence and machine learning field, some state-of-the-art technologies may not being used well to fully unleash its potential. But when combined with the right technology in a right situation, they will make great impact on our world. My interests and intellectual curiosity prompted me to get into Fintech and AI, applying these technologies to the market to become practical technology.
Q. What does being a woman in tech today mean to you?
My interest in Fintech and AI, and keenness to improve user experience, allows me to continue exploring my passions in the tech world. I hope by sharing my experience, I can show more confidence to other women that ladies and girls can succeed in a male-dominated industry; and open the doors for them to share their insights and make a contribution to this field.
Q. What do you have to say to young girls who want to pursue a career in I&T?
It is now a modern society of gender equality. Personally, I hope to see more and more excellent women shine in this field and contribute their own effort and wisdom to the whole community. What you can get depends on what you can contribute. In the I&T sector, you need to do things in a down-to-earth way with continuous efforts, and, a little bit of inspiration, which will also reflected on your previous solid experience.
So, believe in yourself, just try to do it, stay focused, and keep going on, then use the result to shape yourself, you will find your unique values in this field.
Q. Tips to excel in the field of your research.
First, passion and love by heart. Like someone who really loves music, when she woke up in the morning, she would pop the melody she encountered last night on the instrument. People who really love music, play not for practice and prize, thus never felt toilsome and fatigued, instead, enjoy the happiness of playing. The same goes for the research and exploration of the technology. As long as you really love it, you will spare no effort to study it and optimise the results. As time accumulates, your quantitative change will explode at a singularity, integrate what you have learned and seen, and eventually get a qualitative change.
Second, conscientiousness and accountability. The extend of perfection of the project that you complete depends on how you treat it. Keep in mind that completing a project is more than just being responsible to your customers, it is about being accountable to yourself. When you realise this, you will constantly polish your work and get your project done in a way that you can proudly say it loud: “it is perfect”.
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