Dr Yang Yinping is a social technologist passionate about driving innovations for industry applications and social good. She is Senior Principal Scientist at A*STAR’s Institute of High Performance Computing, and currently leads the Centre for Advanced Technologies in Online Safety (CATOS), which hosts Singapore's national effort to address online falsehood and harms through developing technological solutions. Concurrently, Yinping is Lead of the Epidemic Preparedness Horizontal Technology Coordinating Office (EP HTCO), which coordinates A*STAR’s efforts in addressing unmet needs in epidemic preparedness. She has extensive experience leading over 15 industry and public sector projects and is an advisor consulted for deep-tech start-ups. Yinping’s work has won numerous research and technology innovation awards from prestigious organisations, including a Connect + Develop Open Innovation Solutions Award on Digital Insights from The Procter and Gamble Company. In 2020, she was named in the inaugural 100 Singapore Women in Tech list as a female leader recognised in Singapore’s tech sector and was among 53 outstanding women featured in GovInsider’s special report. In December 2022, she earned the National Awards (COVID-19) - Public Administration Medal (Bronze), which recognised individuals who led and implemented efforts that contributed to the management of the impact of COVID-19 on Singapore. She obtained her Ph.D. in Information Systems in 2008 from the School of Computing, National University of Singapore.
Addressing online falsehood and harms
Since April 2023, Yinping’s main effort has been with the Centre for Advanced Technologies in Online Safety (CATOS), which hosts Singapore's Online Trust and Safety (OTS) Research Programme as the Centre's flagship programme. The OTS Research Programme is a funding initiative from the Ministry of Communications and Information, Singapore (MCI), supported by the National Research Foundation, Singapore (NRF).
As a technology-focus Centre, CATOS leverages multi-disciplinary research expertise in affective computing, social media analytics, multimedia forensics, language intelligence, and communication sciences, and aims to improve the ability of government's, industry's and people's online safety by developing advanced tech solutions that solve pertinent problems of online harms. In the long run, CATOS plans to deliver a wide range of social technology that benefits people ("tech for good") and connects them better and at scale.
Affective computing, emotion recognition and sentiment analysis
From June 2014 to May 2023, Yinping focused on creating and growing the Affective Computing capability group with IHPC’s Social and Cognitive Computing department. Her group drives A*STAR’s Digital Emotion and Empathy Machine programme, which aims at building empathy in future intelligent systems based on a multidimensional, multimodal and systematic emotional-level understanding of human experiences. The team comprises scientists and engineers across diverse backgrounds, including computer science, information systems, software engineering, psychology, linguistics, communication, organisational behaviour, and media arts.
Dr Yang is the key driver and the Lead Principal Investigator for Project Digital Emotions. Accounting for Asia’s multilingual sociocultural characteristics, this research programme integrated five cross-modality systems from A*STAR’s peaks of excellence in multilingual speech and language processing, computer vision, and social intelligence technologies in one multimodal emotion analysis platform. The collaborative project team comprises scientists and engineers from three institutes: A*STAR’s Institute of High Performance Computing (IHPC), the Institute for Infocomm Research (I2R), and the University of Illinois’ Advanced Digital Sciences Centre in Singapore. Building upon capabilities from the Social Technologies + programme supported by A*STAR’s Joint Council Office (2014-2017), the Digital Emotions programme was spearheaded and supported by A*STAR under its Science, Engineering and Research Council’s Strategic Fund (2017-2019) and A*ccelerate Gap Fund (2019-2020).
The emotion recognition and sentiment analysis line of work has created a new platform technology capable of multimodal and multilingual emotion recognition for analysing open-domain real-world videos. This platform enabled cross-industry sector applications in three areas. First, a deep-tech A*spin-off (EMO Technologies; now INTNT.AI) was created in 2019, which licensed her team’s emotion analytics inventions as the core technologies to build the company’s first go-to-market products. The distinctive products enabled the company to provide services to a range of paying customers, including FMCG & Pharma companies, public hospitals, and NGOs. Second, more than 12 high-value direct industry projects are delivered with leading LLEs and MNCs towards real-world business innovations across Consumer Care, Media, Hospitality, and Professional Services. Third, Yinping’s team has deployed social ground sensing systems for several public agencies and social good, including one to help authorities and the public health community better understand the public responses to the COVID-19 pandemic, with support from A*STAR and two NMRC COVID-19 Research Grants (2020-2023).
Disease surveillance and ground sensing
Over 2012-2014, Dr Yang led a special programme initiative called Strategic Social Systems, a first-of-its-kind, cross-disciplinary translation research initiative at A*STAR’s IHPC that sought to translate computational social sciences capabilities to real-world applications. The programme built strong cases that social sciences, data analytics, and machine intelligence can be married to enable new social technologies and systems for valuable public, consumer, and health applications.
One example project from the Strategic Social Systems initiative is titled “Leveraging social networking sites for disease surveillance and public sensing: the case of the 2013 avian influenza A(H7N9) outbreak in China”. This study, published in WHO Journal on Western Pacific Surveillance and Response in 2015, was among the first to examine the value of social media in disease surveillance and ground sensing. This collaborative study with the public health intelligence group at the Ministry of Health, Singapore, also received the Best Oral Presentation Award at the 9th Singapore Public Health and Occupational Medicine Conference in August 2014.
Science and technology foresight
In 2015, Dr. Yang was tasked by A*STAR’s Science and Engineering Research Council (SERC) to chair a strategic foresight panel with 13 academic experts and industry leaders looking into Future Complex Service Systems for its Futurescape 2025 exercise. The panel conducted an in-depth analysis of the country’s needs and global trends using horizon scanning, scenario analysis, and expert opinion survey. It recommended nine capabilities as strategic areas to support Singapore's future growth of product-service systems.
The innovative approach has been recognised and received the Best Theme Presentation Award (Policy Analytics) at the 2015 Business, Consumer and Social Insights Workshop, organised by Singapore Management University. An invited paper that expanded from the project, “Reinventing product-service systems: A case of Singapore”, was published at Foresight, a leading practitioner journal on strategic foresight and management.Automated negotiation and negotiation support systems
Dr Yang was with the Advanced Computing department as a scientist from 2007-2014. She focused on building an automated e-negotiation engine using an intelligent agent approach. Her work in the e-negotiations field has led to the publication of multiple top-tier research papers, received two best paper/prototype awards, and contributed to the successful completion of the A*STAR-Hewlett-Packard shared service systems project in 2007-2010. Her e-negotiations engine was recognised as an exemplar project for establishing Hewlett-Packard Labs Singapore in 2011 and enabled a deep-tech A*spin-off company (Negobot Pte Ltd) in 2018.
Before joining IHPC, Yinping obtained her PhD in Information Systems in 2008 from the School of Computing, National University of Singapore (NUS). While pursuing doctoral studies, she researched the field of negotiation support systems. She examined the interplay between technological features (computer-based decision support, videoconferencing, multilingual communication interface, and agent-based automation) and human factors (e.g., individual differences such as computer self-efficacy). She received two Dean’s Graduate Awards for Meritorious Performance in 2004 and 2007. From 1998 to 2003, she received the Singapore Ministry of Education's GLC Scholarship to pursue undergraduate studies at NUS and obtained B.Computing (2nd Upper Honours) in 2003.
HONORS AND AWARDS
2023 – Inaugural A*STAR Fellow
2022 – National Awards (COVID-19) - Public Administration Medal (Bronze)
2022 – Ministry of Transport Minister's Innovation Award - Merit (Project Collaborator for Public Transport Council)
2021 – NUS SOC Outstanding Computing Alumni Award 2020
2021 – A*STAR’s 30 Most Impactful Innovations & Inventions over Three Decades
2021 – P&G Connect + Develop Open Innovation Solutions Award on Digital Insights 2020
2020 – Inaugural 100 Singapore Women in Tech
2018 – IET Innovation Award Finalist
2015 – BCSI Best Theme Presentation Award
2014 – SPHOMC Best Oral Presentation Award
2009 – WITS Best Prototype Award
2009 – HICSS-42 Best Paper Award
2007 – NUS SOC Dean’s Graduate Award
2006 – WITS Best Paper Award
2004 – NUS SOC Dean’s Graduate Award