Sanghyub (John) Lee

Sanghyub (John) Lee

Master of Philosophy student

He was intrigued by the role artificial intelligence could play in marketing, says Sanghyub (John) Lee who came to AUT as an international student from Korea and will graduate with a Master of Philosophy this August.

“My background is in computer programming, and I enrolled in the Master of Philosophy to conduct research that applies artificial intelligence to the field of marketing. Spending most of my early days as a software developer and a company manager, I came to realise that new technologies would have a huge impact on the field of business, and I wanted to learn about the possibilities this could bring.

“I would highly recommend this programme to other students. Through my studies, I was able to explore marketing theories through scientific methods and gain a deeper understanding of human behaviour.”

Applying machine learning to marketing
For his master’s thesis, John investigated when negative online reviews are more powerful than positive reviews.

“After a multi-method investigation, I found that most consumers value negative information over positive information. This result may sound simple but it wouldn’t have been possible without the aid of modern-day data science including big data and machine learning. While the application of such techniques in the field of marketing is still at its early stages, I strongly believe that they will help us gain more in-depth insights.

“Through my research, I’ve seen new possibilities of applying machine learning to understand complex human behaviour that is difficult to predict with traditional methods. I was thrilled to observe subjective human behaviour presented as an array of numbers, collected from big data and analysed by machine learning.”

John’s research was supervised by Dr Jungkeun Kim and Professor Roger Marshall from the AUT Business School.

Opportunities to share his work
Being able to share his work with other researchers is something he is particularly proud of, says John who is now planning to apply for a PhD to further explore human behaviour using big data and state-of the-art machine learning algorithms.

“My co-authored paper was accepted by the journal Tourism Management. AUT also encouraged me to participate in various conferences, and I had the chance to present my research papers at the Australian and New Zealand Marketing Academy Conference (ANZMAC) 2019 Proceedings, 2019 ANZMAC Doctoral Colloquium, 2019 FASS-GRAD conference, AUT Postgraduate Research Symposium and 2019 Global Fashion Management Conference in Paris.”

John says he is especially grateful for the support and experiences he had throughout his studies.

“I must thank my mentor, Dr Rouxelle De Villiers. She has included me in intriguing research projects and supported me through the roughest patches. The various experiences with different colleagues have also enhanced my time at AUT. The memories of AUT’s collegiality, the learning and overcoming difficulties will be unforgettable.”

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