|The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) has recently joined an international not-for-profit consortium – Partnership on AI to Benefit People and Society (PAI) – to promote the development of ethical artificial intelligence (AI) to ensure safety, security, privacy, transparency and fairness of such technology in Asia.
Founded by tech conglomerates including Amazon, Google, Facebook and Microsoft, PAI admitted HKUST as the first Asian institution, along internationally-acclaimed academic institutions including The Oxford Internet Institute of the University of Oxford and the Center for Information Technology Policy of Princeton University, to join its prestigious league.
Welcoming the new partnership, HKUST President Prof Tony F Chan said, “AI is making advances in every aspect of our lives such as health and well-being, transportation and education. However, there are also pressing concerns over the technology’s safety, trustworthiness, fairness and transparency that need to be addressed. I am glad that on this inflection point, HKUST gets to play a role amongst some of the world’s most influential tech leaders.”
To put words into action, HKUST’s representative in this Partnership Prof Pascale Fung, a leading expert in the area of speech and language processing and a professor from the University’s Department of Electronic and Computer Engineering, joined a 2-day forum in Berlin on 23 and 24 October to exchange with global experts on issues including AI safety, security, AI and labor and AI’s social and societal influences.
As PAI’s only Chinese member at the moment, Prof Fung proposed in the meeting the creation of an Asian alliance to promote the development of ethical AI in the region. With an ageing population and quick advance in technology, Asia – in particular China, South Korea and Japan, are a major pole of AI innovations. China in particular is becoming a superpower in AI with its vast user base and excellent engineering talent pool, including those trained at HKUST. Prof Fung suggested at the meeting that ethical principles need to be translated into practical guidelines that are sensitive to cultural and historical backgrounds of different countries, in order to promote the development of ethical AI in the global AI community.
PAI offers an open and inclusive platform for a wide range of organizations to develop and share best practices, advance public understanding as well as identify and foster aspirational efforts in the area of AI.
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