As the New Year rolls in, governments across the globe are re-assessing and reapplying technologies in new and unique ways.
This is very much the case in Hong Kong where Artificial Intelligence (AI) is being applied across sectors of the economy and within most departments in the government.
But what are the implications, and how are they significant?
OpenGov Asia sat down with Dr Andy Chun, Council Member and Convenor of the AI Specialist Group, Hong Kong Computer Society to discuss AI and its purpose and necessity in Hong Kong.
Dr Chun is a seasoned senior executive and a broad technologist with over 30 years of experience in a wide range of industries, including finance, insurance, health, transportation, and education.
He is also an honorary Adjunct Professor at the City University of Hong Kong and the Regional Director of Technology Innovation at Prudential Corp Asia.
Surging interest around AI
There is a reason for the increased focus and interest around AI. Dr Chun noted that, as a technology, AI is maturing rapidly.
“We now have a much better understanding of what problems AI can solve and how to implement AI solutions, as well as more readily available AI tools and platforms at a lower cost.”
Citizens’ expectations have also changed.; the government’s online services are expected to be on par with that of commercial corporations in terms of ease-of-use and intelligence.
Government Initiatives Around AI in Hong Kong
The use of AI to improve public services is not new; almost a decade ago, the Hong Kong Immigration Department already used AI and machine learning in their Application and Investigation Easy System (APPLIES).
APPLIES is an on-line information system for processing applications for visas, permits, travel passes, registration matters relating to births, deaths, marriage and investigation cases.
AI helps streamline workflow and automate decision-making, by acting as an augmented intelligent tool for Immigration Department staff.
More recently, the government has committed over HK$100 billion to support key innovation and technology (I&T) areas, including AI.
Tens of billions are being invested into the city’s various technology centres, such as the Hong Kong Science Park, Cyberport, and the new Hong Kong-Shenzhen Innovation and Technology Park, where AI is a key focus.
In addition, significant funding is being channelled into supporting I&T and R&D in Universities as well as enterprises and start-ups in Hong Kong.
Last year the Government established a new Smart Government Innovation Lab to explore hi-tech products such as AI and relevant technologies, including machine learning, big data analytics, cognitive systems and intelligent agent, as well as blockchain and robotics from firms, especially local start-ups.
HK Nurturing AI on Many Levels
When describing how AI is being nurtured in Hong Kong, Dr Chun highlighted the Hong Kong Jockey Club as an example; their “CoolThink@JC” program systematically teaches computational thinking and coding across primary schools in Hong Kong.
The program was developed jointly with MIT in Boston. AI is also being integrated as part of Hong Kong’s STEM education for secondary schools.
At the university level, all universities in Hong Kong now have specializations in AI, machine learning, and data analytics. In fact, Hong Kong has five universities among the world’s top 100, giving it one of the world’s highest concentrations of top-quality research universities for computing.
In addition, two of the world’s leading tech start-ups – one an AI unicorn in face recognition, and the other a drone maker – were both started by academics and students from universities in Hong Kong.
Improving HKSAR Governmental Services Related to AI
Dr Chun noted that one area in which the HKSAR Government could do more on is in the creation of related guidelines, policies, and regulations to support the growing use of AI and other advanced technologies, such as in the areas of data privacy and ethical use.
“This is not to say the Government hasn’t done much,” Dr Chun stated. “Quite the contrary – Hong Kong has already done a lot.”
For example, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority recently released high-level guidelines and principles relating to AI and governance, accountability, fairness, transparency, data privacy, etc.
The HKMA also released an extensive whitepaper “Reshaping Banking with Artificial Intelligence” to help raise awareness as well as promote adoption of AI in the banking industry.
Last year, the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commissions (SFC) also issued guidelines on the use of AI algorithms and robo-advisors.
In 2018, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data released a document on “Ethical Accountability Framework for Hong Kong.” Even though a lot of groundwork has been established, this area of AI development is still an evolving topic globally.
Dr Chun noted, “I’m sure more development will continue in the coming years”.
Misconceptions Around AI
While AI is widely regarded as a revolutionary technology that makes headlines constantly across the globe, there are still misconceptions around it.
“I think the key misconception of AI is that it is somehow ‘magical’ – that is, just by using AI, it will automatically learn and solve different business challenges.”
“There is still a lot of complex engineering work and experimentation behind the use of AI,” Dr Chun explained, “Companies looking for quick short-term gains will be disappointed. AI should be a long-term R&D investment.”
Another misconception about AI is that some companies do not realize there are many types of AI. Different problems will require different AI techniques, processes, and skillsets to solve.
Improving Human Lives with AI
When asked whether AI can nurture a healthier business environment on a large scale, Dr Chun noted that AI in the form of virtual assistants, helps humans perform mundane or repetitive work, so that we can focus on more interesting as well as stimulating problems.
This reduces some of the stress in the business environment and makes work more enjoyable. Companies are also using chatbots internally for various HR functions, to improve communication and transparency as well as better employee relationships.
The Rise of Chatbots
The world, and APAC regions, in particular, have registered a rise in the deployment of chatbots. Moreover, the conversation around them changed.
Dr Chun noted that the rise in deployment of chatbots was driven mainly by advancements in natural language processing and machine learning, as well as well-understood implementation processes that make chatbot development more manageable.
In addition, with cloud services and open APIs, the costs of developing and operating chatbots have greatly reduced.
The conversation around chatbots is constantly changing. With more chatbots deployed, people’s expectations have also changed, demanding conversations to be more context-aware, stateful and human-like.
Developing Citizen/Customer-Centric Designs
Dr Chun noted that customer-centric design is really about truly understanding who your customers are, developing empathy for their needs and pains, and creating products that are highly relevant and timely, and super easy to use.
“To do customer-centric design well, industry players and government bodies need to spend more time in seeing things from the customers’ or citizens’ point of view before thinking about technology.”
The Cyberport Entrepreneurship Programmes’ 20th Anniversary Celebration and Graduation Ceremony was a major event attended by notable personalities, distinguished guests and budding innovators.
Cyberport is Hong Kong’s digital technology flagship and incubator for entrepreneurship with over 2,000 members including over 900 onsite and close to 1,100 offsite start-ups and technology companies. It is managed by Hong Kong Cyberport Management Company Limited, wholly owned by the Hong Kong SAR Government.
With a vision to become Hong Kong’s digital technology hub and stimulate a fresh economic impetus, Cyberport is dedicated to cultivating a dynamic tech environment. This commitment involves nurturing talent, encouraging youth entrepreneurship, aiding startups, fostering industry growth through strategic partnerships with local and international entities, and driving digital transformation across public and private sectors, bridging new and traditional economies.
Professor Sun Dong, the Secretary for Innovation, Technology, and Industry, Hong Kong highlighted Cyberport’s incredible journey and the achievements of its vibrant community. Expressing his delight in commemorating Cyberport’s two-decade-long legacy, he emphasised the institution’s pivotal role as an ICT powerhouse in Hong Kong.
From its humble beginnings to its present stature, Cyberport has emerged as a catalyst for innovation, nurturing over 2,000 technology companies and startups and showcasing an exponential growth rate over the past five years.
Cyberport’s community has attracted a staggering US$38 billion of investment, marking its significance as an ICT flagship in Hong Kong. The establishment takes pride in its contribution to nurturing numerous innovative ideas and fostering dynamic business ventures, with seven notable unicorns in fintech, smart living, and digital entertainment sectors.
Cyberport excelled at the prestigious Hong Kong ICT Awards, with 25 startups securing 28 accolades, including the esteemed Award of the Year. This achievement showcased the institution’s exceptional calibre and innovation prowess nurtured within its ecosystem.
Acknowledging the pivotal role of startups in Cyberport’s success story, Professor Sun Dong shared how these young enterprises, often starting with a simple idea at a small table, grow in tandem with Cyberport’s support. The institution provides not just financial aid but also a nurturing environment where entrepreneurs can leverage extensive networks, collaborative spaces, and expert guidance to cultivate their ideas into commercial successes.
The graduation of more than 200 startups from the Entrepreneurship Programme stood as a testament to Cyberport’s commitment to fostering entrepreneurial talent. This initiative empowers startups to translate their ideas into tangible commercial solutions and market breakthroughs, laying the foundation for their future success.
Looking ahead, Professor Sun Dong outlined Cyberport’s exciting plans, including the upcoming expansion block slated for completion in two years, aimed at providing additional space for the community’s development. He also highlighted Cyberport’s initiative to establish the Artificial Intelligence Supercomputing Centre, a pioneering endeavour set to commence in 2024, envisioned to be a pioneering and substantial facility in Hong Kong.
Cyberport’s extraordinary journey showcases significant achievements while charting a promising future, embodying the core values of innovation, collaboration, and collective growth.
Professor Sun expressed gratitude on behalf of the Government, acknowledging their hard work and contributions to the tech ecosystem emphasising the importance of collective participation for a better future.
The vibrant success of events like the Cyberport Venture Capital Forum 2023 resonates with Cyberport’s commitment to fostering innovation and collaboration, further cementing its role as a catalyst for technological advancement and entrepreneurial growth in Hong Kong.
The Cyberport Venture Capital Forum (CVCF) 2023 saw a turnout of over 2,500 participants during its two-day hybrid event. Themed “Venture Forward: Game Changing through Innovation,” the forum convened 80 global visionary venture experts, entrepreneurial pioneers, and influential thinkers. With more than 120,000 page views and over 300 fundraising meetings facilitated, it solidified its position as a pivotal platform fostering networking and collaborative opportunities.
The 21st century is frequently called the age of Artificial Intelligence (AI), prompting questions about its societal implications. It actively transforms numerous processes across various domains, and research ethics (RE) is no exception. Multiple challenges, encompassing accountability, privacy, and openness, are emerging.
Research Ethics Boards (REBs) have been instituted to guarantee adherence to ethical standards throughout research. This scoping review seeks to illuminate the challenges posed by AI in research ethics and assess the preparedness of REBs in evaluating these challenges. Ethical guidelines and standards for AI development and deployment are essential to address these concerns.
To sustain this awareness, the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), a part of the Department of Energy, has joined the Trillion Parameter Consortium (TPC), a global collaboration of scientists, researchers, and industry professionals. The consortium aimed to address the challenges of building large-scale artificial intelligence (AI) systems and advancing trustworthy and reliable AI for scientific discovery.
ORNL’s collaboration with TPC aligns seamlessly with its commitment to developing secure, reliable, and energy-efficient AI, complementing the consortium’s emphasis on responsible AI. With over 300 researchers utilising AI to address Department of Energy challenges and hosting the world’s most powerful supercomputer, Frontier, ORNL is well-equipped to significantly contribute to the consortium’s objectives.
Leveraging its AI research and extensive resources, the laboratory will be crucial in addressing challenges such as constructing large-scale generative AI models for scientific and engineering problems. Specific tasks include creating scalable model architectures, implementing effective training strategies, organising and curating data for model training, optimising AI libraries for exascale computing platforms, and evaluating progress in scientific task learning, reliability, and trust.
TPC strives to build an open community of researchers developing advanced large-scale generative AI models for scientific and engineering progress. The consortium plans to voluntarily initiate, manage, and coordinate projects to prevent redundancy and enhance impact. Additionally, TPC seeks to establish a global network of resources and expertise to support the next generation of AI, uniting researchers focused on large-scale AI applications in science and engineering.
Prasanna Balaprakash, ORNL R&D staff scientist and director of the lab’s AI Initiative, said, “ORNL envisions being a critical resource for the consortium and is committed to ensuring the future of AI across the scientific spectrum.”
Further, as an international organisation that supports education, science, and culture, The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) has established ten principles of AI ethics regarding scientific research.
- Beneficence: AI systems should be designed to promote the well-being of individuals, communities, and the environment.
- Non-maleficence: AI systems should avoid causing harm to individuals, communities, and the environment.
- Autonomy: Individuals should have the right to control their data and to make their own decisions about how AI systems are used.
- Justice: AI systems should be designed to be fair, equitable, and inclusive.
- Transparency: AI systems’ design, operation, and outcomes should be transparent and explainable.
- Accountability: There should be clear lines of responsibility for developing, deploying, and using AI systems.
- Privacy: The privacy of individuals should be protected when data is collected, processed, and used by AI systems.
- Data security: Data used by AI systems should be secure and protected from unauthorised access, use, disclosure, disruption, modification, or destruction.
- Human oversight: AI systems should be subject to human management and control.
- Social and environmental compatibility: AI systems should be designed to be compatible with social and ecological values.
Since 1979, ORNL’s AI research has gained a portfolio with the launch of the Oak Ridge Applied Artificial Intelligence Project to ensure the alignment of UNESCO principles. Today, the AI Initiative focuses on developing secure, trustworthy, and energy-efficient AI across various applications, showcasing the laboratory’s commitment to advancing AI in fields ranging from biology to national security. The collaboration with TPC reinforces ORNL’s dedication to driving breakthroughs in large-scale scientific AI, aligning with the world agenda in implementing AI ethics.
The StartmeupHK Festival 2023 concluded with a display of tech innovation, sustainability and global collaboration, cementing its status as a catalyst for propelling startups into an era of limitless opportunities. Hosted by Invest Hong Kong (InvestHK), the festival attracted over 12,000 in-person attendees and an additional 16,000 online viewers from 85 countries and territories, encompassing industry leaders, tech enthusiasts, investors, and governmental figures.
Under the banner of “A Future Unlimited,” the festival brought together speakers and facilitated one-to-one meetings, fostering collaborations and exploring growth avenues for startups with potential partners and investors.
The presence of senior government officials highlighted the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government’s commitment to fortifying the city’s ecosystem through proactive measures and established funding schemes.
At Game On! 2023, the Acting Financial Secretary, Mr Michael Wong, applauded Hong Kong’s burgeoning startup community, citing significant growth in startup numbers and employment figures, showcasing the city’s potential to nurture these ventures.
Professor Sun Dong, the HKSAR Government Secretary for Innovation, Technology, and Industry, reinforced the government’s dedication to bolstering Hong Kong as an international innovation hub. This commitment was echoed by Ms Alpha Lau, Director-General of Investment Promotion at InvestHK, emphasising Hong Kong’s resilience and the government’s strategic initiatives to attract global talent and capital.
While spanning diverse tech domains like web3, healthtech, proptech, greentech, and AI, sustainability emerged as a central theme across the festival’s discourse. Visionaries and experts converged to underscore the need to integrate sustainable practices into business models.
Mr Bernard Chan, Chairman of Our Hong Kong Foundation, stressed the importance of sustainable business practices, advocating for collaboration within the region to achieve this goal. Panel discussions resonated with the unanimous sentiment that sustainability is not just an option but an essential facet of future success.
From the potential of generative AI in healthcare by Dr Frank Pun to insights about the colossal impact of web3 by Mr Jirayut Srupsrisopa, the discussions illuminated the trajectory of technological advancements and their transformative role in shaping Hong Kong’s future.
The festival was not just about discourse; it provided a platform for startups to shine. Pitching competitions like the Startup World Cup Asia Finale showcased innovative ventures like i2cool and Allegrow Biotech, representing Hong Kong’s prowess in green technology and biotech respectively.
Moreover, the festival’s unique events, such as investor-matching sessions on a Ferris Wheel and exclusive business matching at JUMPSTARTER 2023 Tech by The Harbour, underscored the innovative spirit driving connections and collaborations in unprecedented ways.
The StartmeupHK Festival 2023 has left a mark on the global startup landscape, especially in Hong Kong. Its influence resonates strongly, underscoring the city’s status as a vibrant hub where innovation flourishes, fostering an environment conducive to entrepreneurial pursuits.
This event played a pivotal role in showcasing ideas and nurturing and sustaining the spirit of innovation. Its momentum is poised to fuel sustained growth, fostering an environment where innovations continue to flourish.
Hong Kong aspires to become a prominent regional digital hub and is dedicated to nurturing both local talent and burgeoning startups. OpenGov Asia reported that the Bright Future Engineering Talent Hub (the Hub) at the City University of Hong Kong held the STEM Challenge and Summer Research Internship Presentation, drawing the participation of approximately 100 secondary students and representatives from educational institutions.
The Hub has been instrumental in organising diverse STEM activities, encompassing a Summer Research Internship, a STEM Carnival, a Student Project Exhibition and the STEM Challenge. These initiatives collectively aim to nurture young talent for the ever-evolving engineering industry and propagate STEM education. Over the past two years, the Hub has successfully engaged more than 1,600 secondary students in these activities. Various distinguished personalities were in attendance.
All institutions rely on IT to deliver services. Disruption, degradation, or unauthorised alteration of information and systems can impact an institution’s condition, core processes, and risk profile. Furthermore, organisations are expected to make quick decisions due to the rapid pace of dynamic transformation. To stay competitive, data is a crucial resource for tackling this challenge.
Hence, data protection is paramount in safeguarding the integrity and confidentiality of this invaluable resource. Organisations must implement robust security measures to prevent unauthorised access, data breaches, and other cyber threats that could compromise sensitive information.
Prasert Chandraruangthong, Minister of Digital Economy and Society, supports the National Agenda in fortifying personal data protection with Asst Prof Dr Veerachai Atharn, Assistant Director of the National Science and Technology Development Agency, Science Park, and Dr Siwa Rak Siwamoksatham, Secretary-General of the Personal Data Protection Committee, gave a welcome speech. It marks that the training aims to bolster the knowledge about data protection among the citizens of Thailand.
Data protection is not only for the organisation, but it also becomes responsible for the individuals, Minister Prasert Chandraruangthong emphasises. Thailand has collaboratively developed a comprehensive plan regarding the measures to foster a collective defence against cyber threats towards data privacy.
The Ministry of Digital Economy and Society and the Department of Special Investigation (DSI) will expedite efforts to block illegal trading of personal information. Offenders will be actively pursued, prosecuted, and arrested to ensure a swift and effective response in safeguarding the privacy and security of individuals’ data.
This strategy underscores the government’s commitment to leveraging digital technology to fortify data protection measures and create a safer online environment for all citizens by partnering with other entities.
Further, many countries worldwide share these cybersecurity concerns. In Thailand’s neighbouring country, Indonesia, the government has noticed that data privacy is a crucial aspect that demands attention. Indonesia has recognised the paramount importance of safeguarding individuals’ privacy and has taken significant steps to disseminate stakeholders to gain collaborative effort in fortifying children’s security.
Nezar Patria, Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Communication and Information of Indonesia, observed that children encounter abundant online information and content. It can significantly lead them to unwanted exposure and potential risks as artificial intelligence has evolved.
Patria stressed the crucial role of AI, emphasising the importance of implementing automatic content filters and moderation to counteract harmful content. AI can be used to detect cyberbullying through security measures and by recognising the patterns of cyberbullying perpetrators. It can also identify perpetrators of online violence through behavioural detection in the digital space and enhance security and privacy protection. Moreover, AI can assist parents in monitoring screen time, ensuring that children maintain a balanced and healthy level of engagement with digital devices.
Conversely, the presence of generative AI technology, such as deep fake, enables the manipulation of photo or video content, potentially leading to the creation of harmful material with children as victims. Patria urged collaborative discussions among all stakeholders involved in related matters to harness AI technology for the advancement and well-being of children in Indonesia.
In the realm of digital advancements, cybersecurity is the priority right now. Through public awareness campaigns, workshops, and training initiatives, nations aim to empower citizens with the knowledge to identify, prevent, and respond to cyber threats effectively. The ongoing commitment to cybersecurity reflects the country’s dedication to ensuring a secure and thriving digital future for its citizens and the broader digital community.
The Western Australian government has unveiled a comprehensive set of measures aimed at reducing bureaucratic hurdles, alleviating work burdens, and fostering a conducive environment for educators to focus on teaching. The region’s Education Minister, Dr Tony Buti, spearheading this initiative, took into account the insights from two pivotal reports and explored the potential of AI tools to revamp policies and processes.
In the wake of an in-depth review into bureaucratic complexities earlier this year, Minister Buti carefully considered the outcomes of the Department of Education’s “Understanding and Reducing the Workload of Teachers and Leaders in Western Australian Public Schools” review and the State School Teachers’ Union’s “Facing the Facts” report. Both reports shed light on the escalating intricacies of teaching and the primary factors contributing to workloads for educators, school leaders, and institutions.
Embracing technology as a key driver for change, the government is contemplating the adoption of AI, drawing inspiration from successful trials in other Australian states. The objective is to modernise and enhance the efficiency of professional learning, lesson planning, marking, and assessment development. AI tools also hold promise in automating tasks such as excursion planning, meeting preparations, and general correspondence, thereby mitigating the burden on teachers.
Collaborating with the School Curriculum and Standards Authority, as well as the independent and Catholic sectors, the government aims to explore AI applications to streamline curriculum planning and elevate classroom teaching. The integration of AI is envisioned to usher in a new era of educational efficiency.
In consultation with unions, associations, principals, teachers, and administrative staff, the Department of Education has identified a range of strategies to immediately, in the short term, and in the long term, alleviate the workload for public school educators.
Among these strategies, a noteworthy allocation of AU$2.26 million is earmarked for a trial involving 16 Complex Behaviour Support Coordinators. These coordinators will collaborate with public school leaders to tailor educational programs for students with disabilities and learning challenges.
Furthermore, a pioneering pilot project, jointly funded by State and Federal Governments, seeks to digitise paper-based school forms, reducing red tape and providing a consistent, accessible, and efficient method for sharing information online. Each digital submission is anticipated to save 30 minutes of staff time compared to its paper-based counterpart. Additionally, efforts are underway to simplify the process related to the exclusion of public school students while enhancing support to schools.
As part of the broader effort to support schools, the ‘Connect and Respect’ program, outlining expectations for appropriate relationships with teachers, is set to undergo expansion. This expansion includes the creation of out-of-office templates, and establishing boundaries on when it is acceptable to contact staff after working hours. The overarching goal is to minimise misunderstandings and conflicts, fostering a healthier work-life balance for teaching staff.
The Education Minister expressed his commitment to reducing administrative tasks that divert teachers from their core mission of educating students. Acknowledging the pervasive nature of this challenge, the Minister emphasised the government’s determination to create optimal conditions for school staff to focus on their primary roles.
In his remarks, the Minister underscored the significance of these initiatives, emphasising their positive impact in ensuring that teachers can dedicate their time and energy to helping every student succeed. The unveiled measures represent a pivotal step toward realising the government’s vision of a streamlined, technology-enhanced educational landscape that prioritises the well-being of educators and, ultimately, the success of students.
Liming Zhu and Qinghua Lu, leaders in the study of responsible AI at CSIRO and Co-authors of Responsible AI: Best Practices for Creating Trustworthy AI Systems delve into the realm of responsible AI through their extensive work and research.
Artificial Intelligence (AI), currently a major focal point, is revolutionising almost all facets of life, presenting entirely novel methods and approaches. The latest trend, Generative AI, has taken the helm, crafting content from cover letters to campaign strategies and conjuring remarkable visuals from scratch.
Global regulators, leaders, researchers and the tech industry grapple with the substantial risks posed by AI. Ethical concerns loom large due to human biases, which, when embedded in AI training, can exacerbate discrimination. Mismanaged data without diverse representation can lead to real harm, evidenced by instances like biased facial recognition and unfair loan assessments. These underscore the need for thorough checks before deploying AI systems to prevent such harmful consequences.
The looming threat of AI-driven misinformation, including deepfakes and deceptive content, concerning for everyone, raising fears of identity impersonation online. The pivotal question remains: How do we harness AI’s potential for positive impact while effectively mitigating its capacity for harm?
Responsible AI involves the conscientious development and application of AI systems to benefit individuals, communities, and society while mitigating potential negative impacts, Liming Zhu and Qinghua Lu advocate.
These principles emphasise eight key areas for ethical AI practices. Firstly, AI should prioritise human, societal, and environmental well-being throughout its lifecycle, exemplified by its use in healthcare or environmental protection. Secondly, AI systems should uphold human-centred values, respecting rights and diversity. However, reconciling different user needs poses challenges. Ensuring fairness is crucial to prevent discrimination, highlighted by critiques of technologies like Amazon’s Facial Recognition.
Moreover, maintaining privacy protection, reliability, and safety is imperative. Instances like Clearview AI’s privacy breaches underscore the importance of safeguarding personal data and conducting pilot studies to prevent unforeseen harms, as witnessed with the chatbot Tay generating offensive content due to vulnerabilities.
Transparency and explainability in AI use are vital, requiring clear disclosure of AI limitations. Contestability enables people to challenge AI outcomes or usage, while accountability demands identification and responsibility from those involved in AI development and deployment. Upholding these principles can encourage ethical and responsible AI behaviour across industries, ensuring human oversight of AI systems.
Identifying problematic AI behaviour can be challenging, especially when AI algorithms drive high-stakes decisions impacting specific individuals. An alarming instance in the U.S. resulted in a longer prison sentence determined by an algorithm, showcasing the dangers of such applications. Qinghua highlighted the issue with “black box” AI systems, where users and affected parties lack insight into and means to challenge decisions made by these algorithms.
Liming emphasised the inherent complexity and autonomy of AI, making it difficult to ensure complete compliance with responsible AI principles before deployment. Therefore, user monitoring of AI becomes crucial. Users must be vigilant and report any violations or discrepancies to the service provider or authorities.
Holding AI service and product providers accountable is essential in shaping a future where AI operates ethically and responsibly. This call for vigilance and action from users is instrumental in creating a safer and more accountable AI landscape.
Australia is committed to the fair and responsible use of technology, especially artificial intelligence. During discussions held on the sidelines of the APEC Economic Leaders Meeting in San Francisco, the Australian Prime Minister unveiled the government’s commitment to responsibly harnessing generative artificial intelligence (AI) within the public sector.
The DTA-facilitated collaboration showcases the Australian Government’s proactive investment in preparing citizens for job landscape changes. Starting a six-month trial from January to June 2024, Australia leads globally in deploying advanced AI services. This initiative enables APS staff to innovate using generative AI, aiming to overhaul government services and meet evolving Australian needs.
The seventh annual Gerontech and Innovation Expo cum Summit (GIES), a pioneering tech-centric event co-organised by the Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation (HKSTP) was inaugurated at the esteemed Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre.
The global pace of population ageing is accelerating at an unprecedented rate. According to the United Nations, the demographic aged 65 and above is projected to burgeon from 10% of the global populace in 2022 to a staggering 16% by 2050.
This demographic shift is particularly pronounced in Hong Kong, with projections from the Census and Statistics Department indicating that the proportion of elderly individuals will surge from 20.5% in 2021 to a staggering 36% by 2046. This extrapolation signifies that more than one in every three Hong Kong residents will belong to the elderly demographic.
Dr Sunny Chai, Chairman of HKSTP, emphasised the pivotal role of gerontechnology in revolutionising the city’s landscape, stating, “Gerontechnology stands as an indispensable tool in our efforts to craft a smarter and more adaptive urban environment, particularly tailored for our ageing population. With a robust gerontech ecosystem comprising over 70 companies, HKSTP remains steadfast in its commitment to elevate the well-being of the elderly and fortify our healthcare infrastructure through seamless collaborations encompassing governmental bodies, industrial entities, academic institutions, and research sectors.”
GIES has evolved beyond its initial role as a mere platform for gerontechnology awareness. It has transformed into a pivotal nexus for industry stakeholders, facilitating collaborative engagements, policy formulation, and technological advancements crucial for steering Hong Kong’s societal, economic, and technological growth.
Apart from being a stage for innovation, GIES is a networking hub fostering partnerships aimed at enhancing elderly care and fortifying Hong Kong’s status as an elder-friendly city. This year’s edition, spanning from November 23 to 26, boasts an impressive showcase featuring close to 800 innovative solutions curated by over 200 exhibitors, representing a remarkable two-fold increase since its inception in 2017.
Under the overarching theme of “Age Smarter with Hub of Gerontech,” the HKSTP pavilion stands as a testament to innovation and progress, uniting 43 Park companies to showcase breakthrough advancements across seven pivotal categories. These encompass health screening, vital sign monitoring, rehabilitation and cognitive care, fall risk management, service operations, tech-enabled care, and sensory aids.
Occupying a gross floor area of 500 square meters, this year’s HKSTP pavilion represents the most extensive showcase since the inception of GIES in 2017. Notably, the inclusion of seven InnoHK centres, including three from Health@InnoHK and four from AIR@InnoHK, debuting their pioneering gerontech solutions at the adjacent “InnoHK Zone,” further accentuates the depth and breadth of innovation on display.
To immerse attendees in a hands-on experience and actively engage end-users, HKSTP has meticulously curated an interactive zone within its pavilion, themed as “Rehab@Home.” This setting replicates a home environment, showcasing 13 specialized rehabilitation products and solutions designed for seamless integration into domestic settings.
Complementing this experiential zone are the “Gerontech Ambassadors” drawn from physiotherapy students at Tung Wah College and elderly ambassadors from Lingnan University’s “Jockey Club Gerontechnology and Smart Ageing Project.” These ambassadors are stationed to offer firsthand insights and share personal experiences regarding user-friendly solutions.
While advancements in technology, medicine and healthcare offer longer life spans, ageing does have challenges. Hong Kong has been eager to be a more inclusive country and aims to better care for its elderly.
OpenGov Asia reported that the Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) showcased the technological achievements within the gerontechnology field through the Jockey Club Smart Ageing Hub Project. Collaboration among experts from various disciplines was facilitated to share their technological advancements and best practices and discuss the future of Hong Kong’s gerontech landscape.