The Institute of
Textiles and Clothing (ITC) of The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) organised the world’s first ever academic conference
titled “Artificial Intelligence on Fashion and Textile Conference 2018” (AIFT).
The AIFT conference is
in partnership with the Vision and Beauty Team at Alibaba,
an online e-commerce multinational corporation, and The Textile Institute, UK,
an establishment that promotes professionalism in all areas associated with the
textile industries worldwide.
2018 aims to explore
the integration of the fashion and textile supply chain, and Artificial Intelligence
(AI). A diverse group of researchers, engineers, and practitioners will gather to exchange their ideas on the use of
Artificial Intelligence in the fashion and textile industry. Furthermore, the
conference seeks to foster discussion and exploration of the most promising
theories and applied intelligence topics.
The conference was inaugurated
on 4 July 2018 by Dr Bernard Chan, Under
Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, HKSAR Government; Dr Lam Tai-fai, Deputy Chairman of PolyU
Council; Professor Timothy W. Tong, President of PolyU; and Mr Zhuang Zhuo-ran, Vice President of Alibaba
Group. It is scheduled to last four days and will end on 8 July 2018.
The conference has been attended by over 250 researchers, engineers,
practitioners and IT professionals from both the AI and fashion fields.
In his welcoming
address, The PolyU President, Professor Timothy W. Tong, stated that Hong Kong’s
universities perform well in AI technology and other related fields. They have
spear-headed world-leading research and development capabilities. The recent
propagation of AI has had a profound effect on society. By working in
collaboration with various new technologies, AI is currently revolutionising numerous industries, including fashion.
This has resulted in optimised production
lines, improved operational efficiency as well as enhanced business processes.
Undoubtedly, these benefits will lead to higher profitability. “With
collaborations with industry leaders like Alibaba, PolyU will be able to make even more significant contribution in the
global development of AI in the years ahead,”, Professor Tong added.
The plenary speakers
at AIFT 2018 are Professor Zowie Broach, Head of Fashion of Royal College
of Art; Mr Menglei Jia, Senior Technical Expert, Taobao Technology Business
Unit of Alibaba Group; Ms Kim Wong, Professor of Practice, ITC, PolyU; and
Professor Dacheng Tao, Professor of Computer Science, School of Information
Technologies, The University of Sydney. These four experts and researchers will present their research findings from and insight
into the application of AI in the fashion industry.
To solve the impending
issues regarding the application of AI in the fashion and textile supply chain,
The Institute of Textiles and Clothing (ITC) and Alibaba also organised a global competition entitled the “FashionAI Global Challenge 2018”. More than
6,000 researchers and engineers and over 5,000 teams from 42 countries
participated to compete for the prize pool of S$2.73 million. The top 10 teams flew
to Hong Kong and presented their solutions and ideas at the conference on 5
Concurrently, a FashionAI Concept Store will be set up at the PolyU
campus from 4 July to 7 July to demonstrate how AI and fashion retail can be
integrated. The Store integrates innovative and intelligent technology to
provide the ultimate shopping experience for consumers and to improve sales and
customer service at the same time.
Both the Challenge and
The AIFT Conference 2018 will be arranged
to function as annual activities for academic exchange and networking. They
will allow like-minded individuals, who are revolutionising
the world of AI and fashion and advancing AI research in the fashion and
textile industries, to share their ideas and theories.