World Experts in Big Data and Artificial Intelligence Gather at HKUST to Share Insights into Future
Dr Tieniu Tan, Vice Minister of the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in HKSAR (7th from right), HKUST President Prof Tony F Chan (6th from right), Vice-President for Research and Graduate Studies Prof Nancy Ip (7th from left), Dean of Engineering Prof Tim Cheng (5th from right), Prof Qiang Yang, Head of the Department of Computer Science & Engineering and Director of the Big Data Institute (4th from right), with world-class academic and industry leaders in Big Data and AI fields, and HKUST faculty [Download Photo]
The Big Data Institute (BDI) of the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) today played host to a stellar assemblage of world top academics and industry celebrities in the realm of Big Data and Artificial Intelligence (AI), sharing information and insights into the future of this trendy field.
Since the establishment of the BDI in 2016, its first Big Data and AI Day drew a learned audience of over 500 guests, including local and overseas academics, leaders in the Big Data and AI-related industries, as well as students from various tertiary institutions in Hong Kong and abroad. The overwhelming attendance attested to the key role of HKUST's research in these fields.
One of the celebrated speakers at the symposium, Dr Tieniu Tan, Vice Minister of the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, and former Vice-President of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, said, “Hong Kong is a great place for Big Data and AI, and Big Data and AI are a great hope for Hong Kong, making the place smarter and stronger.” Dr Tan spoke on “big visual data analysis”.
The symposium was officiated by HKUST President Prof Tony F Chan, Vice-President for Research and Graduate Studies The Morningside Professor of Life Science Prof Nancy Ip, and Dean of Engineering Prof Tim Cheng.
Dean Tim Cheng said, “HKUST Big Data Institute has successfully served as a platform for cross-discipline and cross-organization research collaboration, for cooperation with industrial partners, and for developing new education programs in Big Data and AI technologies.”
He added that a number of major initiatives on Big Data and AI have been launched at HKUST. They include setting up three institutes and laboratories – Big Data Institute, WeChat-HKUST Joint Lab on Artificial Intelligence Technology, Big Data for Bio Intelligence Laboratory, and two pioneering programs – a Master of Science program and an undergraduate minor program – both in Big Data Technology.
New Bright Professor of Engineering Prof Qiang Yang, Head of the Department of Computer Science and Engineering and Director of the Big Data Institute, led a group of HKUST academics to share the latest achievements that the University has made in this discipline.
Prof Yang said, “The whole world is fast becoming a digital society, and in the process, a lot of data are accumulated. Whoever can master the power of these data will move ahead. HKUST is at the forefront of research in the fields of Artificial Intelligence and Big Data, and is well positioned to lead Hong Kong in this revolution.”
Apart from HKUST academics, world-class academics from other institutions brought in new perspectives. They included Prof Michael Franklin, Liew Family Chair of Computer Science, University of Chicago, and Prof Christos Faloutsos, Professor of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University.
Prof Faloutsos shared his expertise in anomaly detection in large graphs. He remarked that careful analysis of massive data sets, or call it ‘big data analytics’, can reveal insights, patterns and anomalies that would otherwise be hidden.
Also among the speakers were illustrious leaders from the industry. Dr Jieping Ye, Vice-President of Didi Research, spoke on the management of big data at Didi Chuxing. Dr Masayuki Mizuno, Deputy General Manager, Data Science Research Laboratories, NEC Corporation, talked about the exploration on what can lead to exponential growth with big data and AI. According to Dr Mizuno, miniaturization of semiconductors, which has supported economic growth, will be phased out, and data and AI will be the essence of the next stage. As this is not an easy task, wisdom from both the academia and industry will need to be brought together through exchange opportunities such as the one today.
Meanwhile, 20 student projects on the application of various aspects of Big Data and AI were showcased at the symposium.