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21 / 09 / 2018
HKUST Establishes Center for Artificial Intelligence Research to Spearhead Comprehensive Development of AI
Prof Wei Shyy, President of HKUST (left), and Prof Pascale Fung, Founding Director of the Center for Artificial Intelligence Research, unveil the plaque for CAiRE.   [Download Photo]

Artificial intelligence (AI) is poised to disrupt every industry in every walk of human life. To promote healthy development of AI, the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) recently established the Center for AI Research (CAiRE) – the first such center among local universities, to spearhead cross-disciplinary research in all scientific, technological, societal, business and educational aspects of AI.

Over 60 senior management members and professionals from conglomerates including JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs, HSBC, China Construction Bank International, Alibaba and Baidu witnessed the establishment of CAiRE today, with Prof Wei Shyy, HKUST President, and Prof Pascale Fung, Founding Director of CAiRE, officiating at the ceremony.

In his welcoming speech, Prof Shyy said, “AI technologies evolved rapidly over the past decade and are becoming a major driver of innovation. With AI and data science being a strategic research focus at HKUST, we can play a role not only in advancing the technology, but also in addressing the challenges it brings on security, privacy and ethics. I believe CAiRE can further consolidate the strength of our faculty and researchers to bring out the benefits of AI for the good of the community.”

Speaking to the audience, Prof Pascale Fung said HKUST was well positioned to address the issues of AI, with its well-rounded faculty teams specialized in speech, natural language processing, computer vision, machine learning, data analytics, as well as public policy, governance, social impacts and humanities. “There are many near-term social issues regarding the safety, transparency, and security of AI technologies. Unlike generations of technological development before, AI impacts humans directly, and the impact is immeasurable and the consequences dire if we do not start to focus on the research and development of AI for the benefits of humans and society”, she said.

The center will propose new AI research projects, pulling in faculty from the four schools and research centers at HKUST – including the Big Data Institute, Robotics Institute, Human Language Technology Center and HKUST Shenzhen Institute. CAiRE will also collaborate with top universities and organizations from Hong Kong and worldwide – such as MIT and the World Economic Forum to transfer AI research discoveries made by HKUST. The Center is also planning to create new courses centered around ethics education on top of the standard AI curriculum now offered to the HKUST engineering students.

About The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) (www.ust.hk) is a world-class research university focusing on science, technology and business as well as humanities and social science. HKUST offers an international campus, and a holistic and interdisciplinary pedagogy to nurture well-rounded graduates with global vision, a strong entrepreneurial spirit and innovative thinking. HKUST attained the highest proportion of internationally excellent research work in the Research Assessment Exercise 2014 of Hong Kong’s University Grants Committee, and is the world’s second in the latest QS’ Top 50 under 50 ranking. Its graduates were ranked 12th worldwide and top in Greater China in Global Employability University Survey 2017.