Artificial intelligence community seeks international collaboration at industry conference
As China and the U.S. add new tariffs in their ongoing trade dispute, Chinese Vice-Premier Liu He told an audience at the World Artificial Intelligence Conference (WAIC) 2018 in Shanghai that the benefits of AI can be shared to solve problems and improve the economy globally, South China Morning Post reports.
Liu urged companies to engage with the potentially massive AI market, and also called for collaboration between companies and research institutes.
“As members of a global village, I hope countries can show inclusive understanding and respect to each other, deal with the double-sword technologies can bring, and embrace AI together,” said Liu, a top negotiator in trade talks with the U.S. and a member of China’s technology development committee.
Attendees include leaders of Alibaba, Tencent, Xiaomi, Google, AWS, and Microsoft. Both Amazon and Microsoft announced that they will open research facilities in Shanghai.
Reuters reports that U.S. companies are targeting AI as a potential access point to China’s huge market, and Google has recently launched its first products in the country since 2010. Censorship and local data storage rules have increased over the past two years, however, and could act as a barrier to U.S. and other foreign companies.
Chinese President Xi Jinping and industry leaders noted the need for collaboration, and discussed the future of AI, as well as ethics standards which Baidu Co-founder Robin Li Yanhong said are emerging around the technology.
“They cover four principles: safety first, an equal chance to access technologies, education and nurturing of mankind, and more possibilities and freedom,” he said.
YITU forum marks 45th anniversary of Lighthill debate
YITU hosted a forum dubbed “A vision for the AI future —— Where wisdom and expertise meet” at the conference, with a panel reflecting on trends in AI and the technology’s limitations and influence. The roundtable reflects the famous Lighthill report from 1973 in which the initial promise of early AI development was contrasted with the minimal impact it had achieved at the time.
Chief Innovation Officer Dr. Lu Hao and AI scientist Wu Shuang of YITU participated in the forum, along with Professor Alan L. Yuille, protege of Stephen Hawking in theoretical physics of Cambridge, Professor Christoph Von Der Malsburg of Southern California University, Professor Pieter Abbeel of UC Berkeley, Dr. Zhu Jun of Tsinghua University and Dr. Ma Jian of Carnegie Mellon University.
Panelists suggested that AI research will continue to enjoy robust support, but that fears of AI taking power from humans are unfounded.
Lu spoke about YITU’s efforts to improve the performance of its facial recognition technology for different races and other challenges related to the technology.
“The challenge on facial recognition is about the scale although increasing number of organizations or individuals are working on facial recognition technology,” he said.
YITU also launched a strategic cooperation initiative with UNIDO ITPO Shanghai (Investment and Technology Promotion Office of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization) to deliver AI technology to developing countries.
The company was also honored for its facial recognition platform at the event.