I was fortunate enough to attend the Artificial Intelligence International Business Summit held at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Center on 8th August 2019. This summit brings together delegates and speakers from the world’s leading organizations to explore what AI practically means for enterprises and how we can get prepared for an AI-powered future. This summit was supported by leading AI solution providers including AWS, Google Cloud Platform, Microsoft, Facebook, etc.
In this blog post, I would like to share my learnings and give an overview of the exciting and interesting topics that were discussed at the summit.
Building relationships with AI
AI has existed in most of our lives for quite a long time now in the form of chatbots/ virtual assistants like Siri or Cortona who have become more advanced with time. Sooner or later, humans are going to establish strong relationships with AI-powered humanoids with cognitive intelligence and multi-model perception. I got my first human-like AI experience in this summit after meeting Sophia, the first robot to get a citizenship. She was activated in 2016, by Hanson Robotics, whose vision is to develop socially intelligent robots. According to the concept of Uncanny Valley — the robots that look and behave more like humans are more easily accepted by real humans. Sophia is aesthetically designed with a human-like face, has a broad range of expressions and gestures and can initiate intelligent dialogues with humans. She has appeared on the cover of cosmopolitan magazines, addressed the United Nations and became the first robot to receive a credit card.
Does it look like, in the not-too-distant future, humans in real world would be able to empathize with the actor in the movie — ‘Her’?
Evolution of AI for a better today and tomorrow
AI has dipped its toes in various facets of business and has brought a revolution in numerous industries. This summit had speakers from different sectors speaking about the implementation of AI in their business. Let’s see how AI is delivering real value for their business.
- Transforming Healthcare: Baidu, a technology company in China, is massively scaling its AI to improve healthcare. Baidu’s AI Fundus Screening System is a simple way to detect eye diseases in early stages. Its AI-powered cameras can detect 3 eye diseases including Glaucoma with an accuracy of 94%. 1136 patients have already been positively diagnosed with their system. Google has also been doing a lot of work in Deep Learning with image dataset that would be able to identify diseases in a non-invasive manner. Few such on-going projects are the screening for diabetic retinopathy with a level of accuracy on par with a human retinal specialist and locating cancer via image screening.
- AI in Construction: Arup, a multinational professional services firm makes use of a digitized approach for façade inspection that facilitates site recording and reporting on a 3D Model. Drones are used for inspection at places which are difficult to be reached by humans. Also, Hong Kong’s new sea bridge has various AI tools to accelerate border operations. The bridge is equipped with sensors and is monitored for remote operations.
- AI for shopping mall transformation: Red Star Macalline, one of China’s biggest furniture retailer operates 364 shopping malls. They use AI and VR technology to make their shopping malls intelligent. Their Immersion Box uses VR, naked-eye three-dimensional display method technology to rebuild a real size decoration design and immersion experience to enable window shopping anytime and anywhere. Service Robots are deployed in shopping malls for cleaning, guidance, advertising, and security.
- AI for customer relationship: Customer centricity is the golden rule for every business. A lot of businesses are already deploying AI to maintain good relationships with their customers. AI solutions from SaS uses the data-driven approach to deliver the right services at right times to the customers. Using Natural Language Processing (NLP), every voice from the customer can be heard and sentiment analysis can be applied to improve customer satisfaction.
Responsible and Ethical AI
The autonomous technologies are no longer the buzz words from sci-fi movies. We have already seen how AI can do things that were once unimaginable. But as it expands, it also raises concerns of damage that it can cause to our society. It is therefore important to embed good ethics in the technology from the beginning of its design. The Partnership on AI to benefit people and society is an industry consortium established to formulate the best practices on AI technologies and serves as an open platform for engagements about AI. Open AI LP is a “capped-profit” company whose mission is to ensure that artificial general intelligence (AGI) benefits all of humanity, primarily by attempting to build safe AGI.
There is however no denying that if used ethically, AI can be the one preventing the damage. Dark Trace, a billion-dollar startup can vouch for that! It is using AI to track cyberattacks. Its tech takes inspiration from a human’s immune system and the way it fights diseases.
Asia Pacific: Leaders in AI
Asia Pacific is positioned as a full-stack AI — provider with proficiency in hardware, software, and services at Taiwan, China, and India respectively. Below are some of Asia- Pacific AI market drivers:
- China has set a goal to be a global leader in AI by 2030. The ambition would raise industry growth prospects for the Asia Pacific as a whole.
- US-China trade war should strengthen in-house AI development in the region.
- Region has the largest pool of user data (60% of world’s population)
The newer opportunities in AI can be explored by building country-level cooperation in sharing data, crossbreeding talent, and supporting AI startups.
The world is rapidly evolving, and AI is predicted to contribute massively to the global economy. Let’s get geared up with an ethical AI-powered future! Few more learnings before I close this blog:
- “Look beyond AI. Look to establish a solid foundation with data.”
- “Incorporate AI in your IoT project. Thinking IoT? Think AIoT!”
- “Crowdsource AI to solve real-world problems”