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Technology for Change Asia : new initiatives to make Hong Kong a “smarter city”

The 4th annual “Technology for Change Asia” conference at the Grand Hyatt Hong Kong, opens with a Lion Dance

An artificial intelligence Supercomputing Centre and a Digital Policy Office will be established in Hong Kong in phases starting this year, along with more than 100 digital government initiatives to be launched.

These initiatives were highlighted by the Secretary for Innovation, Technology and Industry, Dong Sun, in his opening speech of the 4th annual Technology for Change Asia event held yesterday, which hosted 300 solution-oriented leaders from across the world.

According to Sun, AI technology is “ charting the way” in the process of technological revolution and industry transformation in a new era for Hong Kong.

Dong Sun, Secretary for Innovation, Technology and Industry, delivers an opening speech, emphasizing that Hong Kong must keep up with the rapid development of AI

“The AI Supercomputing Centre will help build a resilient digital economy and a Hong Kong that is more welcoming to international investors, which will bring huge economic benefits and allow us to have a ‘Smart City’,” Sun said. “The future is all about AI” 

“‘Smart City’ means that it can decide which specific problems can be solved by specific technologies,” said Atsuko Okuda, regional director of International Telecommunication Union.

Speakers shares the successful experiences of “smart nations” in the Asia-Pacific region, as well as new technologies that will help Hong Kong transform into the next “smart nation”

“The use of AI technology could contribute to productivity and help improve market efficiency,”said Tom Standage, deputy editor for The Economist.

One of the examples is KUDO, the international sponsor for the event, which provides real-time translation.

What we do is enable attendees to watch full text of speeches and panel discussions content in their mother language,” said Nick Blake, head of sales at KUDO Asia-Pacific district. “Thanks to AI, we can translate more than 200 languages for meetings, training and  many other situations in Hong Kong from now on.”

However, using AI as an ancillary tool for “Smart City” faces potential risks, according to Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia .

“AI can convey biased or deceptive information," said Wales. "If Hong Kong wants to build a ‘Smart City’ with the help of AI, it needs to think critically about the information it provides, rather than trusting that the AI will tell you everything."

Since Wikipedia's pages allow anyone using AI to edit, the company has set up a professional team that spends a lot of time ensuring the accuracy of the sources, but that still doesn't guarantee total accuracy, Wales added.

Another challenge is to make the public accept the use of AI in a ‘Smart City'. 

“Communication is important.We should publicize what AI can do to build a ‘Smart City’ and the benefits after it is done through channels like the media,” said Maurice Tanas, senior manager of digital economy ecosystem and acceleration at Dubai Chambers. “Although it might face pushback from conservatives, it needs a start.”

Technology for Change Asia ends  this Wednesday,  just in time for the 2024-25 Budget Speech, which will give more details on relevant areas such as building a resilient digital economy, a smarter city, and a welcoming environment for I&T development, according to Sun.



《The Young Reporter》

The Young Reporter (TYR) started as a newspaper in 1969. Today, it is published across multiple media platforms and updated constantly to bring the latest news and analyses to its readers.


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