The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) (HKUST) Establishes Center for Artificial Intelligence Research to Spearhead Comprehensive Development of AI

To promote healthy development of Artificial Intelligence (AI), 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.