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AI is a lot of things, but it’s not magical, says panel of industry experts at the FCC

While AI technology isn’t an entirely new concept, headlines regarding its growth and increasing uses have become more frequent in 2023.

Open AI generating over $1 billion in revenue, military applications, ChatGPT being allowed (or banned) at Hong Kong universities, the Hollywood writers’ strikes, and even philosophical debates are all stories that have gotten more people interested in AI over the past year.

In response to the increased interest, the FCC held a Club Breakfast panel on September 4th with two of Hong Kong’s leading AI experts: Jack Lau and Sophiya Chiang, both who are experts in AI development and AI startup investment respectively.

The breakfast panel was moderated by FCC Journalist Board Member Joe Pan.

Lau, CEO of Swanland.AI, began the talk with an overview of AI’s capabilities, particularly with what are its current limitations.

Jack Lau and Sophiya Chiang. Photo: FCC

“We have to really understand that although we are fascinated by AI, even as of today, some of the easiest things are completely messed up by AI,” he said.

Lau then explained a theory by Daniel Kahneman, a Nobel Prize-winning psychologist, that proposed that there are two systems of human thinking: System 1, which is based on our habits and experiences; and System 2, which is based on logic and reasoning. 

“There’s no AI currently that I am aware of that does level two well,” he said, which backed his belief that AI should be used as a “co-pilot” with the human workforce.

After Lau’s overview, Chiang shared her analysis on how Hong Kong can continue to embrace the advancing technology at schools and universities — instead of banning or ignoring it.

Sophiya Chiang and Joe Pan. Photo: FCC

“I think it’s more about how you use AI in your daily learning and education that’s more important than actually banning it outright, because it’s inevitable,” she said.

Her point was made in specific reference to HKU’s initial ban of ChatGPT-4, which was dropped just last month. Meanwhile, HKUST and other universities in the city have allowed students to use AI in their coursework.

“This technology is advancing whether we like it or not, and so the best way that we can approach it would be to make sure we have the infrastructure in place to teach with AI,” Chiang said.

The panel also discussed AI’s lack of cultural context, Language Learning Models (LLMs), AI regulation, and how Hong Kong can stand out as an AI testing ground.

Watch the full talk on our YouTube channel below:

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