Consul General’s Digital Economy Roundtable Series kicks off with discussion of AI

Consul General Kurt Tong, Professor Thomas Dietterich and Professor Dahua Lin
Consul General Kurt Tong, Professor Thomas Dietterich and Professor Dahua Lin (State Dept.)
Consul General Kurt Tong, Professor Thomas Dietterich and Professor Dahua Lin

On May 14, Consul General Kurt Tong hosted the first in the Consulate’s Digital Economy Roundtable Series. The Consul General, Professor Thomas Dietterich of Oregon State University and Chinese University of Hong Kong Professor and co-founder of SenseTime Dahua Lin discussed the social implications of advances in artificial intelligence. Consul General Tong opened the session by noting that while there has been dialogue about the digital economy, there has not been as much discussion about ethics surrounding new technology. Both Professor Dietterich and Professor Lin acknowledged that while artificial intelligence has mostly been used in entertainment applications to date, future “mission-critical” applications that affect public safety should be discussed with stakeholders from across society: “AI is not just about the technologies and applications. It also causes profound change to the entire society…. So the question to ask is ‘how can we prepare society and the future generation for this revolutionary age?'” said Professor Lin. Consul General Tong noted that the U.S. has been a leader in innovation, and that ongoing dialogue between U.S. and Hong Kong experts on technology should continue as Hong Kong looks to become a smart city.