Heavily attended WAIC 2022 Hong Kong Branch concludes successfully

Albert Wong, Chief Executive Officer at HKSTP
Albert Wong, Chief Executive Officer at HKSTP

Organised by the Innovation and Technology Commission (ITC) with the Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation (HKSTP) as organising partner, the World Artificial Intelligence Conference (WAIC) – Hong Kong Branch was held at Hong Kong Science Park.

A number of influential scholars, representatives from public service organisations, entrepreneurs, a unicorn representative and government officials engaged in in-depth discussions and exchanged views on artificial intelligence (AI) and smart city development.

What was the theme of the event?

Over 230 participants joined the conference in person and about 1.2 million views through livestreaming. There were about 30 featured research and development platforms as well as enterprises participating in the interactive exhibition, signifying Hong Kong’s rapid growth as a global hub for AI innovation and development. The event took place simultaneously with the annual WAIC event in Shanghai, where the world’s leading AI summit originated.

This year’s WAIC carried the theme of “Intelligent Connectivity” and “Infinite Multiverse”. The Chief Executive, Mr John Lee, delivered a video speech and said that the National 14th Five-Year Plan sets out the target to develop the country into an innovative nation with strong science and technology. It clearly supports Hong Kong to develop into an international innovation and technology (I&T) centre and presents historic opportunities for Hong Kong.

Mr John Lee further added that the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government will leverage Hong Kong’s unique strengths of having the motherland’s support and connect with the world, so as to keep creating strong impetus for growth for Hong Kong and the country and address earnestly people’s concerns and difficulties in daily life.

Speaking on behalf of the Secretary for Innovation, Technology and Industry, Professor Sun Dong, the Under Secretary for Innovation, Technology and Industry, Ms Lillian Cheong, said that the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Govt will establish clear development plans and targets for Hong Kong’s I&T development over the next five to 10 years, continue to enhance the I&T ecosystem and enrich the talent pool with a result-oriented approach.

What were the stakeholders’ thoughts during the event?

Chief Executive Officer of the HKSTP, Mr Albert Wong, said, “The HKSTP is honoured to co-organise with the ITC the WAIC 2022 – Hong Kong Branch, which is a showcase of Hong Kong’s AI innovation and talents. This is proof of the critical value of AI in driving a successful digital economy and creating a solid foundation for Hong Kong’s next era of growth.”

In the welcoming remarks, the Commissioner for Innovation and Technology, Ms Rebecca Pun, thanked the World Artificial Intelligence Conference for its invitation to host the Hong Kong Branch. She said, “Shanghai and Hong Kong have established a platform for exchange and co‑operation between the technological departments of both Governments and also technological institutions in both cities. Joining of the WAIC manifests this common goal.”

The keynote speeches of the WAIC 2022 – Hong Kong Branch covered topics ranging from macro developments of the AI industry to advances in AI chip design and nurturing AI talents.

One panel discussion session focused on AI and smart city development with the sharing of views from representatives of the Airport Authority Hong Kong, the Hong Kong Productivity Council, the MTR Corporation and SenseTime, while another featured digital intelligence and smart industry with industry leaders from AWS, Insilico Medicine, Lenovo and SmartMore.

In addition, the 14 research laboratories from InnoHK, the flagship I&T initiative of the HKSAR Government, focusing on artificial intelligence and robotics technologies, and a number of AI tech ventures and HKSTP park companies participated in the interactive exhibition showcasing their latest AI innovations and solutions to real-world problems in business and society.