Embracing AI in 2019

Monday, January 21, 2019

Top minds gathered at CITIC Telecom CPC’s exclusive executive lunch panel to explore the role of AI in our future

With technology advancing at lightning speed in today’s digital age, many are turning to AI for answers to achieve a new height of efficiency. Recently, CITIC Telecom CPC has held an exclusive executive lunch panel where industry experts converged to explore the highly complex topic.

Starting off, Robert Koepp, Director of The Economist Corporate Network, looked at how AI would influence automation and jobs and skills in the future. "Job-grabbing robots are no longer science fiction. As AI starts to develop, new jobs and roles are created with the elimination of mundane tasks, allowing more time to be creative,” says Koepp.

Daniel Kwong, Chief Technology and Innovation Officer of CITIC Telecom CPC, educated the audience on key things to consider before starting their AI journey. "Successfully utilizing AI is no easy task, there are many obstacles such as the protection of personal information,” says Kwong. "There are 6 principles for enterprises to establish effective personal information protection: fairness & transparency, data minimization, storage limitation, purpose limitation, integrity & confidentiality, and accuracy. Make sure they are checked.”

Kwong also gave key pointers on how to establish an effective AI framework. "It is paramount to establish what you would like AI to help you achieve before you begin the journey,” continued Kwong. "After that, set up a project team to bring in internal and external AI experts to identify the problems that you want AI to solve. You also have to get all IT environments up to date, as well as high performance computing hardware ready. This will help build a data platform and strategy which will enable efficient integration, collection and protection of data, all of which are fundamental for a seamless AI experience.”

Nevertheless, once the heavy lifting is done, one can expect great rewards from AI, says Kwong. "One of our clients - a live online interactive English learning platform, was able to fully reap the benefits of AI with our one-stop AI-enabling platform including global cloud solutions plus low latency private global network under a high information security shelter, establishing an innovative and intelligent way that reinvented online tutoring and learning,” Kwong explained. "They were not only able to significantly elevate the tutor student interaction experience at different geographical levels, but also do so in a secure, multi-device manner on both the web and mobile platforms, a truly significant breakthrough.”

The Lunch Panel concluded with a riveting discussion on the topic of ‘Embracing AI in 2019’. Kwong and Koepp were joined by 3 experts in the industry to share their insights on the topic. Stephen Langley, Head of Data Analytics Group of Securities and Futures Commission, urged companies to not rush into AI in one go. "AI is a new area that needs exploring. Communication and education is crucial to raise awareness of employees,” says Langley. "There are also areas that need to be approached with caution, such as data privacy which may vary from country to country.”

"It is not all about technology push,” agreed Koepp. "The human pull factor is equally fundamental. Companies should first understand the basics of AI and educate its staff before implementing it full force.”

Brian Chan, Information Technology Director of Jebsen Group, expressed that how you apply AI is equally important to its technological side. "We interact with consumers online and give them personalized recommendations,” said Chan. "It is important that companies engage their customers and familiarize them with the idea, it is not only about the technology, but also users’ experience.”

"AI is powered by big data. There are many variations which take time to get accustomed to, and are difficult to gauge,” elaborated Alex Cheung, Founder & CEO of Kami Intelligence. "It is crucial to set up the expedition in the correct direction. Seek to understand your audience and establish a concrete way to measure performance to begin with.”

Concluding the discussion, Kwong acknowledged that Hong Kong is nowhere near its full potential in digital technology. "Hong Kong has tremendous talent when it comes to technology. It is one of the most underutilized markets in Asia when it comes to AI, and it must begin to look beyond what is immediately possible to further propel itself.”