From April 30 – May 1, “AI Everything Summit 2019” was held in Dubai, bringing together many international organizations, UAE government officials, tech leaders, academic institutions and AI start-ups. Seng Yee Lau, Senior Executive Vice President and Chairman of Group Marketing and Global Brands at Tencent, attended the summit and delivered a keynote speech on May 1 on behalf of Tencent at the invitation of Omar Bin Sultan Al Olama, the Minister of Artificial Intelligence of UAE and also the first Minister of Artificial Intelligence in the world.
At the summit, Seng Yee Lau proposed the concept of “AI for Good”, which reflects Tencent’s “Technology for Good” concept in the field of AI. He said that in the era of AI, the “human” behind the technology are more important. Guided by the goodness of human, “AI for Good” will help human improve the quality of life and create new possibilities for social development.
“As technological innovation enters the deep water, AI brings convenience to human beings together with philosophical, ethical and practical risks and challenges. We need to establish correct technological values as technologies evolve rapidly,” Seng Yee Lau said. “Tencent has always adhered to the concept of ‘creating value for users’ and is committed to promoting technology for good and continuously improving the quality of human life. We hope to work with everyone to build a new ecosystem of Technology for Good, creating an imaginative and promising future for human being.”
Create “AI that can find lost people” and “AI that saves life”
Being people-oriented is now recognized as the core principle to deal with the risks of AI. Over the past two decades, Tencent has embraced the concept of “creating value for users” in all aspects of technological innovation. In the field of AI, Tencent has always been starting from user value and constantly solving social problems through the innovation of AI application scenarios.
At the summit, Seng Yee Lau said that Tencent keeps exploring AI application to find lost people, creating “AI that can find people”. In 2014, Tencent launched the “QQ Alert: Reunion After Years”, a public welfare platform to push missing children’s information to millions of netizens in the city where the missing child is located. The function “Face Search for Family” was launched afterwards based on the massive face retrieval technology of Tencent YouTu, which can search and compare in the tens of millions of missing people face database at a speed of 50 million images per second. Through cross-age comparison via deep learning on the changes of facial features, the function can recognize relatives who have been lost for many years. In March 2017, Fujian Provincial Public Security Department and Tencent jointly launched the “Care About You” platform for preventing people from getting lost. Through face recognition technology, 1091 lost people were successfully found since launched, greatly improving the success rate of finding people and making AI technology a force influencing the public. About this AI application, Seng Yee Lau said: “Only when companies consider technology as a part of a larger undertaking, can technology play a bigger role. This is the beauty of technology and the essence of technology for good.”
In the field of healthcare, Tencent is committed to creating AI that saves life and helping clinicians improve diagnostic accuracy and efficiency by becoming doctor’s digital assistant. As of July 2018, Tencent MIAIS, Tencent’s first AI medical imaging product, has assisted doctors in reading more than 100 million medical images, serving millions of patients and suggesting 150,000 cases of high-risk lesions.
Building an open AI ecosystem to address global challenges
Seng Yee Lau pointed that the advent of AI provides innovative solutions to global challenges such as food, energy and water. In the case of food, AI helps agricultural professionals to rationally plan production by analyzing data such as ambient temperature, rainfall, and soil salinity, so as to ultimately improve crop output. Tencent has been engaged in “AI + Agriculture” and has made preliminary progress. In the Autonomous Greenhouse Challenge hosted by Netherlands’Wageningen University & Research (WUR) in 2018, the iGrow team formed by Tencent AI Lab and agricultural experts grew “AI cucumbers” with the second highest total score in terms of output and resource utilization, and the output was more than five times that of human agricultural experts.
AI will affect all aspects of human society and economy and usher in an era of win-win cooperation. Seng Yee Lauadvocated for building an open AI ecosystem bringing together all stakeholders, including governments, tech firms, academic institutions and users, to ensure technological progress to benefit the human society by establishing positive ecosystem rules and strengthening interaction and cooperation as a whole with shared destiny.