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The Alchemy of Science and Technology at EmTech Hong Kong 2017

iUeMagazine was glad to be the media partner for the second edition of EmTech Hong Kong.
EmTech Hong Kong, co-organised by MIT Technology Review and Koelnmesse Pte Ltd, concluded on a high note after two days of thought-provoking discussions on the latest breakthroughs in science and technology. Held from 6 to 7 June at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, EmTech Hong Kong was attended by close to 400 C-level executives from 13 countries. This year’s line-up of speakers included some of the brightest minds in the areas of Personalised Medicine, New Materials, Artificial Intelligence, Robotics, Virtual Reality, FinTech, Cybersecurity and Future Cities.
Science and Technology at EmTech Hong Kong
“MIT Technology Review is the world's oldest and most respected technology publication since 1899, and EmTech is a very unique emerging technologies conference hosted by MIT Technology Review. As a curation of the world’s leading scientists, technology executives and investors, EmTech has grown into a global community in the United States, Europe, South America, India, Singapore, and now in Hong Kong. We, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, are much honored to be the host innovation partner of EmTech Hong Kong this year!” said Alexander Wai, Vice President (Research Development) and Chair Professor of Optical Communications, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (pictured above), in his welcome address.

This year, EmTech Hong Kong took a deep dive into Artificial Intelligence with three sessions: The first featuring Gary Marcus, Founding CEO of Geometric Intelligence (recently sold to Uber); Qiang Yang, New Bright Professor of Engineering at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology; Noriko Arai, Professor, Information and Society Research Division at the National Institute of Informatics of Japan and Phil Chen, Executive Chairman of Soul Machines, who discussed whether AI will ever be able to think like human beings and its impact on how we, in turn, interact with machines.

Wang Gang, Chief Scientist at Alibaba’s AI Labs, who is also an MIT Technology Review Innovator under 35 in Asia, spoke about the mission of Alibaba AI Labs, which aims to develop efficient and effective AI for embedded systems. AI Labs will also develop the next generation of intelligent products that has the potential to impact the lives of hundreds of millions of people. This session also featured Jiawei Gu, Cofounder of Ling Technology; Kinuko Masaki, CEO and Cofounder of SmartEar and David Ha of Google Brain Resident who discussed taking AI a step further by teaching machines creativity.
Science and Technology at EmTech Hong Kong
Another outstanding session was Personalised Medicine which focused on the intersection between AI and genomics, where Yingrui Li, Cofounder and Chief Scientist of iCarbonX, spoke about using artificial intelligence to improve health, while Tom Chittenden, Founding Director of WuXi NextCODE Advanced AI Research Lab, discussed the impact of quantum computing on genome based personalised medicine.

In addressing privacy and cybersecurity in the Digital Age, Morgan Marquis-Boire, Director of Security at First Look Media made a sobering statement on how our mobile phones are more intimate than our bedrooms. He also spoke about how cybersecurity has shifted from pranksters into sophisticated state actors.

The Virtual Reality, Augmented Life session featured Alvin Wang Graylin, China President of Vive HTC, who spoke about the promise of combining VR and AR in on a single device to provide the ultimate immersive user experience. Jason Chiu, CEO of cherrypicks, delved into the characteristics of a good augmented life app and Kevin Geiger, Executive Director of the International Animation & Virtual Reality Research Centre at Beijing Film Academy entertained delegates with his talk on the art of indirection, where he likens the VR audience to a school of fish surrounding the diver or director.

“EmTech Hong Kong is a fantastic gathering of technologists, business people, and it really is the place to be if you want to learn about the latest technologies and you want to interact with other innovators, other scientists, other engineers, anybody who's involved in developing really cutting-edge stuff. EmTech Hong Kong really is different from other conferences in that it brings together an amazingly diverse crowd. The networking you get in this event is unparalleled.” shares Will Knight, Senior Editor for AI, MIT Technology Review. The Big Data and AI panel featuring (L-R): Will Knight, Senior Editor for AI, MIT Technology Review; Phil Chen Executive Chairman, Soul Machines; Noriko Arai, Professor, Information and Society Research Division, National Institute of Informatics; Gary Marcus, Founding CEO, Geometric Intelligence & Former Head of Uber AI Labs and Qiang Yang, New Bright Professor of Engineering Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

Key partners for this year’s conference include Host Innovation Partner, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Premier Innovation Partner, The University of Hong Kong; Holistic Innovation Partner, Hong Kong Baptist University and Strategic Partners, The Chinese University of Hong Kong and City University of Hong Kong.

EmTech Hong Kong will return in 2018. Visit to learn more.

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Any facts, figures or references stated here are made by the author & don't reflect the endorsement of iU at all times unless otherwise drafted by official staff at iU. This article was first published here on 20th June 2017.

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