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[Beijing Forum 2019] Preparing for the rise of artificial intelligence

NOV . 05 2019
Peking University, Nov. 5, 2019: In addition to the Opening Ceremony of Beijing Forum on November 1, a total of 12 panel sessions, along with three special panels, were held at Peking University from November 2 to 3, focusing on diverse civilizations, the changing world, and the future of humankind.

Panel session 12 was under the theme of “Humanity and Legal Governance in the Digital Era”. The first session of this panel, “Human Life in Digital World”, started at 9 a.m. on November 2. Prior to the event, attendees have already had themselves seated, waiting for an in-depth discussion on the current challenges and future development of artificial intelligence (AI).

Artificial intelligence seems to be a catch-all term today. Robotics, deep learning, and iPhone’s virtual assistant Siri all get lumped together under the label of “AI”. However, the rapid development and the extensive application of AI bring about a series of tricky problems, such as safety risks, data privacy and machine ethics. The world has yet to figure out how AI will evolve.

In his speech “Awesome 2045-Strong AI may arrive on time”, Peking University Professor Huang Tiejun expressed his pessimistic views on human’s capability of manipulating AI in the future. He feared that the advancement of AI would pose a threat to human beings. Another speaker Walter Scheirer, assistant professor of University of Notre Dame, shared the latest AI approach to producing funny and relevant captions when given a meme. But the problem is that the memes created by AI seem far too real, and one can hardly tell these and the non-AI generated ones apart at all.

Eminent academics and officials from around the world also offered their suggestions on how to cope with those challenges in front of us.

Luo Dingsheng, associate professor of Peking University, analyzed the ethical and governing risks of AI technology in his speech titled “Possible Future Life, Ethical Risks and Ethics-embedded AI Techniques”, taking the eldercare robots as example. He believed that a scientifically sound governance of AI is indispensable for its proper use in daily life.

“AI system must function in a robust, secure and safe way throughout their life cycles and potential risks should be continually assessed and managed,” said Maria Rosaria Taddeo, research fellow of Oxford University. Taddeo further elaborated on her insights, saying that AI in cyber security must be reliable because it is a growing resource of interactive, autonomous, and self-learning agency.

Artificial intelligence is the next-generation general-purpose technology, which will exert a profound impact on socio-economic development and international competition pattern. The research in this field will undoubtedly prepare us and the following generations a better future, which also echoes the theme of Beijing Forum 2019 - “The Harmony of Civilizations and Prosperity for All-The Changing World and the Future of Humankind”.

During the coffee break, attendees hailed Beijing Forum as a platform for mutual learning and exchanges, and they wished a full success of the conference. The Forum has been seen as a driving force of building a community with a shared future for mankind.

The morning session has wrapped up in applause, witnessing a heated discussion and the dissemination of valuable ideas that demonstrate the event’s unswerving advocacy of harmony and prosperity for every member of the international community.

Reported by: Guo Xinyu
Edited by: Huang Weijian