Striving to Achieve Synergy between Man & Machine

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This year the Youth Global Forum will celebrate its fifth year anniversary. Under the theme of ‘’Industry 5.0 vs Inclusive Development: Where is the future?’’. Joining us in Amsterdam will be Associate Professor at the University of Electronic Science and Technology of China, Liaoyuan Zeng who will present his masterclass on Artificial Intelligence: Developments, Morals & Ethics. We sat down briefly with Mr Zeng to get his thoughts on the upcoming Youth Global Forum and to also get some advice for the participants ahead of their arrival.

Prof. Zeng

Prof. Zeng it is a pleasure to welcome you to the Youth Global Forum in Amsterdam this year. This year we will celebrate the fifth anniversary of the event and even though this is your first time attending the Youth Global Forum, you did recently speak at the International Youth Time Summer School event in Chengdu, China earlier this year. Please tell us a little bit about yourself and your experience with Youth Time at the Summer School.

Well myself, I am a researcher working in the field of signal & information processing and intelligent telecommunication network for over 16 years, now I am working as an associate professor in the University of Electronic Science and Technology of China, and also the founder and deputy director of the Marconi & Shannon Centre at University of Limerick in Ireland.

Speaking at International Youth Time Summer School event in Chengdu was an extraordinary experience, when so many brilliant young participants from all over the world gathered together, the atmosphere triggered very intensive and creative interaction between me as a speaker and the young audiences.

The Youth Global Forum is a fantastic opportunity for youth from around the globe to engage with experts in various spheres. How important do you think it is for young people to attend events such as this and what are the benefits that they can gain from it?

It is vital, for themselves and for all. I think young minds are the most precious fortune for not only an individual but also for the whole human beings, because the creativity for all the fields lies deep inside the young people’s mind, the only way to find the creativity for him or her is to interact with other brilliant minds. By this means, young people can know themselves much better and deeper; their talents and the integration of all of their talents can create value for the whole world.

Your presentation at the Youth Global Forum will focus on Artificial Intelligence. AI is becoming more and more a part of our everyday lives with AI technology developing and evolving at a rapid pace. What is your view on AI and how do you see its relationship with the human race develop over the coming years.

AI has become much more popular than ever because the astonishing achievements this technology has made. So we have higher than ever enthusiasm of pursuing more advanced AI technology, which drives us to deepen our perception to the meaning and the purpose of intelligence, and the fast development of today’s AI technology rationalizes our desire for tomorrow’s super intelligent machines. I think this is one of the best ways to explore ourselves as human beings form inside and the whole universe from outside. We, as human, need AI.

Without giving too much away, what can participants expect to learn from your masterclass, ‘Artificial Intelligence: Development, Morals and Ethics’

I hope our participants will have an new perception to the concept and the application of AI, by learning AI not only from its brief history and recent advancements, but also the challenges we have to face when we want more out of this great technology. We tend to generally focus on the challenges and opportunities of designing more intelligent technology, while ignoring the fact that a “smarter” than human AI may have much ‘dumber-than-human’ moral and ethical levels. As the consensus of designing AI with proper moral and ethical standards is being formed around the world, I hope our participants can come into our master class with a question in their minds: even though the difficulty of designing our desired AI is squared, how can we find a best way of designing AI to achieve synergy between man and machine?

Finally, what is one piece of advice that you would like to give the participants attending that will help them ensure their experience at the Youth Global Forum is a memorable one?

For one piece of advice, I’d say talk to others in the day, talk to yourself at night.

Photo: From the Archive of Prof. Zeng

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