Prof. Wong Kam Fai Appointed in the First Batch of Natural Language Processing Experts of CAAI

Media Release

Prof. Wong Kam Fai, Associate Dean (External Affairs), Faculty of Engineering and Director of Centre of Innovation and Technology, CUHK has been appointed as one of the first batch of national experts by The Chinese Association for Artificial Intelligence (CAAI) under the category of natural language processing and understanding. A total of 61 experts were selected across the mainland and Hong Kong. Of those, Prof. Wong is the only scholar from Hong Kong. He will be joining local and overseas fellows, outstanding scholars, and senior researchers from industries and top universities in a gathering of collective minds to promote the nation’s artificial intelligence (AI) and technological improvements. 

As of June 2017, there were 2,542 AI companies worldwide, of which 42%, or 1,078, were located in the U.S while China ranks second with 592, or 23%, of global AI companies. Prof. Wong said that the AI race between the U.S. and China remains too close to call, though the U.S. is leading the way in the number of technology giants and corporates. In recent years, China has been investing massively in AI to transform and upgrade its traditional industries with technologies and driving the AI market to grow in the region. With the surge in AI research outputs and patents, AI in China is booming. 

Prof. Wong believes Hong Kong plays a key role in strengthening the AI development of China, not only because it is a base for a diversity of international talent and innovative resources, but also because it has a highly internationalised business environment which will bring about many new bridging opportunities. All these can help mainland AI business expand and boost AI development in the Greater Bay Area.  Moreover, a number of local universities have been producing excellent research and professional graduates. CUHK is one of the world’s recognised AI research institutions, and the Faculty of Engineering is particularly active and mature in studying different aspects of the applications of natural languages processing (NLP). He hopes that through more academic exchange in CAAI, CUHK will continue to shine and stand out as Asia’s AI research and innovation hub. 

About Prof. Wong Kam Fai

Prof. Wong Kam Fai plays an active role as technology pioneer and leader of CUHK in promoting knowledge transfer and collaboration with industry. Back in the 1990s, his research on NLP and understanding laid the groundwork for Hong Kong’s first electronic Chinese newspaper company “Wisers” whose AI news clippings services are now widely used by the media. More recently, Prof. Wong’s research team has received a second-class award in Scientific and Technological Progress (Science and Technology) 2017 from the Ministry of Education (MoE). The winning project, “Development and industrialisation of ‘Bilingual Trilingualism’-based retrieval and understanding platform on large scale social media”, is in many ways beneficial to the development of internet information security and cross-border e-commerce related industries. It is a bilingual trilingualism-based retrieval and understanding platform on large scale social media that effectively retrieves targeted information from a complex web environment, which includes simplified and traditional Chinese, English, and Cantonese for Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan residents. Prof. Wong was awarded the Medal of Honour (MH) for his valuable contribution to the development of information and communications technology in 2011, and invited to be a member of the 13th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference early this year.

About The Chinese Association for Artificial Intelligence (CAAI)

CAAI is the only state-level science and technology organisation in the field of artificial intelligence under the Ministry of Civil Affairs. CAAI is devoted to academic activities and exchanges in science and technology in China. The six new development areas of its think tanks include researches of brain and cognitive sciences, machine learning pattern recognition, natural language learning and understanding, knowledge engineering, robotics, and AI systems. They are composed of both local and overseas fellows, outstanding scholars and senior researchers from industries and top universities engaged in the task of promoting the nation’s AI and technological improvements, which will lead to secure platforms for international trades.