Hong Kong News

Nonpartisan, Noncommercial, unconstrained.
Friday, Jul 19, 2024

What Hong Kong’s reaction to ChatGPT says about its appetite for innovation

What Hong Kong’s reaction to ChatGPT says about its appetite for innovation

The approach to the AI-powered chatbot adopted by the city’s universities reflects Hong Kong’s lack of preparedness to embrace new technology. The government should not only be setting up a regulatory and policy framework but also demonstrate it is capable of taking a risk.

In recent months, there has been much discussion of the impact of advances in artificial intelligence technology, in particular ChatGPT. The appearance of the AI-powered chatbot sparked global disruption that caught tech companies – from Google in the US to Baidu in China – off guard.

At the government level, the UK issued a pro-innovation policy paper on regulation of artificial intelligence in March following the release of a national AI strategy in 2021. In comparison, Hong Kong has an innovation and technology blueprint, which makes reference to AI, and this year’s budget proposes establishing an AI supercomputing centre, but the city needs a more targeted approach to AI development.

The choices of the city’s universities are instructive here. In February, the University of Hong Kong said the use of ChatGPT or similar tools in classwork, coursework and assessments, without prior approval, would be treated as plagiarism during the current semester. Chinese University has adopted a similar approach. The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology has left the decision to instructors.

Former Hong Kong financial secretary John Tsang Chun-wah criticised universities banning the use of the technology, saying, “The current education situation in Hong Kong is teachers of the 20th century using a curriculum from the 19th century to train students in the 21st century.”

The response of Hong Kong’s universities not only reflects the city’s unpreparedness to embrace revolutionary technology but also its lack of a framework to address technological innovation.

In late February, Secretary for Innovation, Technology and Industry Sun Dong said the government plans to set up a task force to grapple with the opportunities and challenges posed by ChatGPT, and eventually develop a home-grown version. Since then, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data has said it is monitoring the risk of personal data leaks via generative AI applications.

However, no follow-up action on the government task force has been reported, nor has the government explained how the Innovation, Technology and Industry Bureau will work with other branches of government, and public and private institutions, to use the new AI tool for the city’s benefit.

Secretary for Innovation, Technology and Industry Sun Dong attends a press conference to announce the release of the government’s innovation and technology development blueprint on December 22, 2022.

The development of AI technology will not wait for the Hong Kong government to set up its committee and do research. The government should publish its own policy paper, setting out the context in the city and which fields can benefit from AI.

The city will fall even further behind if it waits to think about how it can fit into the supply chain led by mainland China. Only by developing an AI industry based on Hong Kong’s own needs first can it can help the country achieve its goals.

The government needs to establish a coordinating mechanism to connect decision makers, big and small, in the communications industry, and initiate regular meetings of leaders from various sectors at different levels to promote collaboration.

Although the Innovation, Technology and Industry Bureau has set up a committee which includes industry representatives, it is missing voices from smaller firms. The city’s lack of preparedness in the face of ChatGPT shows that an organisation dedicated to practical affairs is sorely needed.

A regulatory and policy framework is only a starting point. The more pressing issue is how Hong Kong can refine its start-up investment strategy to fund revolutionary ideas. The city’s long-standing conservative attitude to investment is a challenge because backing revolutionary technology involves taking a risk.

Most start-ups and new innovations fail. Is the Hong Kong government willing to risk losing its investment? That would be a sign that it is serious about its promise to develop its AI tech industry, in the absence of large local tech companies or a mature venture capital ecosystem to fund start-ups, as in the United States.

It is time for Hong Kong to show scientists, engineers and other innovators around the world how much support it is willing to give and how much risk it is willing to take to build a strong AI industry.


Related Articles

Hong Kong News
It's always the people with the dirty hands pointing their fingers
Paper straws found to contain long-lasting and potentially toxic chemicals - study
FTX's Bankman-Fried headed for jail after judge revokes bail
Blackrock gets half a trillion dollar deal to rebuild Ukraine
Steve Jobs' Son Launches Venture Capital Firm With $200 Million For Cancer Treatments
Google reshuffles Assistant unit, lays off some staffers, to 'supercharge' products with A.I.
End of Viagra? FDA approved a gel against erectile dysfunction
UK sanctions Russians judges over dual British national Kara-Murza's trial
US restricts visa-free travel for Hungarian passport holders because of security concerns
America's First New Nuclear Reactor in Nearly Seven Years Begins Operations
Southeast Asia moves closer to economic unity with new regional payments system
Political leader from South Africa, Julius Malema, led violent racist chants at a massive rally on Saturday
Today Hunter Biden’s best friend and business associate, Devon Archer, testified that Joe Biden met in Georgetown with Russian Moscow Mayor's Wife Yelena Baturina who later paid Hunter Biden $3.5 million in so called “consulting fees”
'I am not your servant': IndiGo crew member, passenger get into row over airline meal
Singapore Carries Out First Execution of a Woman in Two Decades Amid Capital Punishment Debate
Spanish Citizenship Granted to Iranian chess player who removed hijab
US Senate Republican Mitch McConnell freezes up, leaves press conference
Speaker McCarthy says the United States House of Representatives is getting ready to impeach Joe Biden.
San Francisco car crash
This camera man is a genius
3D ad in front of Burj Khalifa
Next level gaming
BMW driver…
Google testing journalism AI. We are doing it already 2 years, and without Google biased propoganda and manipulated censorship
Unlike illegal imigrants coming by boats - US Citizens Will Need Visa To Travel To Europe in 2024
Musk announces Twitter name and logo change to X.com
The politician and the journalist lost control and started fighting on live broadcast.
The future of sports
Unveiling the Black Hole: The Mysterious Fate of EU's Aid to Ukraine
Farewell to a Music Titan: Tony Bennett, Renowned Jazz and Pop Vocalist, Passes Away at 96
Alarming Behavior Among Florida's Sharks Raises Concerns Over Possible Cocaine Exposure
Transgender Exclusion in Miss Italy Stirs Controversy Amidst Changing Global Beauty Pageant Landscape
Joe Biden admitted, in his own words, that he delivered what he promised in exchange for the $10 million bribe he received from the Ukraine Oil Company.
TikTok Takes On Spotify And Apple, Launches Own Music Service
Global Trend: Using Anti-Fake News Laws as Censorship Tools - A Deep Dive into Tunisia's Scenario
Arresting Putin During South African Visit Would Equate to War Declaration, Asserts President Ramaphosa
Hacktivist Collective Anonymous Launches 'Project Disclosure' to Unearth Information on UFOs and ETIs
Typo sends millions of US military emails to Russian ally Mali
Server Arrested For Theft After Refusing To Pay A Table's $100 Restaurant Bill When They Dined & Dashed
The Changing Face of Europe: How Mass Migration is Reshaping the Political Landscape
China Urges EU to Clarify Strategic Partnership Amid Trade Tensions
The Last Pour: Anchor Brewing, America's Pioneer Craft Brewer, Closes After 127 Years
Democracy not: EU's Digital Commissioner Considers Shutting Down Social Media Platforms Amid Social Unrest
Sarah Silverman and Renowned Authors Lodge Copyright Infringement Case Against OpenAI and Meta
Why Do Tech Executives Support Kennedy Jr.?
The New York Times Announces Closure of its Sports Section in Favor of The Athletic
BBC Anchor Huw Edwards Hospitalized Amid Child Sex Abuse Allegations, Family Confirms
Florida Attorney General requests Meta CEO's testimony on company's platforms' alleged facilitation of illicit activities
The Distorted Mirror of actual approval ratings: Examining the True Threat to Democracy Beyond the Persona of Putin
40,000 child slaves in Congo are forced to work in cobalt mines so we can drive electric cars.