March 14th saw not one but three different lecture theatres around Southern University of Science and Technology (SUSTech) packed for the 4th installment of the Modern Science, Technology and Your Love of Country lecture series. Chair Professor Yao Xin and Head of the Department of Computer Science and Engineering gave an incredible lecture about “Computers, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Future Industrial Development.” Director of the Political Education and Research Center Wang Dejun presided over the lecture.
Chair Professor Yao Xin is a leading international scholar in intelligent computing. He has achieved pioneering research results in intelligent optimization, machine learning, and big data.
Yao Xin cuts through the challenging field of AI by starting from basic principles. He then talked about his expectations for the future from applications, industrial conditions, and the public policy arrangements.
Chair Professor Yao Xin explains that everyone has a different definition of AI, and it is a highly interdisciplinary subject. While it is difficult to accurately define it, artificial intelligence remains important in academic circles, so the essence remains on “thinking like a person.” He believes that AI requires studying and developing theories, methods, techniques and applications for harnessing and extending human intelligence.
At this point, AI is widely used in areas such as image search, machine translation, intelligent customer service, smart logistics and, to a lesser extent, autonomous driving. This has taken more than 50 years of development in AI. Its widespread use has seen the rapid development of the AI industry, with the industry growing in China from 10 billion yuan in 2016 to an estimated 35 billion yuan in 2019.
Artificial intelligence is now a core part of China’s national strategy. SUSTech established the SUSTech Artificial Intelligence Institute (SAINT) in 2017, and in 2018, the University Key Laboratory of Evolving Intelligent Systems of Guangdong Province was founded.
Chair Professor Yao Xin is convinced that the 4th industrial revolution will be led by AI. Computing power, algorithms and big data will be the three elements of artificial intelligence that drive its increasing role in the economy and society.
During the Q&A session, students asked numerous questions covering a wide range of topics. Chair Professor Yao Xin covered them all, and pointed out that students need to consider the relationship between computer science and the liberal arts. Coding is a language, behind every language is a culture, and behind every culture are people.
Chair Professor Yao Xin believes that AI is the cutting-edge science that will lead to sustained development in the future. He also encouraged SUSTech students to combine their theoretical knowledge with scientific and technological applications, as paying attention to the principles behind the knowledge can only take someone so far.
Proofread ByXia Yingying
Photo ByZhang Xiaoyan, Wu Yige