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Driving Hong Kong’s AI talent

According to a recent report, one of the world’s largest telecommunications equipment companies has launched a one-month AI development contest for students across Hong Kong as part of its new AI Developer Enablement Program.

The contest challenges students to create a system capable of identifying foods by learning from only a few sample images.

Students will use the company’s AI image recognition development platform, which involves data labelling and preparation, model training, optimization, and deployment of solutions.

University students will also be able to use the company’s cloud GPU resources to train and build their learning models prior to evaluation.

All teams submitting projects to the contest will be invited to visit the company’s headquarters in Shenzhen, China to learn more about its AI development.

The winning team will receive an internship opportunity with the firm’s Cloud AI Lab, as well as smartphones and vouchers worth HK$10,000 form the company.

The contest is being sponsored by the Hong Kong Society of Artificial Intelligence and Robotics (HKSAIR) and HKSTP.

The Program is designed to foster collaboration with developers, partners, universities, and research institutions in Hong Kong with the ultimate aim of making AI more inclusive.

Helping to realise Hong Kong’s Smart city goals

This contest will help push some of Hong Kong’s Smart City goals. Namely, with regards to nurturing talent. The Government aims to attract and retain more I&T professionals, especially in biotechnology, data science, artificial intelligence, robotics and cybersecurity.

It has been noted in the Smart City Blueprint for Hong Kong that manifesting smart city goals calls for close collaboration among the public sector, private sector, academia and citizens over the whole cycle of implementation.

This includes the identification of city challenges, formulation of policy and strategy, research and development, conceptualisation of potential projects, feasibility assessment, proof of concept through pilot projects to city-wide implementation.

Public-private partnerships (PPPs) are one of the most popular implementation models in other jurisdictions for smart city development.

Enabling AI talent to drive economic development

According to another earlier report, AI is widely regarded as a key driver for future economic development. But talent is crucial to further AI development. The surge in demand for AI talent has created a huge talent shortage.

The report notes that the Hong Kong Government has invested a lot of resources into promoting R&D and has set the blueprint for development. This includes the construction of an “AI and robotic technology innovation platform” to provide funding to institutions that engage in R&D of AI. Government support is crucial to Hong Kong’s continuous development of advanced technologies.

Thus, platforms (like the aforementioned contest and program) provide students and AI talent to test their ideas and gain experience. Students get exposure to professional opinions and learn what works and what doesn’t.

This means that later on in their careers they can contribute more effectively and efficiently to the economic prosperity of the region using finely tuned tech skills.

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