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HKBU and Tsinghua University to establish AI lab

Image Credits: HKBU, Press Release

The Augmented Creativity Laboratory at Hong Kong Baptist University (HKBU) and the Institute of Artificial Intelligence at Tsinghua University signed a collaboration agreement on 14 January 2021 to establish the Tsinghua-HKBU AI Laboratory for Creative Arts.

Under the agreement, HKBU and Tsinghua University will undertake collaborative research in the broad fields of science and the arts, and will jointly organise events such as conferences, symposiums and expert seminars to facilitate interdisciplinary interactions and foster knowledge exchange.

The two universities will combine their respective strengths to conduct impactful research on artificial intelligence (AI)-based art creation, especially music composition and music performance.

The Augmented Creativity Laboratory is one of the six interdisciplinary research laboratories established by HKBU last year to expand the University’s research strength and drive cutting-edge research in focused areas.

It was noted that the collaboration between HKBU and Tsinghua University will meet the fast-growing need for the application of AI in art creation. The establishment of the Tsinghua-HKBU AI Laboratory for Creative Arts will bring synergies to both sides and further contribute to the development of research in this area.

Hong Kong pushing I&T forward

In a recent press release, Hong Kong’s Financial Secretary proposed in his Budget to set aside more funds to nurture innovation and technology (I&T) talent in Hong Kong. Over $200 million will be allocated to extend the IT Innovation Lab in Secondary Schools Programme to primary schools.

In the coming three school years, funding of up to $400,000 will be provided to each subsidised primary school to roll out a Knowing More About IT Programme to enhance students’ interest and knowledge in information and technology through extracurricular activities.

The Government will also regularise the pilot scheme which subsidises students who study science and technology in local universities to enrol in short-term I&T-related internships.

To promote research and development (R&D), Mr Chan proposed to inject a total of $9.5 billion into the Innovation & Technology Fund by two yearly instalments.

The first batch of about 20 R&D laboratories under the InnoHK Research Clusters will begin operation progressively in the first quarter of this year.

For the air cargo sector, the Government will actively explore measures to facilitate trans-shipment through Hong Kong to maintain the city’s competitive edge as an international air cargo hub. It will also redevelop the Air Mail Centre at Hong Kong International Airport and aims to bring the centre into operation by the end of 2027 at the earliest to support the postal industry’s long-term development in the Greater Bay Area.

According to another article, Hong Kong will introduce HK$120 billion in fiscal measures to help businesses and residents impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, as it looks towards economic growth later this year following a recession in 2020.

The measures which include tax relief, loans for the unemployed and consumption vouchers are aimed at stabilizing the economy, Hong Kong Finance Minister said in his Budget speech. He forecast the economy is set to grow 3.5 per cent to 5.5 per cent this year, compared to the economic contraction of 6.1 per in 2020.

The budget for 2021 aims to alleviate the hardship and pressure caused by the economic downturn and the epidemic, Chan said. Unemployed residents can get loans capped at HK$80,000 Hong Kong in a program that postpones payments for the first year and charges 1 per cent interest. The measures come after Hong Kong last week reported a 7 per cent jobless rate between November and January, the highest since April 2004.


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