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PolyU and RCA partner to establish an AI-powered lab

Image Credits: HK PolyU, Press Release

According to a recent press release, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) and the Royal College of Art (RCA), United Kingdom, recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to confirm their intention to establish the PolyU|RCA Artificial Intelligence Design Laboratory (AIDL).

The Laboratory will be the world’s first and leading research facility to advance the integration of Artificial Intelligence (AI) into the design of products and service.

Targeted to uncover knowledge and techniques related to design and scientific principles, new design process and innovative products, AIDL will address industry demands for efficiency, automation and customising products and services in the innovation and technology era.

Its research deliverables will support industries including healthcare, manufacturing, hospitality and retail services.

The Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) attended the ceremony and witnessed the signing of MOU by the Interim President and Provost of PolyU and the Vice-Chancellor of RCA.

Other high-ranking PolyU and RCA members of the faculty were also in attendance.

Addressing in the ceremony, The Chief Executive noted she is sure that the collaborated team of PolyU and RCA will find in Hong Kong the appeal of time-tested legal system, robust intellectual property protection, strong financial sector, and the support for commercialisation of research and development, as well as the distinctive east,  meets west culture which sparks creative inspiration.

The Interim President and Provost of PolyU stated that he is confident that this Laboratory will bring together the strengths of both institutions to lead the world in this new design paradigm, contributing to the innovation and technology development in Hong Kong and the Greater Bay Area.

The Vice-Chancellor of RCA noted that since its foundation 182 years ago, in response to the first industrial revolution, the Royal College of Art (RCA) still stands at the turn of the fourth revolution. The world will witness breakthroughs across design and technology including artificial intelligence – where art and design will meet.  As the world’s number one art and design university, the college has built a capacity to work across disciplines, combining our art and design research expertise with insights from science, technology and engineering.

PolyU will engage researchers and resources from various disciplines including Department of Applied Mathematics, Department of Computing, Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, Institute of Textiles and Clothing, Department of Mechanical Engineering and School of Design to work together with RCA on a number of theme-based research.

Among them, there will be empirical research in Affective Computing and Social Robots that could recognise and analyse human emotions. Other studies will include Intelligent Fashion Design; Intelligent Textile and Apparel Design and Manufacturing; innovating materials of the future that are extremely light, robust and able to detect human bio-metrics for fashion and wearables; creating automatic systems for ergonomic design and human modelling, and using regenerative approach in product design and material development for sustainability in the circular economy, etc.

Committed to supporting the HKSAR Government’s InnoHK initiative in developing Hong Kong as the hub for global research collaborations, the two institutions have just submitted a proposal to the HKSAR Government under the AIR@InnoHK research cluster initiative.

InnoHK is a major initiative of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government to develop Hong Kong as the hub for global research collaboration. This involves the establishment of world-class research clusters at the Hong Kong Science Park with research laboratories set up by world-renowned institutions and/or commercial entities to conduct collaborative researches.

The AIR@InnoHK will focus on the development of Artificial Intelligence and Robotics technologies, as applied to areas like financial services, smart city and advanced manufacturing. Research focuses may cover big data analytics, machine learning, cognitive systems, intelligent agents, the classification for diagnosis, medical robotics, mobile robots and assistive /service/construction robots etc.

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