February 26, 2024

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PolyU’s New Lab Merges AI and Design

Image Credits: HK PolyU, Press Release

Established to lead the global dialogue on creative innovation, the Laboratory for Artificial Intelligence in Design (AiDLab), was officially launched recently as one of the multiple research centres within the InnoHK research clusters under the flagship initiative announced in the Chief Executive’s 2021 Policy Address.

Founded jointly by The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) and the Royal College of Art (RCA), United Kingdom, the laboratory is the region’s first research platform that focuses on the integration of artificial intelligence (AI) with creative design.

AiDLab brings together top international academics, designers, and engineers, to conduct human-centred interdisciplinary research providing multi-faceted solutions for current global issues using AI and distinct innovative designs. To actualise the laboratory’s aim to create impact by enhancing the design of everyday products and services via the seamless integration of AI, the laboratory researches in three main areas:

Ergonomic and Inclusive Design

This programme deploys AI technologies to develop innovative body measurement and posture correction solutions that advance fashion design and wearables for health and well-being.

Innovation in Product and Service Design

This programme focuses on participative, user-centred design research employing co-design methodologies to contribute to the continuous and iterative evolution of AI creative systems. The research incorporates machine- and self-learning systems to accelerate design processes for products and services.

Intelligent Fashion Design and Quality Control

This programme explores algorithmic design that integrates machine intelligence and human knowledge with respect to fashion and textiles, leading to advances in design, quality control and manufacturing processes.

As part of the launch, the laboratory is introducing a key project and a major facility:

(I) Artificial Intelligence-based Interactive Design Assistant for Fashion (AiDF)

Developed by Professor Calvin Wong and his team, AiDF is a market-first technology that empowers novices and experts to work with AI for generating ranges of original fashion designs speedily, based on their personal creative inspirations. Unlike current mainstreamed AI technologies on new image generation, which rely solely on the digital input of existing real fashion images to output new designs, AiDF generates unique creations based on the designer’s original inspirations and personal style. Co-developed by AI experts and designers for designers using a specific combination of AI technologies, the system addresses the practitioner’s needs during the ideation and development process.

With just a few simple clicks, designers can select personal options to further refine or include within their collections, enhancing conventional, intensive studio processes with agility, efficiency and flexibility. AiDF is moving on to rigorous trial use studies conducted with regional and international fashion practitioners before its official roll-out to the industry. A demonstration was provided today by the AiDF team. The technology and fashion collections driven by AiDF will be showcased at a fashion show to be held in 2022, to share innovative designs resultant from the interaction between humans and AI.

(II) Integration of AI and dynamic scanning for wearables

AiDLab researchers will create ergonomic design breakthroughs for functional apparel and wearables with the dynamic movement data captured by its state-of-the-art facility, the “4D Body Scanning Lab”. It is the first of its kind in Hong Kong and possesses a marker-less scanning system (3dMD, USA) with 30 machine vision cameras to capture a range of poses, actions and gestures, in four dimensions.

A recent demonstration showed how researchers will be able to use the system to capture human subjects in dynamic movements. One application example is that by integrating the scanned motion data of the human body with pressure/temperature distribution data as well as AI techniques, predicted pressure/temperature distribution of different types of human body shapes can be generated to facilitate customised functional apparels and wearables design and product development. This facility will support the acquisition of new knowledge for AiDLab’s projects that focuses on optimal fit and comfort for well-being.

Looking forward, AiDLab will establish the Artificial Intelligence in Design Consortium (AIDC), to bring together businesses, designers and engineers who share in its common vision to inject new impetus into the industry with the synergy of AI and design.

PARTNER

Qlik’s vision is a data-literate world, where everyone can use data and analytics to improve decision-making and solve their most challenging problems. A private company, Qlik offers real-time data integration and analytics solutions, powered by Qlik Cloud, to close the gaps between data, insights and action. By transforming data into Active Intelligence, businesses can drive better decisions, improve revenue and profitability, and optimize customer relationships. Qlik serves more than 38,000 active customers in over 100 countries.

PARTNER

CTC Global Singapore, a premier end-to-end IT solutions provider, is a fully owned subsidiary of ITOCHU Techno-Solutions Corporation (CTC) and ITOCHU Corporation.

Since 1972, CTC has established itself as one of the country’s top IT solutions providers. With 50 years of experience, headed by an experienced management team and staffed by over 200 qualified IT professionals, we support organizations with integrated IT solutions expertise in Autonomous IT, Cyber Security, Digital Transformation, Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure, Workplace Modernization and Professional Services.

Well-known for our strengths in system integration and consultation, CTC Global proves to be the preferred IT outsourcing destination for organizations all over Singapore today.

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Planview has one mission: to build the future of connected work. Our solutions enable organizations to connect the business from ideas to impact, empowering companies to accelerate the achievement of what matters most. Planview’s full spectrum of Portfolio Management and Work Management solutions creates an organizational focus on the strategic outcomes that matter and empowers teams to deliver their best work, no matter how they work. The comprehensive Planview platform and enterprise success model enables customers to deliver innovative, competitive products, services, and customer experiences. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, with locations around the world, Planview has more than 1,300 employees supporting 4,500 customers and 2.6 million users worldwide. For more information, visit www.planview.com.

SUPPORTING ORGANISATION

SIRIM is a premier industrial research and technology organisation in Malaysia, wholly-owned by the Minister​ of Finance Incorporated. With over forty years of experience and expertise, SIRIM is mandated as the machinery for research and technology development, and the national champion of quality. SIRIM has always played a major role in the development of the country’s private sector. By tapping into our expertise and knowledge base, we focus on developing new technologies and improvements in the manufacturing, technology and services sectors. We nurture Small Medium Enterprises (SME) growth with solutions for technology penetration and upgrading, making it an ideal technology partner for SMEs.

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HashiCorp provides infrastructure automation software for multi-cloud environments, enabling enterprises to unlock a common cloud operating model to provision, secure, connect, and run any application on any infrastructure. HashiCorp tools allow organizations to deliver applications faster by helping enterprises transition from manual processes and ITIL practices to self-service automation and DevOps practices. 

PARTNER

IBM is a leading global hybrid cloud and AI, and business services provider. We help clients in more than 175 countries capitalize on insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs and gain the competitive edge in their industries. Nearly 3,000 government and corporate entities in critical infrastructure areas such as financial services, telecommunications and healthcare rely on IBM’s hybrid cloud platform and Red Hat OpenShift to affect their digital transformations quickly, efficiently and securely. IBM’s breakthrough innovations in AI, quantum computing, industry-specific cloud solutions and business services deliver open and flexible options to our clients. All of this is backed by IBM’s legendary commitment to trust, transparency, responsibility, inclusivity and service.

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