AI Forum in SCU: Experts Discuss Nurturing Innovative, Interdisciplinary Talents

  • 11/02/2020
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  • Headline News
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  • News source: Secretariat
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  • Translator: Ying-Hsuan Lin

As artificial intelligence (AI) has inevitably become a major focus in almost every industry in the future, professionals across different fields suggested in a forum at Soochow University’s Waishuangsi Campus on October 17, 2020, that college education must take into consideration this trend and adopt a new approach to training multifaceted and AI-literate talents.

The forum, with CommonWealth Magazine as the co-host, was a part of the celebration of Soochow’s 120th anniversary, attracting an audience of around 400 people that packed the school’s Song-Yi Hall.

In his opening remarks, SCU President Wei-Ta Pan stressed the importance of equipping oneself with multiple capabilities in an era intertwined with Big Data, AI, biotechnology, and the Internet of Things. And Soochow has accordingly introduced the program of “second expertise,” and strived to cultivate interdisciplinary talents in recent years, he said.

Three speakers shared their views on the innovative applications and influences of artificial intelligence from their practical experiences in medical care, legal business and information management, respectively.

The founder of Taiwan AI Labs, Ethan Tu, mentioned the current situation of AI application. One example is Taiwan’s social-distancing app designed for COVID-19 pandemic prevention, which has adopted AI-driven functions of speech recognition, facial recognition, and semantic recognition.

AI has also been used in medical diagnosis as it could help with reading the results of Computed Tomography, Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Imaging of COVID-19 patients with high efficiency and accuracy through deep learning. Besides, the technique of virus strain separation is helpful in developing new medicine. In the future, health care system for people of all ages, disease prevention and treatment, and precision medicine will all be in the scope of AI applications.

AI also has its potential in the field of law. Barry Kuo, the founder of Lawsnote, talked about legal business undergoing a process of digital transformation, and he believed AI would substantially enhance the efficiency and create more possibilities in legal affairs if the technique could overcome more challenges in cross-domain communication.

Patrick Pan, General Manager in the Public Service division of Microsoft Taiwan, analyzed the history of the company and pointed out how Microsoft found another success by investing in the development of cloud computing.

In the discussion session in the afternoon, under the hosting of the editor-in-chief of CommonWealth Magazine Wan-Yu Wu, honorary dean of Soochow’s School of Big Data Management Shan-Cheng Chang and the three speakers provided their constructive advice to the government and higher education institutions concerning cultivating talents.

Chang believed that the development of Taiwanese talents should focus on two aspects. One is constantly keeping ahead in cutting-edge technologies, and the other is pursuing cross-disciplinary innovation. He urged the government to pay close attention to the changes and impacts that AI may bring to education, manufacturing, agriculture, and medical care in the near future.

Ethan Tu suggested that future talents observe the world, stay curious about the new things, and think outside the traditional norms. Barry Kuo recommended students to make good use of their time in school and cultivate their creativity and the ability of self-learning. Patrick Pan reminded students to enhance their information literacy to adapt to the future.