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Hong Kong’s Mission AI: Plans to Build its Own AI-Based ChatGPT-Like Platform, Says Tech Chief

ChatGPT has had a massive global impact since its launch with many countries using it to stay relevant technologically. Despite its vast popularity, Microsoft-backed OpenAI’s chatbot may not be available in some countries due to legal, and regulatory reasons or network infrastructure limitations. However, countries are thinking big and finding ways to stay ahead in innovation and are excited to introduce ChatGPT into their lives.

Hong Kong is geared to build its own AI-based ChatGPT-like platform to match the global technological advancements, according to the city’s technology chief. Sun Dong, Secretary for Innovation, Technology and Industry revealed in an article that authorities, this year, will organize a public consultation to establish an artificial intelligence (AI) supercomputing center to invite the finest minds as well as technology enterprises to Hong Kong.

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A Special Task Force to Catch Up With Global Technologic Advancements

Earlier, Sun had mentioned his ambitious vision to build a special task force that will recommend ways to navigate the disruption brought on by ChatGPT. It will include the option of using legislation to regulate the technology.

Impressed by the chatbot, Sun admitted to having ‘tried out ChatGPT and found it really good’. He further added that this revolutionary AI tool has inspired them to reallocate their resources to study AI to match the development in global technology.

Launched in November 2022, ChatGPT was unveiled in November and within two months amassed 100 million users, making it the fastest-growing consumer app in history.

Trained with vast information from the internet using machine learning algorithms, ChatGPT is known for generating humanlike text, writing essays, and jokes, and basically providing text on a wide range of topics including science, and sports, among others.

An Unbiased Approach

Sun emphasized their unbiased and neutral approach towards the chatbot and how the government is inclined towards embracing this revolutionary technology and developing a similar home-grown AI-based platform.

Sun said the authorities understood how ChatGPT was backed by a robust AI platform that was a powerful combination of software and hardware. The task force will be exploring different methodologies to deal with the challenges the technology will bring forth.

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ChatGPT – a Polarized Response

It was revealed that a Singapore government agency was building an enhanced productivity tool based on ChatGPT enabling civil servants to generate reports and write speeches with the chatbot’s help.

Last month, the University of Hong Kong and Baptist University stopped their students from using ChatGPT and seek help in completing their coursework. Speaking about the ban, Sun said,

“I keep an open mind on this technology and totally understand why the universities have taken this approach. Actually, even Stanford University in the United States has banned its application.”

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Lu Xinning, deputy director of Beijing’s liaison office in Hong Kong, stated that the development of ChatGPT had motivated the authorities to explore new plans to introduce similar AI tools.

Hong Kong Government’s Initiative to Make it an I&T Hub

Hong Kong government initiative worth more than HK$10 billion (US$1.27 billion) is focused on turning the city into an international innovation and technology (I&T) hub. Authorities are also planning to assess the feasibility of the creation of an AI Supercomputing Centre.

As the head of the Digital Economy Development Committee, Financial Secretary Paul Chan Mo-po will be responsible to promote the AI industry in Hong Kong, including the supercomputing center.

To get a better understanding of the resources required for the project, Sun added that the Hong Kong government will organize a public consultation and allocate dedicated staff for the same.

“Hong Kong has started very late in the field of AI supercomputing compared with Shenzhen and Zhuhai. That’s why we need to push for the development of a digital economy and smart city,” he said. “We hope to set up this supercomputing center to attract top-notch talent and enterprises from around the world to come to Hong Kong.”

Under the government’s magnanimous HK$200 budget to boost the “iAm Smart” platform, a mobile app for government services aims to

  • Public works projects will be digitalized by next year.
  • Single portal for online government services to be introduced in 2025.

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Ethical and Effective Use of AI for Students  

In an announcement, the International Baccalaureate (IB) says artificial intelligence won’t be banned in its alternative academic qualifications. The IB said,

“The simplest reason is that it is an ineffective way to deal with innovation. We expect all our schools to discuss the various types of academic misconduct with their students … help them support their students on how to use these tools ethically in line with our principles of academic integrity.” 

  • IB recognized the need to tweak its educational programs and assessment practices to enable students to ethically and effectively use the new AI tools.
  • At the same, IB stressed clearly stated that the software used must be included in the text body and properly credited to the bibliography. Additionally, an essay that mainly consists of quotes will not be marked with an IB mark scheme, the organization said.
  • To ensure transparency between students and teachers, Matt Glanville, head of assessment principles and practice at the IB, informed that regular check-in meetings between students and teachers are mandatory in required the coursework.
  • Teachers have the opportunity to enquire students about their ideas and to discuss their arguments to ensure that the student work reflects their true understanding.

Currently, there are more than 30 schools in Hong Kong that are offering the IB diploma program, till now close to 2,200 have appeared for the exams in 2022.

Source: SCMP

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