Newsletter No. 542

02 # 5 4 2 | 0 4 . 0 9 . 2 0 1 9 p 金国庆教授 Prof. Irwin King T he perception of artificial intelligence (AI) is varied, as shown in popular movies. For R2-D2 in Star Wars , T-800 in The Terminator , and the eponymous hero in Wall-E , AI is personified by a robot which has cognitive ability and identity. When it comes to J.A.R.V.I.S. in Iron Man , which is the hero’s servant and council, AI takes the shape of a virtual system. With so many things and products given the tag ‘AI,’ how can we know what AI truly means? In 1950, Alan Turing proposed his now-famous ‘Turing Test’: A machine could be classified as AI if it could talk with a human without it being recognized as a non- human entity. The definition of AI, however, has continued to evolve with technological advancement. Prof. Irwin King of the Department of Computer Science and Engineering proposed a new definition: ‘AI has the capability to learn and improve, and can adapt to the users’ needs.’ For example, the more facial pictures are input into a deep-learning network, the higher its facial recognition accuracy will become. It can even distinguish the age, ethnicity, and emotion of a subject. As such, a fuzzy logic fan is ‘smart’ instead of ‘AI’, although it can adjust its speed as the temperature changes. In view of the increasingly high demand for AI professionals in local and even global employment markets, the Department of Computer Science and Engineering has launched an undergraduate programme in Artificial Intelligence: Systems and Technologies (AIST) this year. The Hong Kong government has formulated policies to promote the development of innovative technologies, including plans for the expansion of the Science Park in Tseung Kwan O Industrial Estate and the establishment of HK-Shenzhen Innovation and Technology Park in Lok Ma Chau Loop. It is expected that 50,000 jobs will be created. Professor King pointed out that the new programme addresses the needs of society on the strengths of the Faculty of Engineering. From the studies of statistics, machine learning and algorithm design, students could learn to construct an entire AI system step by step. Based on their interests and career goals, students may choose a specialized stream from four options: Biomedical Intelligence, Intelligent Multimedia Processing, Large-scale Artificial Intelligence Theory and Systems, and Intelligent Manufacturing and Robotics. Professor King said, ‘The programme offers four specialized streams, one theoretical and three application-oriented. Like building a house, it starts from the foundation. “Large-scale Artificial Intelligence Theory and Systems” is the foundation.’ 对 于人工智能,不同人有不同想像,从大众电影中可见端倪。以 《星球大战》的R2-D2和C-3PO、《未来战士》的T-800,以及 《Wall-E》的同名主角为例,人工智能等同有思想和身分的实 体机械人,但在《铁甲奇侠》中的「卓维」,却是一套无形系统,既是主 角的管家,也是战友。 人工智能盛行,很多产物都高举AI幌子,叫人眼花撩乱,我们应如何分 辨?艾伦 • 图灵于1950年提出「图灵测试」,如果一台装置能够与人对 话而没有被认出,便属于人工智能。然而,科技发展一日千里,人工智能 的定义也与时并进,计算机科学与工程学系 金国庆 教授提出一项标准: 「人工智能是懂得学习的,可以进步,并能根据使用者的需要适应配 合。」以人脸辨识为例,我们把愈多人脸图像输入深度学习网路,它识 别人脸的准确度就愈高,甚至可以分辨出对象的年龄、种族和情绪等。 相反能感应环境、自动调节参数的快思逻辑(fuzzy logic)电风扇虽然 可以因应温度高低调节风速,但只算智能,不属于人工智能。 有见本地以至全球缺乏人工智能专才,中大计算机科学与工程学系今年 开办「人工智能:系统与科技」学士课程。香港积极推动创新科技和建设 相关配套,例如扩充将军澳工业邨的科学园和成立落马洲河套区港深创 新及科技园等,预料创造五万个职位。金教授指出,新课程既是回应社会 发展的需要,也是发挥中大工程学院的强项。学生可以由统计学、机器学 习,以至演算法的设计,逐步学习构建一套完整人工智能系统。 另一特点是,学生可以按兴趣和志愿选择专修范围,包括智能生物医 学、智能多媒体处理、大规模人工智能理论与系统,以及智能制造与机 器人学。金国庆教授说:「课程有四个专修范围,一个以理论为主,三个 以应用为本。就像建屋一样,要有根基才能向上兴建,『大规模人工智 能理论与系统专修』便是根基。」 「智能生物医学」是应用专修范围之一,现时基因组研究崛起,若要从 海量的基因资料中,探索个别基因与某些疾病的关连,演算法便大派 用场。若发现某一基因是引致某种癌症的高危因素,拥有该基因的人便 可及早调节生活习惯,降低发病机会。 除了人脸辨识外,「智能多媒体处理」亦涵盖无人驾驶、医疗造影、语音 和音讯处理等。以「错字和粤语检测系统」为例,该系统由系统工程与 工程管理学系 黄锦辉 教授的团队研发,他们把高中生的中文作文试卷、 课本和辞典等材料输入系统,让其「学习」。当中小学生把作文输入,系 统便会按上文下理找出错别字和区别简体字。 「智能制造与机器人学」则是把人 工智能应用于机械装置,例如搬 运机械人。机械与自动化工程学系 刘云辉 教授及其团队研发的「视觉 导航无人搬运车」,把厂房的平面图 输入智能系统,系统收集厂房环境 的相片并加以分析,便可规划出搬 运路线,自主行走,不用人手操作。 纵然现时人工智能大多只有单一领 域的功能,不像「卓维」般身兼多 职,可以处理复杂任务,但它确确实 实在各方面协助人类改善生活。犹 如上世纪末互联网和电邮诞生,人工 智能势必渗入各行各业,改变其营运 模式,继而改变世界。 AI in All Walks of Life 人工智能 课程 孕育百业专才 Biomedical Intelligence is one of the application- oriented specialized streams. Genomic research has gained currency in recent years. Algorithms could be applied to a large database of genetic information to explore the relationship between a gene and some diseases. If it is found that a particular gene is a risk factor for a cancer, a person carrying that gene may be advised to adjust her lifestyle to reduce the cancer risk. In addition to facial recognition, ‘Intelligent Multimedia Processing’ covers driverless cars, medical imaging, and speech and audio processing. Take ‘Automatic Colloquialism and Typo Detection System for Chinese Language’ as an example. The research team led by Prof. Wong Kam-fai of the Department of Systems Engineering and Engineering Management developed the system which can ‘learn’ from the Chinese compositions of senior secondary students and feed on the content of textbooks and dictionaries. When a secondary or primary school student uses the system on her compositions, the system can identify the typos or misused words. It can also differentiate between the simplified Chinese characters and the traditional characters. ‘Intelligent Manufacturing and Robotics’ applies AI in mechanics, one such product being the robots for transporting goods. The team led by Prof. Liu Yun-hui of the Department of Mechanical and Automation Engineering has developed a self-piloted forklift truck. Its AI system will analyse the floor plans and pictures of the warehouse and devise the route the autonomous truck takes to transport the goods. Although most AI applications have only functionality in one particular area, unlike the versatile J.A.R.V.I.S., they are making the lives of many easier. AI will proliferate like the Internet and the e-mails born at the end of the last century in all walks of life to change many ways of working and living. M. Mak