Tencent executive appeals for "AI for Good" in Dubai

Speaking at the AI Everything Summit, Seng Yee Lau called for humankind to realize the potential of AI technology in improving quality of life and providing solutions to social challenges


Seng Yee Lau, an executive at Chinese tech giant Tencent, has proposed the concept of "AI for Good" during an event in the Middle East.

Speaking at the AI Everything Summit 2019 in Dubai this week, Seng Yee Lau, senior executive vice-president and chairman of group marketing and global brands at Tencent, remarked: "AI brings convenience to human beings, together with philosophical, ethical and practical risks and challenges. We need to establish correct technological values as technologies evolve rapidly."

Seng Yee Lau (left) said that the "human" behind AI technology was more important than the technology itself, with the notion of "AI for Good" echoing the sentiments of Tencent's "Technology for Good" concept.

"Tencent has always adhered to the concept of 'creating value for users' and is committed to promoting technology for good and continuously improving the quality of human life," Seng Yee Lau added. "We hope to work with everyone to build a new ecosystem of 'Technology for Good', creating an imaginative and promising future for human beings."

Seng Yee Lau was speaking during the keynote slot at the event which was hosted by Omar Bin Sultan Al Olama, UAE minister of AI and the world's first minister of AI. The Tencent executive said that the concept of "AI for Good" would help humans improve their quality of life and create social development possibilities.

Tencent, which counts messaging app WeChat among its many assets, has been exploring AI applications to find missing people, creating what Seng Yee Lau described as "AI that can find people" through applications such as "Face Search for Family" which has been based on Tencent's huge face retrieval technology YouTu. The company also teamed up with Fujian Provincial Public Security Department in March 2017 to launch the "Care About You" platform, which attempts to prevent people from getting lost through the use of AI technology.

"Only when companies consider technology as a part of a larger undertaking, can technology play a bigger role," Seng Yee Lau remarked. "This is the beauty of technology and the essence of technology for good."

Another socially progressive field in which Tencent has invested in AI applications has been healthcare, with its first AI medical imaging product, Tencent MIAIS, assisting doctors in reading more than 100 million medical images and suggesting 150,000 cases of high-risk lesions as of July 2018.

In agriculture, Seng Yee Lau said AI had helped farmers to improve crop output through the analysis of data such as ambient temperature, rainfall and soil salinity, while Tencent AI Lab's iGrow had grown "AI cucumbers" and competed in international agriculture competitions.

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