On July 6, 2023, the World Artificial Intelligence Conference (WAIC2023) with the theme "Intelligent Connectivity, Generating Future" was held in Shanghai.
WAIC 2023 coincided with the vigorous rise of large-scale models and generative artificial intelligence (AIGC) globally. Facing this wave of technological and industrial revolution, WAIC 2023 focused comprehensively on large-scale models and AIGC. It invited top scholars and industry leaders from around the world to join hands in exploring the "AI generation path" of self-creation, innovation, creation, and imagination. Together, they interpreted the splendid panorama of high-quality development driven by AI and the rejuvenation of modern industrial systems facilitated by AI. They also discussed the new form of human civilization after the "intelligence transformation", and envisioned a brighter and better intelligent future.
Gathering of the World's AI Leaders
At the WAIC 2023 opening ceremony, Elon Musk, the technology leader and founder and CEO of Tesla, delivered the keynote speech. In his speech, he shared his visionary insights on general artificial intelligence in the new era, introduced the latest explorations of his team in the frontier technologies of AI, and highlighted the latest applications in vertical fields such as humanoid robots and autonomous driving. He stated that the ratio of computational power between computers and humans is rapidly increasing each year, resulting in a widening gap between machines and biology. This will lead to fundamental changes that will profoundly impact and influence the future of human civilization. Therefore, the present time is the most critical period for human civilization.
Yann LeCun, Turing Award laureate and Chief AI Scientist of Meta AI Fundamental AI Research (FAIR) team, engaged in a dialogue with Horizon Robotics Founder and CEO Yu Kai. He discussed innovative approaches to meet the ethical and governance challenges posed by future AI requirements, emphasizing that open-source is the only way to ensure the safety, benevolence, and practicality of AI platforms.
Andrew Chi-Chih Yao, Turing Award laureate, Academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and President of the Shanghai Institute for Advanced Studies (SIAS), led the discussion on "AI Ideation: Possibilities of Intelligence Transformation." He elaborated on AI theoretical breakthroughs and future technological roadmaps. After the prevalence of large language models, he emphasized that the next important goal is to enable intelligent robots to have various perceptual abilities such as vision and hearing, enabling them to autonomously learn new skills in various environments.
Group Showcase of AI Achievements
Professor Tang Xiao'ou from The Chinese University of Hong Kong, a longstanding friend who has participated in the inaugural conference, presented a series of recent research achievements. His team recently won the Best Paper Award at the Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition(CVPR 2023) , which is one of the top three conferences in the global field of computer vision. He also mentioned their team's recent creation of the world's first city-level 3D realistic model, CityNeRF, based on the NeRF (Neural Radiance Fields) technology.
Moreover, the opening ceremony featured the unveiling of significant innovative achievements, including the release of the INTERN General Model System, the Digital Twin Brain by Fudan University, Zhangjiang SUPERCITY, and the Fourier General-Purpose Humanoid Robot GR-1.
The highly anticipated SAIL (Super AI Leader) Award, the highest honor of the World Artificial Intelligence Conference, was officially announced during the opening ceremony. The award was jointly presented to Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (COMAC), Huawei Cloud, Qualcomm, XtaiPi Technology, and the research team led by Yunwei Zhang from the University of Cambridge. It is believed that there will be more major original innovations and breakthroughs in key core technologies showcased on the stage of WAIC, making significant contributions to the progress of human civilization.
Global "Young" AI Stars Share Vibrant Stories
Zhilin Yang, an assistant professor at Tsinghua University, discussed his philosophy on innovation and the transformation of achievements. He emphasized that while there are still many unresolved issues in the field of large-scale models, and when considering them, it is important not to think from a singular perspective but to systematically abstract the underlying commonalities of these problems and solve them at a more fundamental level.
In a dialogue, Xingang Pan, the first author of the emerging DragGAN and an assistant professor at the School of Computer Science and Engineering at Nanyang Technological University, mentioned that AI is becoming the foundation for broader and more creative applications. He highlighted the significant prospects of his invented algorithms in video and 3D content generation, which can assist designers, artists, animators, and visual effects artists in their respective fields.
Assistant Professor Yang Yuan from the School of Interdisciplinary Information Studies at Tsinghua University discussed the key aspects of applying large-scale models and the core challenges in deepening cross-industry research. He emphasized the critical importance of collecting sufficient data based on modal completion.
In-depth Analysis of the Latest AI Trends
At the opening ceremony of WAIC 2023, industry leaders and innovative pioneers gathered to discuss the technological collaboration in the era of AI. Harry Shum, former Executive Vice President of Microsoft and foreign member of the National Academy of Engineering (NAE), along with Saifur Rahman, President and CEO of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), engaged in an insightful dialogue. They jointly explored the technology collaboration in the AI era.
In addition, distinguished guests such as Ken Hu, Rotating Chairman of Huawei, Hou Yang, Senior Vice President of Microsoft Global and Chairman and CEO of Microsoft Greater China Region, and Xu Li, Chairman and CEO of SenseTime, shared their insights and visions on the current trends in large-scale model development, AI industry development, and the transformative trends in AI-enabled pathways. It was unanimously agreed upon by the attendees that they would collaborate to build a symbiotic and mutually beneficial AI ecosystem.
Building a Better Future of AI Together
At this crucial moment when humanity enters the era of AI, discussions surrounding digital governance, digital ethics, and civilizational development have become hot topics in 2023. The opening ceremony of WAIC 2023 directly addressed the risks and challenges, responded to concerns, highlighted the benefits of AI, and fostered collaborative consensus.
As a platform that connects global wisdom and voices from China, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) Global AI Alliance for Industry and Manufacturing was officially established during the WAIC 2023 opening ceremony. Simultaneously, the "UNIDO International Center for Excellence in Industrial and Manufacturing AI Development" was announced. This serves as an important platform for Shanghai to deepen its participation in international AI cooperation and jointly build a more prosperous form of human civilization amidst the backdrop of the development and transformation of next-generation AI technologies.