Sia Partners joins university AI research centre in Hong Kong as partner

16 October 2018 3 min. read

Consulting 4.0 proponents Sia Partners has joined a range of big-name firms as a founding partner of The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology’s newly launched artificial intelligence research centre.

Launched at an official ceremony late last month, the Centre for Artificial Intelligence Research (CAiRE) is a cross-departmental initiative from the The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology to facilitate interdisciplinary human-centric research, education and knowledge-sharing on all aspects of the rapidly emerging AI technology – which is set to disrupt just about every industry and facet of human life.

The first such centre among local universities, CAiRE aims to promote the healthy development of AI and drive collaborative research across scientific, technological, societal, and business interests – at a time when a growing number of leading science and technology icons of our era such as Bill Gates, Stephen Hawking and Elon Musk have sounded warnings about the unfettered development of artificial intelligence.

Joining the initiative as founding partners are a range of large-scale enterprises operating at the intersection of technology, media, retail, transportation and finance – sectors which are likely to be among those most heavily impacted by advanced AI in its earlier stages – including Alibaba, Tencent, Goldman Sachs, HSBC, J.P. Morgan and DiDi. Also on board is the global management consulting firm Sia Partners.Sia Partners joins university AI research centre in Hong Kong as partnerLed by CEO and co-founder Matthieu Courtecuisse and deputy CEO and former Renault Chief Information Officer Jean-Pierre Corniou, Sia Partners is not just an advocate of Industry 4.0 technologies for clients, but a vocal proponent of modern technological adoption within the consulting industry itself. “The consulting industry must operate its own cognitive revolution,” Courtecuisse recently stated. “Consulting companies that will stay away from this intelligence revolution will become mere transmitters.”

Vincent Kasbi, Head of Asia for Sia Partners based out of Hong Kong (one of the firm’s three regional offices including outlets in Singapore and Tokyo) attended the CAiRE launch alongside over sixty senior managers and execs representing the range of founding partners, welcomed by Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) President Wei Shyy and CAiRE founding Director Pascale Fung.

“There are many near-term social issues regarding the safety, transparency, and security of AI technologies,” Fung said at the launch. “Unlike generations of technological development before, AI impacts humans directly, and the impact is immeasurable and the consequences dire if we do not start to focus on the research and development of AI for the benefits of humans and society.”

Fung added that she believed the university was well positioned to take a leading role, with faculty teams specialised in a range of pertinent area such as natural language processing, computer vision, machine learning, data analytics as well as public policy, governance, social impacts and humanities. CAiRE’s executive committee is made up of representatives from several schools, including the Heads of Engineering, Science, Business & Management and Computer Science.