AI competition nurtures promising young talent

28 Dec 2022


Artificial intelligence (AI) has enormous potential for tackling the challenges of achieving global sustainability, and talented young people in Hong Kong with a passion for AI are already building novel solutions to address this.

Jointly organised by HKBU and the Hong Kong Society of Artificial Intelligence and Robotics, the inaugural AI x HK OpenCup competition saw about 920 secondary and tertiary students seeking the best solutions with AI technologies that can make a positive impact on society and promote sustainability in Hong Kong.

“Innovation and technology continue to foster global and social development. The OpenCup engenders an innovation-enriched platform that enables young talent to envision the future of AI technologies for tackling global challenges and adding new value to the community,” said Professor Liu Jiming, Associate Vice-President (Research Development) and Dean of Science at HKBU.

The competing students worked in teams, identifying problems and devising innovative AI solutions in the Hong Kong context under the four chosen Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations. These are good health and well-being, quality education, sustainable cities and communities, and climate action.

A total of 20 teams from the competition’s two categories - Secondary Students and Tertiary Students – were shortlisted for the Final Pitch contest held before a judging panel comprising professionals from academia and industry partners. The winners were announced at the award ceremony held on campus last month.

Teams from the Diocesan Girls’ School and the St. Louis School were crowned co-champions in the Secondary Students Category. The winning project from the Diocesan Girls’ School team was named “Art In Anxiety Out” and developed an art therapy mobile application. Team members Jovie Lam, Christy Lee and Evelyn Fung found that many teenagers often feel stressed and this inspired them to develop this application, which seeks to help users relieve stress through music, sound and colour therapy. The students incorporated machine-learning algorithms in their application to analyse the users’ stress levels and to suggest the most suitable therapy approach to meet their needs.

In addition to the championship, the team from St. Louis School won the competition’s “Best Social Impact Award” with their project “Medical Intelligent Aid”. This envisioned a robot that can help older people improve their mental health and physical wellbeing. The team, comprising Secondary Five students Kwok Tsz-him, Li Cheuk-yin and Yu Wan-tat, developed a prototype robotic hand to demonstrate how it can help improve users’ agility and body coordination. Well-versed in programming languages, the team plans to develop the prototype into a complete robot with enhanced features such as speech recognition and customised voice.

In the Tertiary Students Category, a team from City University of Hong Kong won the championship with their project “MediMind”, which is a classification and training model for students with special educational needs.

Professor Liu was impressed by the enthusiastic response from the participants. He said the competition not only proved that people of all ages and backgrounds can become involved in the development of AI applications, but also showed the various uses of AI, particularly in addressing sustainability challenges.