Hong Kong Baptist University (HKBU) demonstrates its prowess in harnessing advanced technologies and artificial intelligence (AI) in the fields of humanities, creative arts, and environmental science at the InnoCarnival 2023. HKBU’s pavilion showcases a diverse array of activities, demonstrations and exhibits, aiming to share with the public its outstanding accomplishments in innovative transdisciplinary research as well as teaching and learning.
Organised by the Innovation and Technology Commission of the Hong Kong SAR Government, the InnoCarnival aims to promote an innovation and technology culture in the community. The Carnival this year is being held from 28 October to 5 November at the Hong Kong Science Park.
Professor Sun Dong, Secretary for Innovation, Technology and Industry; and Mr Ivan Lee, Commissioner for Innovation and Technology of the HKSAR Government visited HKBU’s pavilion on the first day (28 October) of the Carnival.
Professor Alexander Wai, President and Vice-Chancellor; Professor Martin Wong, Provost; Professor Terence Lau, Interim Chief Innovation Officer of HKBU; Dr Ken Yeung, Acting Director of the Knowledge Transfer Office, shared with the Government representatives the University’s research achievements.
Presenting history with digital humanities technology
In the area of digital humanities, HKBU showcases its “electronic interactive historical map” which integrates digital technologies with historical content to present the Battle of Hong Kong in 1941 in a unique manner. Applying geographic information systems and first-hand data collected from various countries and locations, an interactive online map and database were built which allow viewers to freely interact with different categories of information. They can explore the troop movements and military structures, down to the details of individual pillboxes and guns. This publicly accessible online map breathes life into historical studies and offers a dynamic user experience to educators, conservation professionals, and anyone with an interest in history.
With the use of another AI-powered restoration technology developed by HKBU, visitors can view the historical photos of the Battle of Hong Kong in full colour and from a fresh perspective. This technology can effectively revitalise low-quality monochrome photos and videos, severely degraded 2D and 3D digital assets, and old movies. Through the application of AI technology, colourisation, enhancement and even generation of missing content were made possible.
Art-tech enables novel experience
HKBU also showcases its pioneering art-tech research achievements at the Carnival. BuVatar, an AI-powered digital avatar with customisable appearances and behaviours, can be fully programmed using natural language commands, eliminating the need for complex image manipulations in video generation. Visitors can experience the transformative power of AI in mapping body movements and human skeletal motion paths through direct linguistic data.
Visitors can also explore the realm of human-robot art creation with a real-time robotic system featuring a robotic arm adorned with a traditional Chinese ink brush. The system allows users to input data through a computer mouse or sensors including a webcam and a heart-rate monitor and mix it with other data such as sound or music, and visualise it in the form of a painting on a piece of paper.
Another art-tech project called "Colours", which is presented by a group of talented HKBU students, brings digital art to life and offers visitors an immersive experience through the interactive art installations equipped with sensors and motion cameras.
Green technologies facilitate upcycling and regeneration
In alignment with the theme of this year's Carnival “Go Smart! Go Tech! Go Green!”, HKBU introduces two innovative research projects related to sustainable resource upcycling and regeneration. One notable breakthrough involves utilising a novel catalyst to facilitate the decomposition of plastic waste and convert it into combustible fuel with an impressive oil yield efficacy of over 90%. Another breakthrough focuses on transforming organic residues into eco-friendly bioplastics using bacteria.
HKBU cordially invites members of the public to visit its pavilion at the InnoCarnival 2023. For more information, please visit the website http://innocarnival.hk/
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