It's not another lecture…It's an invitation to join the conversation. The program provides you with access to the experts at the heart of the technology revolution. In carefully curated sessions, you’ll gain unique insights into the next wave of innovation that is connecting our world in surprising and inspiring new ways.







Opening Remarks

Will Knight, Senior Editor for AI, MIT Technology Review

10 minutes

Welcome Address by the Host Innovation Partner

Alexander Wai, Vice President (Research Development) and Chair Professor of Optical Communications, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University

10 minutes

New Materials: Bending the Rules of Physics

Innovation in Stationary Electricity Storage: The Liquid Metal Battery

Electricity storage would for today’s grid, reduce price volatility, improve stability against loss of power, increase utilization of generation assets by enabling us to design towards average demand instead of peak demand, and defer the costs of upgrading existing transmission lines. When it comes to tomorrow’s grid, storage is critical to widespread integration of renewables, i.e., solar and wind, which due to their inherent intermittency present challenges for contribution to base load. The liquid metal battery has been invented to offer colossal current capability and long service lifetime at very low cost, i.e., the price point of the electricity market. Fade rates of 0.00009%/cycle have been measured which means retention of >99% of initial capacity after 10 years of daily cycling.

Donald Sadoway, John F. Elliott Professor of Materials Chemistry, MIT

15 minutes


Molecular Functional Materials: From Design to Energy and Materials Applications

A major global issue that the world is facing today is the upcoming depletion of fossil fuels and the fast-growing global demand for energy. Solar energy is amongst one of the most attractive options. Apart from the development of clean sources of renewable energy, developments related to increased energy efficiency, such as the development of more energy-efficient processes for flat panel displays and solid-state lighting, would also lead to a reduction in energy demand. In this presentation, new classes of molecular materials for various optoelectronic applications, including solar energy conversion, organic light-emitting devices (OLEDs) and memories, will be described.

Vivian Yam, Philip Wong Wilson Wong Professor in Chemistry and Energy, The University of Hong Kong

15 minutes


「 ArmoGlass™」, an Ultra-Hard Anti-Scratch Thin-Film Coating Technology

Kok Wai Cheah, Founder, Cathay Photonics Limited & Associate Head and Chair Professor in Physics, Hong Kong Baptist University

15 minutes

Networking Coffee Break

Pulse Diagnosis: From Human Beings to Railways

Pulse diagnosis is the ancient art and science of traditional Chinese medicine for assessing the health condition of a person’s organs. Pulse diagnosis concentrating on the wrists could be adopted with modern wearable technology based on optical fibre sensors attached on skin surface to monitor human vital signs, such as heart beat, respiratory rate, blood pressure, and stress level. Successful extension of optical fibre sensors to measure rails’ "pulses" providing vital information of the health condition of railways in Hong Kong and Singapore will also be described in this talk.

Hwa Yaw Tam, Chair Professor of Photonics and Head of Department of Electrical Engineering, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University

15 minutes

Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Innovate: Tackling Hard Problems from Singapore for the World

Singapore has all the resources and capabilities to tackle ‘hard problems' that matter to people around the world. The next question is – how do we take this further and develop a truly innovative mindset? SGInnovate Founding CEO, Steve Leonard dives into what it takes to build a robust start-up ecosystem, and shares how his team works with people who have the focus and passion to build research-based, deep technology products and companies. This will include how SGInnovate is enabling aspiring entrepreneurs in Singapore to imagine, build, commercialise and scale globally-relevant innovations, by way of support through investments, branding, talent networking and more to increase their odds of success.

Steve Leonard, Founding CEO, SGInnovate

15 minutes


Cancer Therapeutics: Bridging to the Future

Effective cancer therapeutics represents a major unmet medical need. Research were focused on surgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapeutics and recently targeted therapy and immunotherapy. Treatment response is a balance between cancer growth versus effective therapeutics plus host immune response, and cancer is characterized by rapid growth/mutations to evade therapeutics. The history of medical therapeutics suggests that a therapeutic combination that controls cancer growth and convert cancer into a chronic manageable disease represents a near term achievable goal. Availability of effective/safe oral anticancer therapies will be critical and a novel approach that converts some existing anticancer drugs into oral form will be discussed.

Weng Li Yoon, Research Director, Athenex

15 minutes

Networking Lunch Break

Big Data and Artificial Intelligence I

Artificial General Intelligence: Why Aren't We There Yet?

All purpose, all-powerful AI systems, capable of catering to our every intellectual need, have been promised for six decades, but thus far still not arrived. What will it take to bring AI to something like human-level intelligence? And why haven't we gotten there already? Scientist, author, and entrepreneur Gary Marcus (Founder of Geometric Intelligence, recently acquired by Uber) explains why deep learning is overrated, and what we need to do next to achieve genuine artificial intelligence.

Gary Marcus, Founding CEO, Geometric Intelligence & Former Head of Uber AI Labs

15 minutes


Machine Reading: Let AI Read for Us

Everyday, we are inundated by fast streams of news articles that we do not have time to read. We present an artificial intelligence based technique to alleviate this problem via machine reading, whereby a machine-learning based model reads the articles and saves important answers. Then, human users only need to query the machines to get their interested answers. Such a machine reading model can only alleviate humans from tedious and voluminous amount of reading tasks, but also provide personalized answers to each individual human readers. Such machine-reading techniques can potentially change the way we receive our news and knowledge and can help automate important fields such as legal, finance and medical industries.

Qiang Yang, New Bright Professor of Engineering, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

15 minutes


Why and How Can Digitisation Be So Disruptive?

Noriko Arai, Professor, Information and Society Research Division, National Institute of Informatics

15 minutes


Giving a Face to AI

Of all experiences we have in life, face-to-face interactions fill many of our most meaningful ones, yet their power has been untapped in human-computer interaction. Giving a face and virtual embodiment to AI can have a profound impact on our future relationship with tech. People largely learn through social interaction, which is often overlooked by current AI approaches. Soul Machines is changing the way we relate to tech by developing human-like emotionally intelligent virtual agents. These range from BabyX, an autonomously-animated infant that learns using neuroscience and developmental psychology-based models, to virtual assistants that humanize existing cognitive computing platforms.

Phil Chen, Executive Chairman, Soul Machines

15 minutes

Networking Coffee Break

Big Data and Artificial Intelligence II

Bringing AI to the Edge: The Mission of Alibaba AI Labs

Alibaba has launched many successful artificial intelligence products on its powerful cloud computing platform Aliyun, and provides AI as a service to numerous customers and business partners. Meanwhile, there are many local devices which don't have powerful computing resources, and they cannot fully rely on the cloud computing platform due to the unreliability of internet communication. To fill in this gap, AI Labs aims to develop efficient and effective artificial intelligence technologies for embedded systems. AI Labs will also develop the next generation intelligent products that can bring AI to hundreds of millions of homes/people.

Wang Gang, Chief Scientist, Alibaba AI Labs

15 minutes


Future of Voice Interface is in the Ear

With the proliferation of voice assistants such as Apple Siri, Google Assistant and Microsoft Cortana and the success of Amazon Echo and Google Home, people are realizing the power of voice. However, the final form factor of the omnipresent voice assistant is still to be determined. This talk will articulate why the ear is the best place for a voice interface and what hurdles need to be overcome to truly make voice the next computing platform.

Kinuko Masaki, CEO and Cofounder, SmartEar

15 minutes


Towards an AI-Enabled Society: Using Ling to Inject Robots with Spirits like “Living” Beings Instead of Machines

Jiawei Gu, CEO and Cofounder, Ling Technology

15 minutes


Teaching Machines to Draw

Since the beginning of civilization, people like to draw. We can communicate with each other by drawing simple objects on a surface. Language evolved from simple drawings. While current machine learning methods focus on modelling 2D bitmap images, little has been done on teaching machines to draw like humans. In our recent work, we propose a generative model for vector images. We teach a recurrent neural network model to draw everyday objects by having it control the movement of a virtual pen.

David Ha, Google Brain Resident

15 minutes

Networking Cocktail Reception

End of Day One







Opening Remarks

Will Knight, Senior Editor for AI, MIT Technology Review

5 minutes

Personalised Medicine: Reprogramming the Human Genome with AI

Managing the Digital Life: Integration and Analysis of Multi-Omics Biological Data to Model Human Healthcare

Yingrui Li, Cofounder and Chief Scientist, iCarbonX

15 minutes


deepCODE: AI in the Global Platform for Genomic Data

Genomic sequence is fast becoming the biggest single source of data on the planet. We have built a global platform for harnessing this data to improve health and medicine worldwide. By correlating sequence variation and disease we can rapidly identify disease-causing genes, validate drug targets or responders/ non-responders and help consumers use the full power of the genome for wellness. But AI and deep learning enable us to go from correlation to causality: to parse vastly complex data from the genome, biology, other omics, and clinical measurements to elucidate the underlying causes of disease. Our deepCODE system is already automatically categorizing cancers, reviving shelved drugs and tracing new approaches to heart disease. As part of our global platform, it is serving our partners around the world so that we can all realize and benefit from precision medicine.

Tom Chittenden, Founding Director, WuXi NextCODE Advanced AI Research Laboratory

15 minutes

Future Cities

The Future of Smart Driven by GIS

Smart cities are about connecting people to technology to achieve better daily outcomes. Forward-thinking city organizations institute policies and procedures that enable them to make data-driven decisions, collaboration and civic engagement. This presentation will suggest the development of smart cities by establishing a GeoHub that connects people with geospatial information and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) technology to drive improved quality of life, innovation, and better choices. A number of worldwide examples will also be presented to demonstrate that smart cities can get the most of GIS investment by exploiting a combination of Internet of Things (IoT) devices, big data, inclusive apps, and community engagement to gain previously unimagined insight.

Winnie Tang, Founder and Chairman, Esri China (Hong Kong) Limited

15 minutes


SENSEable Cities

The increasing deployment of sensors and hand-held electronics in recent years is allowing a new approach to the study of the built environment. The way we describe and understand cities is being radically transformed - alongside the tools we use to design them and impact on their physical structure. This presentation will address these issues from a critical point of view through projects by the Senseable City Laboratory, a research initiative at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Yang Xu, Postdoctoral Associate, MIT SENSEable City Lab

15 minutes


Privacy and Cybersecurity in the Digital Age

Morgan Marquis-Boire, Director of Security, First Look Media/The Intercept & Senior Researcher and Technical Advisor, Citizen Lab, University of Toronto

15 minutes

Networking Coffee Break


Beyond Bitcoin: How Cryptocurrencies are Redefining Financial Markets

In 2008, a mysterious new currency called Bitcoin began circulating around the web. Bitcoin introduced a powerful new technology that challenged some of our most basic assumptions about money. But more importantly, Bitcoin got geeks onboard with finance. It made them study the sciences of value, exchange, society, law and trust. Developers around the world are now starting to launch groundbreaking projects that move value around the world in ways we’ve never seen before. In this talk, Itai Damti will describe this fast moving space, and how it can reinvent most areas in finance, from VC to hedge funds.

Itai Damti, CEO Asia Pacific, Leverate

15 minutes


Connecting the Next Billion is a Development Priority - Africa

Connecting the next billion is a development priority for Africa and developing world. We show how Africa has been preparing for this and the challenges we face. The opportunity of blockchain to provide an Internet with value for the poor would avert an economic divide.

Nii Quaynor, Chair, Network Computer Systems & Ghana Dot Com

15 minutes

Virtual Reality, Augmented Life

The New Reality of VR, AR and AI

With the disruptive waves of Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality and Artificial Intelligence technologies reaching tipping points for affordable adoption and ubiquitous mobile applications, we are potentially changing and redefining every aspect of our lives. The new reality of such Augmented Life is about creating intelligent and gamified virtual and augmented user experiences. It represents a new range of personalized innovative solutions that would inspire impactful changes in even the smallest and perhaps unexpected details of daily life. It also enables individuals and businesses to create Augmented Life services more efficiently. Several cases in learning, travel and smart city applications will be analyzed to decipher what the future of our Augmented Life may hold.

Jason Chiu, CEO, cherrypicks

15 minutes


Exploring the Future of AR/VR with HTC VIVE

Alvin Wang Graylin, China President of Vive, HTC

15 minutes


The Art of Indirection

Virtual reality content requires new thinking. Everyone involved in the creative process needs to review their assumptions, adapt their experiences and expand the possibilities. Despite technical advances, VR's "state of the art" is akin to the early days of silent film: groundbreaking, but unevolved. When Steven Spielberg expressed his misgivings about VR as a storytelling medium, the challenge that he sees to traditional cinematic direction is what others of us view as an opportunity. One cannot approach VR as a "director". Rather, one must become an "indirector": artfully applying visual, aural and psychological influences to compel the audience.

Kevin Geiger, Executive Director, International Animation & Virtual Reality Research Centre, Beijing Film Academy

15 minutes

Networking Lunch Break

Brave New (Bio-Engineered) World

Breaking the Code to Rewriting Life: Genome Editing for Biomedicine and Agriculture

Genome editing is a powerful tool that allows the modification of DNA sequences. With this tool, one can delete or insert a DNA sequence of interest, or correct a specific disease-causing DNA sequence. As genes are an essential component of all living creatures, genome editing technology can be applied from basic biological research to the biotechnological and biomedical industries. Here, ToolGen will share the current status of genome editing technology research and attempts made to translate this powerful tool to the medical and agricultural fields.

Jongmoon Kim, CEO, ToolGen

15 minutes


Reading and Writing the Human Genome

Easily reading and writing information to a computer is the basis of many modern technologies; Angela works on ways to read and write genetic information from human cells. First, she’s creating technologies that read genetic information from individual cells in our body, allowing us to create accurate maps of all cell types and their functions - a Cell Atlas of the human body. Second, she’s engineering technology to write and re-write our DNA, so that diseases such as cervical cancer, which is caused by viruses writing their genetic information into our DNA, can be cured by cutting out the viral DNA.

Angela Wu, Assistant Professor, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) & Founding Member, Agenovir Corporation

15 minutes


CRISPR Genome Engineering Technology: Application and Intersection with Genomics Analysis

Advances in genome sequencing and related technology have led to unprecedented pace in identifying genomic and epigenetic changes associated with human health and disease. Nonetheless, validating their biological functions and exploring them as potential drug targets remain time and cost consuming. Exciting advances on genome editing tools using CRISPR system can be employed for this purpose. Here Le will discuss the exciting genome engineering technology that can be deployed as versatile discovery and therapeutics tool for precision medicine. He will highlight how genomics analysis could be integrated to transform our ability to understand and treat complex diseases such as cancer.

Le Cong, Postdoctoral Fellow, Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard

15 minutes

Robotics, Automation, and Industry 4.0

The Future of Supply Chain Automation with Robotics

The increased complexities in today’s supply chain - around 10-15% of national GDP for many economies - due to the growth in e-commerce, omnichannel fulfilment, express delivery options and SKU proliferation, require new solutions. The evolution of supply chain automation explains how warehouses moved from rigid automation to intelligent automation to achieve scalability and flexibility. By 2018, 45% of the 200 leading global e-commerce and omnichannel companies will deploy robotics systems in their order fulfilment delivery operations. This talk includes the importance of Artificial Intelligence, collaboration with robots and the role the Connected Supply Chain will bring to Industry 4.0.

Nalin Advani, CEO – Asia-Pacific, GreyOrange

15 minutes

Close of Conference