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IKCEST International Symposium 2015 on “Digital Knowledge for Science and Engineering” Held in Beijing

The IKCEST International Symposium 2015 on Digital Knowledge for Science and Engineering was held in Beijing Conference Center on November 17, 2015. More than 400 representatives attended the symposium, including about twenty internationally renowned foreign and domestic academicians and experts. The symposium lasted one day and was hosted by the Chinese Academy of Engineering and organized by the International Knowledge Centre for Engineering Sciences and Technology under the auspices of UNESCO (shortened as “IKCEST”).

CAE Member Pan Yunhe and CAE Foreign Member Raj Reddy, also Turing Award Winner served as co-chairs of the program committee of the symposium. Zhou Ji, President of CAE, Hans Dencker Thulstrup, Programme Specialist for Natural Sciences of the UNESCO Beijing Office, and Chen Zuoning, Vice President of CAE, addressed the symposium. President Zhou said, the Chinese Academy of Engineering was very willing to carry out active and in-depth cooperation with UNESCO and international engineering science and technology institutions in information sharing, big data technology research and knowledge services, thus jointly promoting the prosperity and development of the world’s engineering science and technology sector.

The symposium was divided into two sessions. The morning session centered on “Digital Knowledge for Science” and was moderated by CAE Member Wu Cheng, with four speakers from all over the world giving keynote speeches respectively. Based on in-depth analysis, CAE Member Pan Yunhe pinned down the root cause behind Big Data’s attracting attention from various countries to the fact that the world was now entering into a new ternary space from a binary one of the past. With great insight, the report suggested that the Big Data era would give way to an age of Big Knowledge in the future. Prof. Raj Reddy talked about surviving in an information intensive world of the 21st century and presented two families of intelligent agents, that is, “cognition amplifiers” and “guardian angels” to help with problem of scarcity of attention. Wu Zhiqiang, Vice President of Tongji University, elaborated on the interactive relationship between big data and intelligent urban planning and construction. The supportive function of big data in the process of urban planning was further analyzed from perspectives of flows of people, flows of natural elements, and flows of functions. Prof. Otthein Herzog, Fellow of German National Academy of Science and Engineering, said that the role of semantics for the analysis of non-scientific texts together with images and videos had to be reshaped from a cultural neutral analysis to an analysis based on cultural cues, and Knowledge Discovery methods for texts would be looked at allowing us to extract knowledge buried deeply in mountains of data.

CAE Member Li Guojie moderated the afternoon session centered on “Digital Knowledge for Engineering”, and five speakers from all over the world gave keynote speeches. CAE Member Xie Kechang proposed that a Professional Knowledge Service System for Energy (PKSSE) was needed to collect and organize comprehensive data about energy for finding a reasonable solution for energy development. Hsiao-Wuen Hon, Chairman of the Microsoft Asia-Pacific R&D Group, provided an overview of the progress of Artificial Intelligence, highlighted some recent milestone results in image recognition, natural language understanding, and predicted the progress of AI in research and application over the next 5-10 years. Eduardo M. Krieger, Full Member of Brazilian Academy of Sciences, said in his presentation that the explosion of the data both in the biomedical research and in the healthcare systems demanded urgent solutions, and efficient analysis and interpretation of big data would open new avenues to explore molecular biology. CAE Member Gao Wen pointed out that, there were at least three parts in intelligent cities: the sensing network, the multimedia data center, and the decision procedure. He also interpreted the technologies related to the first two parts. N. Balakrishnan, Fellow of Indian Institute of Science, claimed the quality of S&T output and the growth indicators of most nations were correlated with their leadership specifically in High Performance Computing and Big Data Science. And he explored futuristic and mutually beneficial collaboration between India and other nations.

An atmosphere of warm friendship prevailed at the two panel discussion sessions, with speakers answering questions raised by the audience, and in-depth interactive communication carried out.

The symposium provided a platform for top scientists and engineers, scholars and experts all over the world to share research progress and insights, making significant contribution to facilitate the world’s engineering science and technology community to carry out active and close cooperation in information sharing, big data technology research, and knowledge services, etc. in the future.


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