Forum focuses on risk management in tech development

The Session on Disruptive Technologies of the 3rd Taihe Civilizations Forum opens in Beijing, Sep. 7, 2019. [Photo courtesy of the Taihe Institute]

The Session on Disruptive Technologies of the 3rd Taihe Civilizations Forum was held in Beijing from Sep. 7 to 8. 

Themed “Cooperation, Competition and Conflict in the Development of Disruptive Technologies,” the forum gathered experts from various sectors to discuss the development trends of science and technology and their significant impact on human society.

Thorsten Jelinek, senior researcher and Europe director of the Taihe Institute, said, “Technology is like a double-edged sword. It can be used to do both good things and bad things. But once it develops, it will self-iterate forwardly. Therefore, the governance of disruptive technology fundamentally requires a multilateral cooperation and governance mechanism.”

Wendell Wallach, chair of Technology and Ethics Research Group at Yale Interdisciplinary Center for Bioethics, said technology does not have subjective consciousness, but to some extent, technology is like automatic driving. 

“It is now sitting in the driver’s seat, replacing manpower and affecting the future direction of human development,” Wallach said.

Under the topic of “Development and Opportunities in Certain Areas of Disruptive Technology,” Zhang Xinsheng, secretary-general of the Communications Science & Technology Commission at China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, discussed the nature and differences between 5G and 6G technologies. 

“If 5G targets the mobile internet and internet of things, 6G will be oriented to the smart network, which will create a “ternary society” — humans, physical society and virtual society,” Zhang said.

Han Zhigang, founder and CEO of Beijing Zhengqihe Health Technology Co., Ltd., pointed out that human science is a complex system featuring self-organization, self-adaptation, self-stability, self-balancing, etc. “Only when robots have these four capabilities, will it be possible for them to surpass humans,” he said.

Zhang Jianwei, professor at the University of Hamburg, Germany, talked about seven balances which need to be paid attention to during the research and development of AI: balance of technology and value, balance of innovation and regulation, balance of competition and cooperation, balance of government and market, balance of home and abroad, balance of acceptance and participation, and balance of uniqueness and additionality.

Yu Yang, CEO of Global Tone Communication Technology Co., Ltd., pointed out that the Global Technology Discovery and Value Discovery System could draw a complete picture of a company’s technological value through multidimensional methods such as patent information search, news information collection and technical experts’ analysis.

At the round table discussion of “the risks and threats that lead to an imbalance in the distribution of benefits, Lang Yongchun, senior vice president of, talked about the main contradiction of supply and demand relations from the perspective of the industrial internet. 

Lang believes that the industrial internet is eager to, in a fairer way, obtain global goods, further control costs, improve efficiency, ensure security of transactions and technology services, etc.

Fei Lianghong, chief advisor of cloud computing technology at Amazon Web Services, shared his ideas on disruptive business models, saying that at present, science and technology companies are dominating the global trend of business and development of science and technology. 

“Among science and technology giants, self-closure, isolation, and rejection of cooperation have become quite usual. Problems such as stratum solidification which may be caused by future development of science and technology are calling for the reconstruction of ethics, morality, law and perception of human society,” Fei said.

Shi Minyong, dean of the School of Computer Science at the Communication University of China, indicated that technological breakthroughs were inevitably subject to great uncertainty and suddenness. 

“R&D companies may acquire huge amounts of wealth in the short term and tend to be monopolistic. Modern governance can benefit more people from technological breakthroughs and maintain the relative fairness of society through secondary distribution of wealth,” Shi said.

Zhang Yu, head of the Business Intelligence Team of the Department of Strategy & Innovation of Nokia Shanghai Bell Co., Ltd., said the development of China’s 5G+ industrial internet faced the challenges of ecology, standards and speed among the countries. 

When talking about the role of the government in the development of disruptive technologies, Zhang said the government should play a supporting and guiding role, mobilizing large-scale central and state-owned enterprises, strengthening cooperation among Chinese ICT leaders, and accelerating 5G’s integration with the industrial internet.

Wang Jie, chairman and CEO of Cerno Inter, said, “Technological progress is playing a significant role in the process of driving the distribution of benefits. When a country embraces science and technology, its future will surely be brighter. Therefore, in this process, the combination of capital and technology will promote the progress of the whole industry.”

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