The 3rd B4B Challenge – AI Solutions Address the Pain Points of Traditional Industries and Bring Opportunities

(17 Apr 2019, Hong Kong) The 3rd B4B Challenge, organised by B4B Limited in partnership with Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation (HKSTP), held the award presentation ceremony today at Hong Kong Science Park. This half-year competition aims to promote the development of a healthy and sustainable ecosystem for Big Data and AI innovation in Hong Kong and to match talents and enterprises with an intensive accelerator programme.

“AI and Beyond” Promotes Local Big Data Competitiveness

  This year’s contest was themed “AI & Beyond”. Thirty teams from Professional and Student streams competed to enter the final stage. The 12 finalists come from Hong Kong, Mainland China, Thailand, Indonesia and Australia, with opportunities to join the Energiser Week in Shanghai to gain insights on Mainland China business operation, followed by a three-month mentorship guided by industry and domain experts.

  The award ceremony was officiated by Mr. Victor Lam, Government Chief Information Officer, The Government of the HKSAR; Mr. Herbert Chia, Honorary Chairman, B4B Limited; Dr. Toa Charm, Associate Professor, CUHK Business School; Mr. Yong Lu, Director of Shanghai Data Innovation Centre & Vice President of Shanghai Data Exchange; Mr. Francois Lee, Director, B4B Limited; Mr. Peter Yeung, Headof Electronics & ICT Clusters, Smart City Platform, HKSTP and Ir. Stephen Lau, Personal Data Privacy Advisor, B4B Challenge. The Champion teams of the Professional and Student streams were announced.

Professional Stream Champion – AI Photography Enhances the Efficiency of Traditional Garment Industry

  Quikec International Ltd. (Quikec), an incubate of HKSTP’s Incubation Programme, was named the Champion of the Professional Stream. With big data of over 160 thousand finished apparels under a 360 degree camera, Quikec’s “AI360-Q” photo-shooting application can accurately address every production detail of each apparel and to find potential defects. The automatic apparel quality check programme uses AI technology to check the quality of the product anytime and pick up all the problematic products, hence it greatly reduces the time for quality inspection done by labour and improves production efficiency.

  The judging panel stated that the project of Quikec using image/video analytics to automate apparel quality check processes fits well in the current industry situation. Throughout the six-month competition, the team took the mentors’ comments and recommendations seriously and significantly improved their market approach. The determination and dedication resulted in Quikec becoming the Champion of the Professional Stream.

Student Stream Champion – AI Helps Graduates in Video Interview

  HiHire is the Champion of the Student Stream. Their project was inspired by challenges faced by graduates when doing video interviews. Nowadays, many corporates screen job applicants by reviewing their video interview clips. The selection is done by AI application and the screening criteria is not open to public, so it is difficult for applicants to evaluate their performance. HiHire develops an evaluation software by analysing the overall performance of interviewing video clips that were sent to corporates by local graduates. With the AI software programme, candidates will get a report on their presentation skills including their gesture, tonality, level of confidence, etc, to help improve their interviewing skills. The programme collects data from successful interview clips from various companies which allows applicants to practice based on the criteria that their targeted companies look for; thus increase their chance of being selected.

  The judging panel expressed that HiHire’s solution on tackling the needs of graduates facing job application is very inspiring. Although the team members are all university students, their ability to visualize their prototype inspires the judges.

A Remarkable Advancement on the 3rd Year of Competition

  The final assessment of the competition was held on 23rd March. Mr. Herbert Chia, Honorary Chairman, B4B Limited & Principal Mentor, B4B Challenge, said: “With the information release in the industry and the increasing interest of the society in big data, the level of the participating teams has made leap forward. In the third year, we had more local team support, also we saw people from different industry backgrounds. The theme application varied from engineering, medical, traditional industries, and graduate interviewing sector. In the near future, the development of big data and artificial intelligence will be a more user-friendly and basic applied technology.

I am very pleased to see that the competition has raised attention and support from all sectors. The outstanding performance of the past two years’ winners is impressive. Big data and artificial intelligence are still very new in Hong Kong. Their development needs to be escorted by industry insiders. Special thanks to the professionals in the industry for their work as a mentor and reviewer. Domestic resources will be a major breakthrough in local development. That’s the reason why we visited Shanghai and Beijing respectively for exchange and gained great learnings. In the future, we will also introduce more domestic research results and development direction to broaden the market for Hong Kong big data start-ups and students’ innovative solution. I hope that all of us can continue to work together to promote big data and artificial intelligence in Hong Kong. ”

  Albert Wong, Chief Executive Officer of HKSTP, said, “We are delighted that the B4B Challenge, co-organised with B4B Limited, contributes to grooming big data and AI talent. As data is important for driving technological innovation, Science Park’s Data Studio opens up data for the competition. It is encouraging to see that enterprises from various industries are willing to provide data for participants to develop their solutions. It shows that the private sector is increasingly active in promoting innovation and technology (I&T) development and making efforts to attract more young talent to join the I&T ecosystem.

  HKSTP is committed to promoting AI and Robotics (AIR) and Smart City technologies, and collaborating with industry, academia, research and public bodies to support the I&T community with facilities and services. Our recently launched AI Plug@HKSTP and Robotics Catalysing Centre 2.0 will help to expand AIR applications in Hong Kong. Hong Kong Science Park serves as a living laboratory for testing and pioneering innovative ideas as well as an ideal environment for realizing smart city solutions. As the Greater Bay Area develops into an international I&T hub, we look forward to seeing the increased data engagement activities in the region, which will fuel the development of data-driven technologies in the near future.”

  The selection criteria of champion is based on four elements: innovation and creativity, functionality, benefits and market potential and team presentation. The officiating guests also shared the application and derivation of big data and artificial intelligence during the ceremony.

  Big data and commercial application of AI are constantly attracting attention of the social business community. The B4B Challenge comes to the third year and receives loads of support from sponsors, including 800 Teleservices, Fung Group, Kwoon Chung Bus and Ronald Lu & Partners, etc. The winners and alumni of past two years respectively – Emblocsoft, Farseer and KAMI – also supported the event to encourage the creativity of their junior fellows.