APRU Mobilizes Its Network to Inform Asia-Pacific Policymakers on AI and Automation
April 19, 2018

Amid the on-going debate over how AI and the 4th industrial revolution will affect the future of work in the Asia Pacific region, APRU has been stepping up its efforts to bringing together scholars and private sector experts to analyze and address the affiliated economic risks and reservations.

After teaming up with Google to explore AI-policy issues in late-2017, the second joint APRU-Google project, Transformation of Work in Asia-Pacific in the 21st Century, has in January passed its first face-to-face meeting involving seven academics from APRU member universities and international institutions across the region.

The aim of the project, which is hosted by the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) and led by Professor Kar Yan Tam, Dean of HKUST Business School, is the production of a comprehensive joint report that analyses the transformation and provides policy recommendations.

“AI and automation will transform the future of work, and APRU plays an important role in harnessing the collective research expertise and insights from its experts across the Asia Pacific region,” said Professor Kar Yan Tam.

“The project outcomes will empower policymakers to address the widespread fears that are associated with the workforce challenges in the Asia Pacific deriving from the transformation,” he added.

The report, projected for completion in October-November 2018, will consist of four chapters addressing how the digital age is transforming industry and society; what this transformation means for the preparation of the future workforce; and what direction policy responses should take.

Initial publication will be in English followed by other language translations on a selected basis.

Ensuring that the project’s outcomes will indeed make their way to the relevant policymakers, it is in line with the overall APEC 2018 theme of Harnessing Inclusive Opportunities, Embracing the Digital Future.

The theme’s three priorities are improving connectivity and deepening regional economic integration; promoting inclusive and sustainable growth; and strengthening economic growth through structural reform.

“New technologies and demographic shifts are changing the way we work, and through the Google.org Work Initiative, we’re backing groups around the world to understand and anticipate those changes,” said Jacquelline Fuller, President of Google.org.

“We’re pleased to support APRU in researching how work is changing across the diverse and growing Asia-Pacific region,” she added.

APRU member universities and an academic institution participating in the project are Seoul National University, Yonsei University (Korea), UNSW Sydney (Australia), University of Tokyo (Japan), Asian Institute of Management (Philippines), National University of Singapore (Singapore) and the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.