Joint APRU-Google Projects Serve As a Pillar of New PECC State of the Region Report
December 3, 2018

Hong Kong, November 30, 2018 — State of the Region Report 2018-2019 by the Pacific Economic Cooperation Council (PECC) published in mid-November prominently features two current APRU projects on artificial intelligence (AI).

PECC is the only non-government official observer of APEC, involving senior individuals from business and industry, government, academic and other intellectual circles.

It regularly provides information and analytical support to APEC ministerial meetings and working groups, with the latest State of the Region Report feeding into the 30th APEC ministerial meeting held in mid-November in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea.

The two highlighted APRU projects, funded by Google, are “Transformation of Work in Asia Pacific in the 21st Century” and “AI for Everyone: Benefitting from and building trust in the technology.”

“We proudly note that PECC draws on the insights developed from these two projects that are bringing together leading multidisciplinary experts across the Asia Pacific to explore the impact of AI on society and are actively informing policymakers,” said Christina Schönleber, APRU Director (Policy and Programs).

“It perfectly illustrates that APRU is able to facilitate collaboration as a way to draw on the development outside academia to ensure that the latest scientific insights really do reach policymakers,” she added.

“Transformation of Work in Asia Pacific in the 21st Century,” led by Professor Kar Yan Tam, Dean of the Business School at The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, will publish a comprehensive joint report in early 2019 that analyses the impact of AI on the transformation of work and workforce in the Asia Pacific to enable policymakers to address associated challenges.

“AI for Everyone: Benefitting from and building trust in the technology,” led by Professor Jiro Kokuryo from Keio University and Professor Toby Walsh from UNSW Sydney, explores the potential implications of societal challenges, such as fear of so-called “black box” machines manipulating human society and the risk of inference attack on privacy.

Both projects are in line with overall APEC 2018 theme of Harnessing Inclusive Opportunities, Embracing the Digital Future and the Google.Org Work Initiative, which supports groups around the world to understand and anticipate new technologies and demographic shifts that are changing the nature of work.

Next year, APRU and project leads will focus on project dissemination to make sure the outcomes are shared widely and applied to regional policy frameworks. APRU is looking forward to continuing working with Google on a wider collaborative policy network, focusing on AI for social good.