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Image of Robot in the Frankopan Hall

How robots will change our lives: A conversation with Ken Li

Machine automation and artificial intelligence have gained prominence in our lives. From universities to tech-savvy criminals, people are capitalising on emerging technology for a host of professional, even daily, tasks. In China, the world’s largest market for industrial and domestic robots, large domestic market and government incentives are growing the industry rapidly.

On 21 November 2018, the Intellectual Forum and Cambridge Oriental Culture Association hosted Mr Ken Li, Chairman and CEO of one of China’s leading commercial robot manufacturers Chuangze Intelligent Robot Co. Ltd., to discuss robotics now and in the future.

Mr Li highlighted how robots are being used across industry to perform many tasks, improving efficiency and allowing for work around the clock. He also highlighted how robots are increasingly making it into Chinese homes and schools. They are looking after children, helping with math homework, and acting as teaching assistants in resource limited locations. He noted also that they are providing help to the elderly, and providing other home assistance. Many more capabilities are emerging daily.

"Jerry", an intelligent service robot, was on hand to demonstrate some of the new technologies. While only two days old, and new to the English language, Jerry welcomed the crowd and even circulated to say "hello" during a drinks reception in the new West Court at Jesus College. To the delight of the audience, Jerry even managed a dance or two.

Julian Huppert, Director of the Intellectual Forum said "It was really interesting to learn more about home robotics in China - both the technology now available, and also the social context, which is very different from the way these issues are considered in the UK. We are also delighted to welcome Jerry to the Intellectual Forum!"

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