CityU receives international award in artificial intelligence application


CityU receives international award in artificial intelligence application


Dr Andy Chun Hon-wai, Associate Professor in the Department of Computer Science at City University of Hong Kong (CityU), received an international award in July for the artificial intelligence (AI) system he designed for the Immigration Department in Hong Kong.


The Innovative Applications of AI (IAAI) Award was given by the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI), the world’s leading organization for AI academics and practitioners. The IAAI Award is the only well-known award for AI applied research in the world. This award is global recognition for CityU’s excellence in applied research.


The award-winning AI technology is an automatic assessment and decision support system that helps the Immigration Department streamline processes for issuing documents. The system encodes immigration-related Hong Kong laws and regulations and provides case references for immigration officers to assess applications more effectively. Using AI, the system learns the latest “best practices” and makes them available to all case officers. Since installation in early 2007, the system has contributed to improving the Immigration Department’s efficiency.


“The AI design for the Immigration Department was challenging. The laws and regulations, as well as the modeling of the decision-making process, were all highly complex,” Dr Chun said.


“To solve this multi-faceted problem, we used multiple AI paradigms, such as business rules, clustering, case-based reasoning and data mining to provide rapid decision support,” he added.  


In addition, Dr Chun recently designed an AI Workforce Management System for the Equestrian Event (Hong Kong) of the Games of the XXIX Olympiad Company Limited, which is part of the Hong Kong Equestrian Committee for the 2008 Olympics. The AI system is now being used for the “HKSAR 10th Anniversary Cup”, which doubles as a “dress rehearsal” for next year’s equestrian event in the Olympics.


The AI system ensures sufficient manpower to support the equestrian events in terms of administration, ticketing, promotion, security, medical services, technical support, and so forth. It also facilitates communication by providing messages, up-to-date information and work schedules. The system matches expertise and availability to ensure a sufficient number of appropriately-trained personnel for each task. This allows the Equestrian Company to optimize manpower resources while maximizing the quality of service.

“One of the challenges was that we had less than two months to develop the system,” Dr Chun said. “We had to build a robust, secure and intelligent system that can be used by over 1,000 users. Creating such system in a short time was not easy. Fortunately, we had extensive experience in developing AI scheduling systems and were able to provide a quick turn-around.”


Dr Chun has been performing applied research in AI for over 20 years. His applied research work has garnered numerous local and international awards, including receiving the prestigious Innovative Applications of AI Award on four separate occasions.


The AAAI is an international, non-profit, scientific society devoted to promoting AI worldwide. Each year AAAI gives out awards to different organizations for their outstanding performance in applying AI technologies.


CityU’s AI research helps enterprises maximize productivity, resulting in better quality of service for Hong Kong citizens. Many organizations in Hong Kong have benefited from CityU’s AI technologies, such as the Hongkong International Terminals, Hospital Authority, Airport Authority, MTR Corporation, among others.


CityU excels in professional education and applied research.



For media enquiries, please contact Zoey Tsang (phone: 2788 9411 / 9550 1503) of the Communications Office of the City University of Hong Kong.


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