The following article is from the acceptance speech by Sega Cheng, iKala's Co-Founder and CEO, during the awards ceremony.
In every leap of technological advancement throughout human history, the world has been compelled to reevaluate critical matters.
AI is not only becoming more human-like but also exhibiting the ability to even surpass the average person in listening, speaking, reading, and writing. The recent achievements of AI prompt us to revisit a crucial question: What exactly is human consciousness, and can AI possess it?
Consciousness remains the ultimate frontier in science and potentially the last differentiating factor between humans and machines.
I actually have a subtle concern that recent advancements in AI might reinforce our belief in materialism, suggesting that the world is merely composed of material substances and that consciousness is nothing more than a human illusion, devoid of any mystical essence.
This viewpoint not only diminishes our spirit of exploring the unknown but also leads us into the world of predestined fatalism, causing us to lose our sense of purpose, which is quite a perilous matter.
In the 19th century, people mocked the concept of "bacteria" and denied their existence, but eventually, bacteria were indeed discovered. Similarly, in the 20th century, quantum mechanics upended classical physics, making us realize that the world is not as it appears. Even Einstein, during his lifetime, concluded that relativity breaks down at the center of black holes.
The more we understand this world, the more we realize how limited our understanding of it is. There is no reason for complacency.
The value of technology is never determined by its novelty but by its ability to benefit humanity and to help us address currently unsolved questions.
AI undoubtedly stands as one of the greatest technological advancements of this century, and I consider myself fortunate to witness its flourishing. I firmly believe that AI, as a powerful technology, will usher in a quantum leap in human society. In 2005, I embarked on my AI research journey at Stanford University. In 2012, iKala officially commenced its operations. From cloud, big data to today's AI, we have continuously evolved and achieved success.
Today, my entrepreneurial journey has evolved into my vocation. It's not about the goal of becoming a unicorn; it's about keeping moving forward on this path, leveraging technology to benefit humanity while gaining a deeper understanding of the essence of the world.
This award is dedicated to my beloved father, mother, brother, and all my dearest family members.