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HKUST President Prof. Nancy IP at “Winter Davos” 2024: Longevity is about Adding Life to Years, Not Just Years to Life

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President of the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST), Prof. Nancy IP was among the esteemed global leaders and personalities attending the 2024 World Economic Forum in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland to address some of the most substantive issues facing our world today. Prof. Ip added her unique perspective to vibrant discussions on healthy aging, climate change, the integral role of universities in fostering advancements in sustainability, and AI research and education.
Under the theme of “Rebuilding Trust”, this year’s Annual Meeting convened over 3,000 distinguished global leaders from government, business, and civil society from more than 125 countries, including members from the G7, G20 and heads of international organizations, to rebuild a basis of trust amidst complex challenges, foster global cooperation, and address pressing issues such as climate change, economic growth, artificial intelligence among others.
As the sole university president from Hong Kong at the Forum, Prof. Ip was invited to participate in a number of important exchanges, including a panel discussion on global demographic shifts entitled, “Navigating Longer Lifespans”. Prof. Ip shared insights with prominent leaders from multinational corporations and government entities including European Commission, Manulife Financial and Mercer (Marsh McLennan). She underscored the importance of maintaining brain health and enriching quality of life as we age.
“It’s not just about adding more years to our life, but adding life to our years,” Prof. Ip said. “We need to ensure that our extended lifespans are marked by vitality, cognitive clarity, and the ability to make meaningful contributions to society.” While technological advancements have greatly improved overall health conditions, the elderly population remains vulnerable to age-related diseases. For instance, projections indicate that the global number of individuals afflicted by Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) is expected to surpass 100 million by 2050.
In light of the circumstances, Prof. Ip calls for the prioritization of “brain health for all”. She urges the public and private sectors to invest in research, and allocate additional resources towards understanding the intricacies of aging brains, with the aim of mitigating the risk of neurodegenerative diseases among the elderly population. As a higher education leader, Prof. Ip champions the importance of universities in promoting lifelong learning and implementing flexible curricula to empower the elderly to re-engage with the workforce.
As an internationally acclaimed neuroscientist, Prof. Ip has garnered global recognition for her exceptional contributions to the development of diagnostic, prognostic, and therapeutic tools for AD. Notably, her research team’s groundbreaking development of a simple yet robust blood test for early detection and screening of AD stands as testament to her commitment to combating this global health challenge.
Beyond the panel discussion, Prof. Ip hosted a table at a gala dinner, where she facilitated dialogues with luminaries. Their conversations explored the synergies between science, culture, and business in addressing the pressing challenges posed by climate change and the environment.
At the thought-provoking meetings of the Global University Leaders Forum (GULF), an exclusive platform consisting of 29 presidents of the world’s top universities, Prof. Ip stated that by harnessing the collective power of our intellectual capital through open innovation, we could unleash infinite possibilities for a sustainable and resilient future. In another GULF meeting on AI governance, Prof. Ip underscored the importance for universities to holistically integrate ethics, social impact, and governance into AI-related curriculum.
Reflecting on the forum, Prof. Ip expressed her deep appreciation for being a part of the significant event, “In a world full of uncertainties and challenges, universities play a pivotal role in driving collaboration for the betterment of society. The Forum provides a crucial platform for leaders around the world to deep-dive into critical issues that shape the future. Through these fruitful and insightful exchanges, I am delighted to contribute to shaping ideas and generating insights for building a better planet.”
The post HKUST President Prof. Nancy IP at “Winter Davos” 2024: Longevity is about Adding Life to Years, Not Just Years to Life appeared first on HIPTHER Alerts.

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Klarna says its AI assistant does the work of 700 people after it laid off 700 people

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The Swedish fintech, which was criticized for its handling of a dramatic staff reduction in 2022, is touting new efficiencies powered by OpenAI.

Klarna is bullish on bots.
One month after taking its OpenAI-powered virtual assistant global, the Swedish buy-now, pay-later company has released new data touting its ability to handle customer communications, make shoppers happier, and even drive better financial results.
The app-based AI chatbot already handles two-thirds of all customer service chats, the company said Tuesday—some 2.3 million conversations so far—with the virtual assistant earning customer satisfaction ratings at the same level as human agents. Klarna, which is expected to go public this year and will need all the hype it can get at a time when investors have been generally frosty toward IPOs, estimates that the chatbot could help improve its profits by $40 million in 2024.
Announcing a partnership with OpenAI early last year, Klarna said it was one of the first companies to integrate the firm’s groundbreaking ChatGPT technology into a plug-in for shopping. The natural-language interface initially helped customers choose items and make other shopping-related decisions based on personalized queries, a feature Klarna described as “smooth shopping.”
The company has continued to build out its AI offerings since then. Its app-based assistants are now available to customers worldwide and handle a variety of tasks including refunds, cancellations, and even disputes.
Klarna boasted in its announcement on Tuesday that the AI assistant “is doing the equivalent work of 700 full-time agents.”
That statement may raise eyebrows for anyone who remembers the middle of 2022, when the company laid off roughly the same number of employees, then about 10% of its staff. At the time, CEO Sebastian Siemiatkowski cited economic uncertainty, inflation, and the likelihood of a recession as reasons for the cuts. He was criticized for his handling of the staff reduction after he shared a public spreadsheet on LinkedIn that contained the names of many of the laid-off workers.
Fast Company asked Klarna how the company arrived at its calculation for its AI assistant’s human-equivalent productivity. The company said the number of equivalent jobs the AI could perform wasn’t related to the layoffs. In a statement, a spokesperson said the company’s customer service is supported by four to five large third-parties that collectively have over 650,000 employees, and that it offers customers the option to speak with human agents if that’s what they prefer.
“This is in no way connected to the workforce reductions in May 2022, and making that conclusion would be incorrect,” the statement read. “We chose to share the figure of 700 to indicate the more long-term consequences of AI technology, where we believe it is important to be transparent in order to create an understanding in society. We think [it’s] important to proactively address these issues and encourage a thoughtful discussion around how society can meet and navigate this transformation.”
Companies have used chatbots for years to handle low-level customer queries and other interactions, although these tools are expected to become more versatile in the wake of advancements in artificial intellegence.
Source: Fast Company

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ASTRI fully supports Budget to invest in the future

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The Hong Kong Applied Science and Technology Research Institute (ASTRI) welcomes the Financial Secretary’s robust and actionable initiatives outlined in the latest Budget, reinforcing Hong Kong’s status as a leading international hub for innovation and technology (I&T). These strategic moves are designed to enhance the city’s appeal for investment and talent, catalysing the growth of I&T ecosystem with a focus on fostering a green future and advancing digitalisation, injecting fresh impetus into Hong Kong’s high-quality development.
ASTRI is at the forefront with a cache of mature innovative technologies, ranging from AI, Blockchain, Cybersecurity, Digital Twins, Eco-Tech, FinTech and Micro-electronics, that are ready for commercialisation and adoption. These technologies are poised to expedite the green and digital transformation of local businesses, and support Hong Kong to develop as an international green financial centre and establish a highly efficient data ecosystem.
Realise I&T commercialisation
Ir Sunny Lee, Chairman, ASTRI, expressed gratitude for HKSAR Government’s unwavering support towards innovation and technology, bringing new partners and investments for the sector.  ASTRI is committed to collaborating with the government, and developing more applied technologies that positively impact the business and society, with a focus on commercialisation and industrialisation for the greater good.
He added that the I&T sector is actively engaged in the national development plan, seizing “Greater Bay Area” (GBA) and “Belt and Road” (B&R) opportunities, and promoting high-quality development with a focus on technological advancement and green sector. “With ASTRI’s newly-opened office in Shenzhen Futian District, we will further promote GBA companies to adopt Hong Kong-invented innovative technologies to upgrade and transform. With the advanced Hong Kong platform, we aim at helping technologies developed in the region to go global, tapping into B&R countries and beyond.”
Focus on Fintech and Green Tech
Dr Denis Yip, Chief Executive Officer, ASTRI said he is pleased that more resources will be allocated on supporting I&T sector, building I&T ecosystem and strengthening collaboration among government, industry, academia and research institutes, investing the future together. “Technology and finance are the twin engines for the city’s economic development. ASTRI-develop fintech and green tech would revolutionalise traditional industries, and promote the development of new sector such as digital assets, bringing new opportunities for I&T companies and new areas of growth.”
Dr Yip stressed that apart from promoting green finance and digitisation, ASTRI is also committed to the development of the whole I&T ecosystem. He added that three alliances have been set up in the past year, namely, Microelectronics Technology Consortium, Smart Mobility Technology (C-V2X) Alliance and Fintech and ESG Alliance. The fourth one on ConTech and PropTech is on the way, facilitating knowledge transfer and technology innovation. ASTRI will also facilitate industrial transformation and economic growth through I&T. Looking ahead, ASTRI will continue incubating new blood through various talent programmes, expanding the I&T talent pool in the city.
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Natural Personal Care Ingredients Market worth $7.9 billion by 2028 – Exclusive Report by MarketsandMarkets™

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The report “Natural Personal Care Ingredients Market  by Type (Emollients, Surfactnats, Rheology Modifiers, Preservatives, Active Ingredients), Application (Skin Care, Hair Care, Make-up, Oral Care), and Region – Global Forecast to 2028″, Natural Personal Care Ingredients Market size was USD 5.3 billion in 2022 and is projected to reach USD 7.9 billion by 2028, at a CAGR of 8.3%, between 2023 and 2028.
The market is projected to grow because of the evolving lifestyle across globe. These natural Ingredients play a crucial role in various skin care, hair care, oral care, make-up, and other applications such as foundations, serums, shampoos, bath soaps, shower gels, creams, face masks, sun care products, lip balms, lipsticks, color cosmetics and others. In addition, due to the increasing population, increasing demand for natural ingredients, technological advancements and changing consumer preferences the demand for natural personal care ingredients can increase due to various applications.
Browse in-depth TOC on “Natural Cosmetics Ingredients Market”

198 – Tables        
68 – Figures
241– Pages

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“Surfactants are projected to register the highest CAGR, in terms of value, of the global natural personal care ingredients market during the forecast period.”
Surfactants are expected to grow rapidly in the natural personal care ingredients market due to increased demand for sustainable products in cosmetics and personal care, as well as their use in pharmaceuticals. They function as surface-active agents, meaning they help reduce surface tension between different substances, allowing them to mix more effectively. Therefore, surfactants are crucial in skincare, haircare, and cosmetics like creams and lotions. Also, the rising awareness of natural ingredients in personal care boosts the demand for natural surfactants. Thus, surfactants are widely used in applications such as skin care, hair care, make-up, oral care, and others, which will increase demand for them in the future.
“The hair care is estimated to be the second-largest application of natural personal care ingredients market, in terms of value, during the forecast period.”
As individuals tackle with a different hair-related issues, ranging from hair loss and thinning to dryness and damage, the demand for effective solutions continues to rise. Combined by the diverse array of hair types, each with its unique needs, such as curly, straight, fine, or coarse, the market for tailored hair care products grows rapidly. Moreover, escalating levels of pollution, characterized by airborne toxins and particulate matter, further exacerbate hair woes, triggering issues like scalp irritation, dullness, and accelerated hair aging. Consequently, the hair care application within the natural personal care ingredients market stands composed for sustained growth, driven by the imperative for complete solutions that address these multifaceted challenges while prioritizing natural and sustainable ingredients.
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“Europe is estimated to be the largest market for the natural personal care ingredients market, in terms of value, during the forecast period.”
The adoption of natural personal care ingredients in this region has increased due to changing environment, concerns about increasing health hazards linked to synthetic ingredients, and shift in lifestyle preferences towards eco-conscious and sustainable products. Moreover, The European region is estimated to be the second-fastest growing regions in the world, with rising disposable incomes. This is creating a favourable environment for the growth of the natural personal care ingredients market. Accordingly, Europe will be the largest market for natural personal care ingredients market during the forecast period.
The key players profiled in the report include BASF SE (Germany), Croda International Plc (UK), Ashland Inc. (US), The Lubrizol Corporation (US), Evonik Industries AG (Germany), Dow Inc. (US), Symrise AG (Germany), and others.
Browse Adjacent Market: Specialty Chemicals Market Research Reports & Consulting
Related Reports:
Green Preservatives Market – GLOBAL FORECAST TO 2028
Biosurfactants Market – GLOBAL FORECAST TO 2028
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