2020 Annual Report

The year has been challenging but not without inspiration. China Center’s first book, Intelligence and Wisdom: AI Meets Chinese Philosophers, was published by CITIC Press Group in February and has sold over 6300 copies. In March, while promoting the book, we moved all the Center’s activities online. We hosted two workshops on “AI Narratives in China”, a collaboration with Cambridge University’s Leverhulme Center, which explores the effects of local culture and historical narratives on the reception of AI in China. We also held three closed-door workshops for our “Facial Recognition and Privacy” program, which focuses on how facial recognition policies can best reflect cultural values and social practices. The Berggruen Seminar series was launched in July, and we have since hosted four events: “Confucian Common Sense Meets the AI Revolution”, “What Should Care Robots Care About?”, “Digital Personality”, and “AI, Emotion, and Ethics”.

We also launched a new online public program, the Global Thinkers series, which featured Jared Diamond at its inaugural event on risk management in coping with the global pandemic.

In October, the Center launched a new online product, Ruin, which brings together translated articles from Berggruen Institute’s journal Noema and other original contributions sourced locally. We hope that Ruibecomes a public square for creative thinkers where innovative ideas are recognized, debated, enriched, and propagated. We also launched an account on the video platform Bilibili, attracting more than 40,000 views over three live-streamed events.

The Center welcomed a new cohort of Fellows this year: Bai Shunong, Professor of Biology at Peking University; Duan Weiwen, Professor at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences; Hao Jingfang, science-fiction author and researcher; and Lu Qiaoying and Sabastian Sunday Grève, Assistant Professors at the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies, Peking University.

For details about our programs and communications platforms, please read China Center’s 2020 annual report.

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