Lingnan President S. Joe Qin welcomes Zhejiang University delegation and explores the impact of data science and AI on education

24 Feb 2024

To strengthen collaborative ties with prestigious institutions on the mainland, Lingnan University recently welcomed a delegation from Zhejiang University. The delegation, consisting of 31 outstanding students participating in the Morningside Cultural China Scholars Programme, along with three accompanying teachers, engaged with Prof S. Joe Qin, President and Wai Kee Kau Chair Professor of Data Science of Lingnan University, who also delivered a keynote address titled "The Emerging Era of Data Science and AI".


During his presentation, Prof Qin took a user-centric approach, utilising GPT 4.0 to generate profiles of Lingnan graduates from various eras. This served as a starting point to analyse the impact of data science and AI on liberal arts education. Emphasising the transformative nature of GPT as an artificial intelligence tool, Prof Qin highlighted the increasing user-friendliness of AI, which can become as easy to use as Excel. Lingnan University, at the forefront of digital innovation, has provided complimentary access to ChatGPT and GPT 4.0 for faculty and students since July last year. The university community has embraced these tools, demonstrating an upward trajectory in usage. Periodic feedback is collected to facilitate continuous improvement in teaching and learning experiences.


Prof Qin added that education models that only focus on skill acquisition, such as computer coding, can easily be replaced by AI. Consequently, nurturing innovative and critical thinking through liberal arts education assumes paramount importance in an AI-dominated future. He envisioned interdisciplinary courses integrating arts and sciences as the evolving paradigm in education. Society should cultivate students adept at mastering AI skills in demand by the market, concurrently shaping responsible leaders capable of making professional decisions concerning AI systems. During the interactive question and answer session, visiting students proactively asked questions, engaging in substantive discussions with Prof Qin.


Every year, the Zhejiang University Morningside Cultural China Scholars Programme chooses around 30 high-achieving undergraduate students to become Morningside Scholars to foster future leaders who are deeply rooted in Chinese civilisation and have a broad understanding of global issues. The programme invites renowned scholars and distinguished individuals to share with the scholars.