Nishan Dialogue: New horizons in sight as ancient wisdom meets AI



The rapid development of modern technologies, such as big data and artificial intelligence (AI), has brought great innovations, and with them many challenges too, one of which is how to help traditional cultures survive and thrive in the new age.



"Our interpretation of traditional Chinese culture requires creative transformation and innovative development, and should always keep pace with the times,” commentator Xie Weifeng wrote in an opinion piece on the Chinese website of the Beijing-based Guangming Daily.

“To take over the relay baton from our predecessors and carry forward our excellent traditional culture is our historical responsibility,” he wrote.

His opinion piece was a precursor of the World Internet Conference Nishan Dialogue on Digital Civilization, to be held from June 25 to 27 in Nishan, Qufu, East China’s Shandong province. The dialogue is themed on "the Age of AI: Building a Digital World of Exchanges, Mutual Learning and Inclusiveness." Nishan is an important cultural and historical site in China and the birthplace of the Chinese educator and philosopher Confucius.

The development of the Internet has expanded people’s access to the world, and the AI industry has also undergone profound changes. No one can single-handedly tackle all the risks and challenges brought about by AI. To fully grasp a technological novelty such as AI at a time of such great changes, Xie believes that people need more toolboxes.

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In his opinion, traditional Confucian wisdom, such as empathetic reflection to live and let live and the gentlemen’s deportment in agreeing to disagree, may offer a clue to the solutions to those challenges.

“When traditional culture meets emerging technology, we have the opportunity to explore more about AI,” he wrote. According to him, the Nishan Dialogue, with AI-centered topics, would be an exploration in just that direction. 

The full text of Xie’s opinion piece can be accessed on the Chinese website of the Beijing-based Guangming Daily.