Telum Talks To... Wang Shifeng, Chief Editor, The Yuan
The Yuan aims to create an international community in the artificial intelligence (AI) medical industry and invites contributors from all over the world to join the community. What's the rationale behind this?
The community concept comes from the thinking that rationality does not always find its place in the world of public opinion. "Globalisation" is constantly being challenged, and the Internet is filled with prejudice, hatred, and lies. Rational voices are hard to be heard and to be expressed, which is obvious in the data-driven world of social media. We want to change all that. In the blossoming era of AI, we hope to build an open community where every opinion will be respected.
We also find AI, as much as the previously invented technologies, should be for everyone, not just for specific groups. I hope that The Yuan can convey rational voices on what AI means. AI should bring warmth to both developed and developing countries. We also hope to improve the social awareness of AI.
All of our content comes from contributors located around the world. Thanks to the resource network of Evomics Medical, the parent company of The Yuan, we have been able to invite well-known commentators, policymakers, and even Nobel Prize winners to be our writers. They form an important part of our international community.
The Yuan was founded in 2021. Is this related to the challenges posed by COVID-19 for the medical industry?
The pandemic has given us time to reflect on the past and look to the future. While there are many tragic aspects to the pandemic, we have also witnessed positive changes brought about by the power of technology in this disaster. In this regard, we hope that The Yuan can play the role of an observer and recorder along the way. Time will tell if we have taken the right path.
Could you tell us more about The Yuan's editorial team?
We are an international team with 10 staff members coming from different cities and regions: Shanghai, Hong Kong, London, Berlin, New York, and Zambia. We intend to keep our team small to be more efficient. Much of our content covers China, the United States, and Europe, as they are the key markets in the AI medical field. However, we also pay attention to other potential markets.
What is the proportion of Yuan's coverage of the AI medical market in China compared with the rest of the world?
We do not intend to split our coverage purely based on geography. In fact, we believe that AI and related technologies will permeate every corner of the world like the Internet, and its developments in different regions will be synced. As mentioned above, not only do we cover the more developed markets (of China, North America, and Europe), but we also cover the developments of the up and coming markets, such as the Philippines, Indonesia, and Myanmar in Southeast Asia, India and Pakistan in South Asia, Nigeria in Africa, and Chile in South America.
Having said that, most of our audience comes from the United States and what we write about also depends on the interests of our contributors.
What are the challenges The Yuan has encountered so far?
The Yuan is a team built to the highest standards and we strive to closely follow the dynamics of the media industry as a whole. In this connection, our Executive Chief Editor Zhou Xin was previously the CEO and Chief Editor of Yicai Global; Dr Kim Taylor a Cambridge University graduate, who worked at the BBC, and former European Commission press officer, William Scott, who is the platform’s English Editor. We do need to produce the best work in order to stay relevant and bring positive changes to our society as our mission is being the rational force in the field. We are lucky to have received very positive feedback from our audience.
As for the challenge, our team started from scratch and we would have hoped to have grown even quicker.
Perhaps there is still a long way to go for the general public to completely understand and make use of AI. You mentioned that The Yuan 2022's goal is to "demystify" AI. What specific actions will be taken to achieve this goal?
In 2022 and 2023, we will position The Yuan as a bridge between the industry and the general public. We are a platform that welcomes different opinions with a focus on sensible and, sometimes academic, discussions. We want to show that AI is neither unreachable nor dismissible and to lead rational discussions on relevant topics. We will be learning by doing.
What advice would you give to professionals or business representatives who are interested in joining the community?
We don't really screen our contributors, but one thing we do care about is that we expect our contributors to facilitate rational debates. For those interested, please talk directly with our editorial team. We respect every voice.
Collaboration with PR?
The Yuan welcomes engaging with related enterprises, so we are open to ideas. Apart from the content production side of things, we also carry out online and offline activities with top medical institutions, consulting companies, and industry think tanks. For example, we will in March hold an online forum with a European think-tank.