Date: May 26, 2019
By: Ralph Jennings
After a decade spent trying to remain competitive in the global high tech race, officials in Taiwan appear to have decided the answer lies in AI. Taiwan has been losing out on consumer electronics orders from offshore brands–the island’s long-time strength–as manufacturers look to cheaper factory hubs such as China. But investments in Taiwan by Google, Microsoft and Nvidia among others, all over the past year or two, show that Taiwan can start pivoting from hardware and become a leading R&D center in artificial intelligence.
In response, the government is now scrambling to develop talent, which may otherwise fall short of what it takes to keep attracting investments from big businesses. Premier Su Tseng-chang says 10,000 people will be trained every year for work in AI R&D. That ambition extends naturally from decades of educating engineers at the island’s universities. Silicon Valley firms are setting up shop in Taiwan exactly because of that talent, tech analysts say.
“In less than two years, Taiwan has become a stage for AI application innovations watched by the world,” Taiwan Premier Su Tseng-chang said in a statement on May 16. AI “bases” established in Taiwan by foreign tech giants, he said, will “raise industry competitiveness as well as raising the quality of life of our citizens.”
Artificial intelligence, or AI for short, refers to a type of computer science that lets machines act like humans, for example recognizing speech or making decisions based on large amounts of data. [FULL STORY]