The establishment of an artificial intelligence R&D center in Taipei City by Microsoft Taiwan Corp. is welcomed by the government and represents a resounding vote of confidence in the country’s human capital, Premier Lai Ching-te said Jan. 10.
AI is a key industry targeted for strategic promotion by the government, Lai said during the center’s launch ceremony. It is anticipated the center will spur local development of AI and harness Taiwan’s world-leading capabilities in high-tech manufacturing, information and communication technology, semiconductors and vertical integration, he added.
According to Lai, the government will spend NT$16 billion (US$540.52 million) over the next five years building an ecosystem fostering AI innovation with support from the academic and private sectors. Complementary measures in place include establishment of a homegrown R&D center and the Project Moonshot semiconductor initiative, he said.
Announced last August by the Ministry of Science and Technology, the NT$4 billion, four-year undertaking encompasses cognitive computing and AI processor chips; next-generation memory designs; process technologies and materials for key components of sensing devices; unmanned vehicles and augmented and virtual reality applications; and Internet of Things systems and security. It also involves producing more talents versed in semiconductor process technologies, material development and integrated circuit design.
Citing statistics released by the World Economic Forum in 2016, Lai said AI-related global output will reach US$3 trillion in 2030. In addition to bolstering Taiwan’s industrial development and national competitiveness, AI will enhance the well-being of the people by helping reduce air pollution and assist in natural disaster management and mitigation.
The center was set up under a memorandum of understanding on AI development inked between MOST’s National Applied Research Laboratories and Microsoft in December 2017. It is the first of its kind in Taiwan established by a major international company with full support from government.
According to Microsoft, the center will focus its R&D activity on audience intent recognition, integration of AI vertical industrial applications and swiftkey smart input of Chinese characters. A total NT$1 billion is to be invested by the company on building a 100-member team within the next two years and doubling its size within the next five.
Source: Taiwan Today (http://taiwantoday.tw/news.php?unit=6&post=127849)