Taiwan seeks to create best environment for AI innovation, applications

At the Cabinet’s weekly meeting Thursday, Premier Su Tseng-chang received a briefing from the Executive Yuan’s Office of Science and Technology (OST) on the AI Taiwan Action Plan. He said that the highest purpose of scientific and technological development is to improve the nation’s quality of life by serving people’s everyday needs and providing industrial applications. Government agencies should, in addition to carrying out their responsibilities, help transform Taiwan into the best possible environment for artificial intelligence (AI) innovation and applications.

To ease restrictions on AI technology, Taiwan has announced the Unmanned Vehicles Technology Innovative Experimentation Act, the first of its kind in the world covering autonomous vehicles on land, at sea, and in the air, Premier Su continued. Taiwan also launched its first self-driving vehicle testing ground in Tainan’s Shalun Smart Green Energy Science City this past February. As for AI applications, a public internet-of-things (IoT) information network called Civil IoT Taiwan has been set up to monitor natural disasters and track air quality.

Taiwan already enjoys strong foundations in semiconductors and the information and communications industry, the premier said. Combined with recent government efforts to develop the digital economy and improve the investment climate, Taiwan has attracted global attention as an AI innovation hub. Tech heavyweights such as Google, Microsoft and Nvidia have all chosen to set up AI research centers in Taiwan, affirming their confidence in Taiwan, the premier said.

The OST in its report said that semiconductor chips, which form the heart of AI computing, are not only a core technology but an industrial strength for Taiwan. To support R&D in AI chip technologies, the government has established an interministerial taskforce on the “AI on chip” demonstration project that includes Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Corp., MediaTek, and 13 other chip designers and semiconductor companies as participants. Taiwan will continue to expand its advantages as it occupies a world-leading position in the semiconductor chip industry.

Since late 2018, Taiwan has combined AI with IoT technology to create the public IoT information system and set up some 5,000 sensor stations to observe water, air, land and natural disasters. The user interface allows environmental inspection authorities, for instance, to use AI computing capabilities to track dangerous pollution. More innovative AI technologies for daily applications will be introduced in the near future, the office added.

Date: 2019-05-16
Source: Department of Information Services, Executive Yuan