Taiwan’s Government Pours $527m into AI Capability

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Taiwan’s government has announced plans to invest NT$16 billion ($527m) into the country’s artificial intelligence (AI) capability over the next four to five years. Its Ministry of Science and Technology has pledged the money, from its infrastructure bill and annual budget, to a raft of infrastructure and other projects that it hopes will help it gain a significant foothold, in a global market that is growing rapidly.

At the forefront of the investment is a series of AI research centers, beginning with an AI development base at the Southern Taiwan Science Park this week, followed by an AI manufacturing plant at Central Taiwan Science Park, in Taichung City, next month.

The plan’s five initiatives, according to the China Post, will be “incubating AI-based services, “adding value” to sectors like medicine and finance using AI, helping companies incorporate AI, promoting public participation in AI development, and building up innovation capacity for smart robotics.”

The latter of these will be given NT$2bn ($6.6m) to found 50 new companies, creating 4,000 jobs and 30 “key technologies or product sets” across the next four years. It follows calls from China, which treats Taiwan as a breakaway state, to ramp up investment in AI, and American budget cuts in the industry.

AI has quickly become one of the technology industry’s hottest markets. It expected to be worth $16.06bn by 2022, at a CAGR of 62.9%, with automotive, language, robotics and healthcare solutions providing the most promising platforms for ROI. The digitization of heavy industry, in movements such as Industry 4.0, also has great scope for increased AI implementation.