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Taiwan Aims to be Global Leader in Artificial Intelligence with New AI HUB Initiative

The benefits of artificial intelligence (AI) technology have been validated in many domains, where AI has helped reduce costs, improve efficiency and productivity, and solve real-life problems. However, international communities are challenged by adverse factors such as US-China competition, changes in the supply chain, and the impact of COVID-19 and Taiwan’s enterprises and their development are no exception. In such circumstances, the role of the government is even more important. In response, the Taiwanese government has adopted various measures to support industrial AI research and development (R&D) and encourage companies to introduce AI technology by executing subsidy and public-private partnership (PPP) programs.

“The use cases for AI are growing rapidly, but enterprises may still be reluctant to risk adoption. Government programs that support AI companies and startups, as well as the adopting enterprises, are an important way to increase the development of the industry,” said Georgia Edell, Consulting Analyst at Frost & Sullivan. “In Taiwan, the Industrial Development Bureau is creating an environment to encourage AI adoption in a way that meets the real and immediate needs of the industry and that systematically supports companies at any level of digital maturity.”

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Taiwan Industrial Development Bureau’s AI HUB initiative has already enabled impressive outcomes in the Taiwan AI industry. By interviewing 20 industry associations on their pain points, a solid program constituting on-site visit, diagnosis, counseling, and matching services has facilitated more than 53 AI applications, accelerating the spread of AI in Taiwan’s private sector. Industries that have benefited from this program include medicine, manufacturing, agriculture/fishery, and security monitoring.

For example, Sun Yang Optics mainly manufactures projector lenses and employs humans to detect lens defects. This required significant time and effort, preventing the company from increasing its production value. After the intervention of AI HUB and the introduction of AOI technology for defect detection, production efficiency improved by 10% and annual revenue increased by more than $1,500,000, with significantly more international orders. The initiative has improved other companies and industries as well, increasing production value in manufacturing, improving worker safety, and improving care for the elderly in long-term care facilities. There are still new use cases being discovered that can improve efficiency and utilization and reduce costs, creating a more productive environment.

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As part of the “Digital Country Plan,” the government implemented the AI HUB project to accelerate the development of the AI industry in Taiwan. The program will continue to advance the industry, add value for enterprises, and ultimately make Taiwan a global leader in AI and a critical partner in the supply chain.

To make the platform more effective, AI HUB has identified tangible goals and ensures effectiveness by observing international trends each year and identifying different AI focus areas to promote. Successful cases include common AI for manufacturing, ECG classification in biomedicine, e-commerce purchase cycle forecasts, and interview simulations for human resources.

The AI HUB program aims to develop the AI industry in Taiwan by improving efficacy and accelerating development through the following:

  • Providing more support to AI companies in connecting with potential clients, leading to more R&D in the future.
  • Incentivizing enterprises across various industry segments to try AI applications without risking a bad investment.
  • Tailoring the program to develop AI adoption for real and immediate needs of industry segments, supported by the government, academia, industry experts and other stakeholders.
  • Highlighting multiple use cases exemplifying how AI has increased productivity and reduced costs for companies.

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