Taiwan’s Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) has announced plans to invest $527 million over the next five years in an effort to boost the country’s artificial intelligence abilities. The funding will come from Taiwan’s infrastructure bill, as well as the cabinet’s annual budget. The focal point will be an AI manufacturing base in Central Taiwan Science Park, which is expected to open in September. An AI development center will also be added to Southern Taiwan Science Park soon after.

Multiple Initiatives

MOST is planning five different initiatives for development which take advantage of artificial intelligence in various sectors.

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The first task, with a four-year budget of $165 million, will set up high-performance computing capability for use by academic and research technologies, as well as businesses, to develop Big Data analysis technologies and deep learning. The money will also fund the application of these technologies and cultivate relationships with artificial intelligence service providers.

Second, MOST will be financing the setup of artificial intelligence research and development services, as well as annual investments for research and development of smart medical care, fintech, fundamental technology, and smart manufacturing. The group plans to set up three to four centers by the end of the year while inviting more than 300 local and global scholars and experts to participate. The group hopes to produce 3,000 artificial intelligence professionals.

The third initiative involves setting up a smart robotics innovation base for smart robot development and AI software-hardware integration. The group plans to set up around 50 startups, train 4,000 smart robotics experts, and develop at least 30 primary technologies.

The group will also be working to help semiconductor manufacturers push through AI bottlenecks. Current bottlenecks include design, manufacturing, and materials with low-voltage and low-power devices, ASICS for unmanned vehicles, VR/AR technology, next-generation memory, and IoT.

The last initiative will hold challenging competitions that stimulate innovation from students to develop AI applications and technology. The first competition, called Dialog with AI, will focus on computers’ capability with Chinese listening comprehension with over 129 student teams already registered.

About MOST

MOST is the government ministry of Taiwan that both promotes and funds science research and technology adaptation. It was established as the National Science Council in 1959. It changed its name to the Ministry of Science and Technology in 2014.

The ministry includes many different departments which include planning, natural science and sustainable development, engineering and technologies, life sciences, humanities and social sciences, international cooperation and science educations, foresight and innovation policies, and academic-industry collaboration and science park affairs.

MOST also have offices for general affairs, personnel, budget, accounting, and statistics, government ethics, information services, legal affairs committee, and congressional relations. In addition, there are six bureaus that all under the MOST banner. These include the National Synchrotron Radiation Research Center, National Applied Research Laboratories, National Science, and Technology Center for Disaster Reduction, Southern Taiwan Science Park Bureau, Central Taiwan Science Park Bureau, and Hsinchu Science Park Bureau.