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Microsoft and Taiwan government form partnership to develop AI

The Ministry of Science and Tech. signed an MoU with Microsoft to further AI research and talent cultivation

Officials from MOST and Microsoft sign an MOU on Dec. 6

Officials from MOST and Microsoft sign an MOU on Dec. 6 (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) –It was announced that Taiwan's Ministry of Science and Technology signed a MoU with American tech giant Microsoft, to begin a strategic partnership in order to develop artificial intelligence (AI) and related technologies.

The news is further evidence of Taiwan's aim to be a leading force in the world as it heads into the age of Internet of Things (IoT) and AI.

The Memorandum of Understanding with Microsoft was prepared by the Ministry's National Applied Research Laboratories (NARLabs), and outlines plans for cooperation in three areas; big data technology, AI platform development, and the cultivation of new tech savvy talent.

More specifically, NARLabs views Microsoft's experience and capability in managing big data, as an area of expertise that Taiwan can learn from to better develop its own domestic AI platforms. Access to Microsoft's previous research papers will be a great boon to innovation in Taiwan's tech industry.

In the future Microsoft will also host post-doctoral researchers from Taiwan to study at its research labs in the US, while also acting as a sponsor for various academic competitions in areas of robotics and AI, to help scout and develop new talent in Taiwan.

The MOU with Microsoft comes after the Ministry of Science and Technology in late October pledged to invest US$ 133 million over the next four years into cultivating new talent to further development of AI and related industries, according to CNA.

In line with those goals, the government has also recently announced the establishment of an AI research academy as part of the Academia Sinica, set to open its doors in January 2018.

Other tech giants, like IBM, are also busy in Taiwan with the development of AI platforms and the integration of smart technology to support the Internet of Things. At a conference in early November, IBM representatives discussed the implications and opportunities for Taiwan moving forward.

The Taiwan government views the development of AI as a crucial industry to sustain local development, and have been doing everything they can to ensure Taiwan is not left behind during the new industrial revolution.