Taiwan ministry partnering with major tech firms on AI platform

Government and three major tech firms cooperate on AI.

Government and three major tech firms cooperate on AI. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (CNA) - The Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) on Friday joined forces with three major tech companies to develop an artificial intelligence platform based on cloud technology.

The three Taiwanese tech firms-- PC brand Asustek Computer Inc., telecom services provider Taiwan Mobile Co. and contract notebook computer maker Quanta Computer Inc. -- originally unveiled the partnership to boost AI innovation in early May.

Quanta will be responsible for AI computing and data storage development, Taiwan Mobile will be in charge of building telecommunications rooms and strengthening data security, and Asustek will focus on AI server development and application integration.

The ministry said Friday its role will be to devise development strategies for the AI project's development and how it will function in the future.
Construction of basic telecommunications equipment rooms for the AI platform is scheduled to be completed in August, and the cloud hosts and system software will be installed in September and October, respectively, said Shieh Ce-kuen, director general of the MOST's National Center for High-performance Computing.

Shieh said the AI platform could start operations on a trial basis in December.

The new AI platform developed by the partnership will become a national-level facility of very high efficiency and could rank among the top 30 supercomputers in the world in the future, Shieh said.

After the platform begins its operations, the academic community can take advantage of it to conduct AI-related research, and businesses will be able to use it to build their own AI ecologies, helping speed up the pace of future development.

Many Taiwanese high-tech giants are investing in AI development amid fears that any delay could leave them behind the curve of global innovation.

Earlier this week, Taiwanese smartphone brand HTC Corp.'s health care division DeepQ unveiled the DeepQAI platform to facilitate the creation of health care technology founded on AI technology.

Among other companies eyeing AI development, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) has invested heavily in AI and the Internet of Things (IoT), which have contributed significantly to TSMC's revenues, and it is determined to invest in new technologies.

TSMC expects AI to first make an impact in health care applications, such as preventing strokes.

Some multinational tech firms have also participated in Taiwan's AI development, with Google unveiling in March a "Smart Taiwan" program in cooperation with Taiwan's government and Taiwanese schools and businesses to foster AI talent here. (By Chu Che-wei and Frances Huang)