Amazon to set up AI research center in Taiwan: minister

Science and technology minister says Amazon will set up AI research center in Taiwan

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Amazon storefront.

Amazon storefront. (AP photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Chen Liang-gee (陳良基), Minister of Science and Technology said that Amazon plans to set up an artificial intelligence (AI) research center in Taiwan, off the back of similar actions by Microsoft and IBM.

Chen said the Ministry of Science and Technology is in contact with Amazon about the new research venture, during the launch of the "Google AI Innovation and Research Camp" in Taipei yesterday, reported Economic Daily.

Precise details about the new Amazon office are currently unknown.

Taiwan has become a hotbed of AI research in recent times.

Amazon Web Services Limited, an Amazon subsidiary previously announced plans to open a joint innovation center with the New Taipei City Government in January 2018. The joint venture focuses on AI, big data, cloud computing and Internet of Things (IoT), as well as giving technical assistance to Taiwanese cloud computing startups.

Microsoft set up an IoT research and development center in Taipei City in 2016 and established an AI research and development hub in Taipei City in January 2018.

Microsoft is currently in the process of recruiting 200 technology specialists for its new AI hub. Taiwan has become Microsoft's biggest R&D center in Asia.

Microsoft also has deep engagement with Taiwan's academic and research community. To develop Taiwan's AI industry, the U.S. technology company signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Taiwan's National Applied Research Laboratories in December 2017 and another MOU with three Taiwanese universities in June 2018.

IBM has also recognized Taiwan's technological talent and in March 2018 announced plans to expand its research and development center in Taiwan to foster greater development in AI, blockchain and cloud computing.