Taiwan’s AI success difficult to replicate elsewhere: Academia Sinica expert

Harvard Professor H.T. Kung launched Taiwan AI school in 2017

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Academia Sinica member H.T. Kung (right) receives an award from Minister Chen Liang-gee.

Academia Sinica member H.T. Kung (right) receives an award from Minister Chen Liang-gee. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Other countries will find it hard to replicate Taiwan’s successful development of artificial intelligence (AI), as the island’s restricted size has helped it establish close connections and rapid interaction within the sector, Academia Sinica member H.T. Kung (孔祥重) said Tuesday (Dec. 24).

Kung is a William H. Gates professor of computer science and electrical engineering at Harvard. He spoke on Tuesday at a ceremony in Taipei, where he received an award from Science and Technology Minister Chen Liang-gee (陳良基), CNA reported.

Kung also cautioned that Taiwan is struggling with a scarcity of AI experts. The country needs to set up a more positive environment for the study of the new technology, he said.

He is the president of an AI school that was set up two years ago, and companies both on the island and overseas have been sending staff there to study. Participants' backgrounds are diverse, ranging from the service sector to medicine, according to Kung.

Chen praised him as the pioneer of AI education in Taiwan, having taught 5,000 AI experts within the space of 20 months. In addition, 600 doctors had also learned the ins and outs of AI at the school, the minister said.