Microsoft launches AI research hub in Taiwan

Microsoft launches AI research hub in Taiwan
Government predicts the centre will transform the island’s industrial sectors

Elly Yates-Roberts |

Microsoft is investing one billion New Taiwan dollars (US$33 million) to create an artificial intelligence (AI) research and development (R&D) centre in Taiwan.

The centre will employ a research team of 100 over the next two years and double this to 200 over the next five years.

“Taiwan is known as a world-leading manufacturing hub,” said Ken Sun, general manager of Microsoft Taiwan. “This gives the island the right environment to push forward with AI and expand its R&D capabilities. Its education system has cultivated a large and outstanding talent pool in mathematics, engineering, and the sciences. Microsoft’s vision is to democratise AI so that every individual and every organisation can apply AI and benefit from AI capabilities.”

Microsoft is collaborating on AI research with the Ministry of Economic Affairs, and the Ministry of Education.

“The R&D centre aims to develop AI core technologies, with a focus on intelligent input, audience intent recognition, and AI vertical industrial integration,” said David Ku, corporate vice president at Microsoft and chief technology officer of Microsoft’s AI and research group.

“The government appreciates Microsoft’s decision to set up an AI R&D Centre in Taiwan,” said Taiwan’s premier, William Lai.

Lai added that the government will invest 16 billion New Taiwan dollars (US$540 million) in AI research over the next five years.

“The centre will help build an AI ecosystem for Taiwanese industries to produce better products and services,” said Jong-chin Shen, minister of economic affairs.

The centre is the latest development in a series of Microsoft research projects in Taiwan, including a strategic partnership with the National Applied Research Laboratories, an AI talent cultivation project with the Taipei Medical University and a project with the Institute for Information Industry to set up the Microsoft Professional Program for Data Scientists. Microsoft will also start a campus recruitment tour in March 2018.

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