Microsoft Gives Taiwan A Chance To Revive Its Once-Mighty Tech Sector With New AI Investment
Taiwan has lost acres of ground to China over the past half-decade in the fight for global dominance of consumer electronics exports. China can make a lot of the same elemental stuff, such as smartphones and tablets, at larger scales for less money because of its population size plus economic advances. Chinese firms are even chasing semiconductor development with the aim of overtaking one of Taiwan’s most prized industries within a couple years. Taiwan, however, still holds an edge in a lot of precision manufacturing and cutting-edge IT, government officials have said over the past three years. Worried about Taiwan’s chief source of exports, they too recognize the pressure that Taiwan’s tech sector is up against, and have taken steps such as allocating a budget for an internet-of-things science park to bolster the industry. ADVERTISING inRead invented by Teads Enter @Microsoft Now a big investment from Microsoft has offered Taiwan the chance to make the most of its remaining edge in technological know-how. On Jan. 10 the American software powerhouse announced it had started its #AI ( #artificialintelligence) Research and Development center in Taiwan. Microsoft will spend $34 million to staff a hundred-person team within two years and grow that to 200 engineers within five years, the company claims. The government’s economic affairs ministry along with its National Applied Research Laboratories will work with Microsoft on “intelligent input,” “audience intent recognition” and industrial integration, it says. More on Forbes: AI Plus Human Intelligence Is The Future Of Work That mouthful of geek-speak means Microsoft will ask its Taiwan staff, well-versed in math and physics, to train computers so they can better recognize what users want ahead of the curve. The company with mid-2017 market capitalization of $507.5 billion has deep ties in Taiwan already because its operating systems end up on PCs that Taiwanese hardware manufacturers make on contract.