After a decade spent trying to remain competitive in the global high tech race, officials in Taiwan appear to have decided the answer lies in AI. Taiwan has been losing out on consumer electronics orders from offshore brands—the island's long-time strength—as manufacturers look to cheaper factory hubs such as China. But investments in Taiwan by Google, Microsoft, and Nvidia among others, all over the past year or two, show that Taiwan can start pivoting from hardware and become a leading R&D center in artificial intelligence.
In response, the government is now scrambling to develop talent. Premier Su Tseng-chang says 10,000 people will be trained every year for work in AI R&D. That ambition extends naturally from decades of educating engineers at the island's universities. Silicon Valley firms are setting up shop in Taiwan exactly because of that talent, tech analysts say.
To come up with those 10,000 people every year, the premier said AI education will "take root" in elementary and middle schools. Supplementary teaching material will enter the public schools this year, too, and about 1,000 people have signed up for a government-cosponsored online AI-applications lessons.
U.S.-based tech firms are picking Taiwan over other spots in Asia for AI projects because of the engineering "quality" as well as Taiwanese worker's reputation for loyalty and stability, American Chamber of Commerce in Taipei President William Foreman says.
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