U.S. confident Taiwan will become top AI leader in Asia

Director of the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) Brent Christensen.

Taipei, Sept. 27 (CNA)-The United States is confident that Taiwan will become to Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Asia as Wall Street has become to finance in North America, the U.S. de facto ambassador to Taiwan said Thursday.

Speaking at the opening ceremony of the 2018 Global Entrepreneurship Congress Plus in Taipei (GEC + Taipei), American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) Director Brent Christensen said Taiwan has long been known as a world-class technology manufacturing powerhouse, and is now emerging as a globally recognized innovation and entrepreneurship hub.

Leading American companies such as Microsoft, Amazon, IBM, Uber, and Qualcomm, have established either AI R&D centers in Taiwan, or hope to in the near future. Google has also made Taiwan central to its software-hardware integration efforts, he added.

“Who can blame them? We have every confidence that Taiwan can become to AI in Asia what Wall Street has become to finance in North America,” he said.

Taiwan is also perfectly positioned to ride the Internet of Things (IoT) wave into the future, according to Christensen.

Taiwan’s long-standing prowess in electronics manufacturing is finding new life in emerging IoT industries, including smart cities, biomedical technology, smart machinery and autonomous vehicle component manufacturing, according to the AIT Taipei chief. “If we can combine American AI with Taiwan’s hardware expertise, we have no doubt we can be the joint architects of the AI-enabled future,” he said.

Christensen said Taiwan is an important partner of the U.S., especially in implementing the recently announced Indo-Pacific Strategy. “We share the goal of a free and open Indo-Pacific, one where energy, infrastructure and digital economy innovations can all be used as instruments of social good,” he concluded.

Organized by Taiwan’s Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) Administration, the GEC + Taipei will run through Friday.

The theme of the event is “Enabling Social Impact with AI + IoT,” focusing on the use of smart technology applications to accelerate innovation and the digital transformation of startups and SMEs, as well as promoting sustainable development of the global digital economy, according to the Ministry of Economic Affairs.