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Future Technologies to Power Sustainable Development in Taiwan

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is becoming an increasingly prominent part of daily life in Taiwan and around the world. AI is also radically changing the way governments and businesses operate, with applications in computing, learning, reasoning, sensing and visual recognition promising to boost efficiency, productivity and profits.

Given its central role in the digital transformation of society, AI is being promoted alongside other revolutionary technologies such as 5G, Internet of Things (IoT) and semiconductors by Taiwan’s government. These technologies impact innovation by enabling new products, services and business models.

The ability to unleash Taiwan’s economic and social potential is why information and digital technology is essential in the government’s six core strategic industries initiative. The six core strategic industries also comprise cybersecurity, biotech and medical technology, national defence, green and renewable energy, and strategic stockpile industries.

AI is having a notable impact on the growth of Taiwan’s semiconductor industry by helping with the design of increasingly complicated processes while cutting R&D time and costs. Taiwan ranked 12th in the 2019 Global Competitiveness Report issued by the Geneva-based World Economic Forum, which also praised Taiwan as one of the world’s top four super innovators in 2018 and 2019.

AI is having a notable impact on the growth of the semiconductor industry by helping with the design of increasingly complicated processes. The world’s largest contract chipmaker has already committed itself to spend US$100 billion on related R&D and capacity expansion over the next three years.

The information and digital technology industry is the growth engine underpinning the government’s six core strategic industries initiative. To consolidate the leading position of Taiwan’s semiconductor industry, the government has initiated a coordinated effort to develop the core technologies for AI chips.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, many companies talked about digital transformation without serious actions. The pandemic has tested how well prepared they really were. The government is adopting a practical policy to propel related development with financial and technical support.

The convergence of 5G mobile broadband, AI, big data analytics, cloud computing and IoT is taking manufacturing and other industrial sectors to new heights of productivity and innovation. The positive impact of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, or Industry 4.0, can be fully realised through the wide-scale deployment of 5G in combination with other connectivity solutions.

The rapid migration to digital technologies driven by the pandemic will continue. By capitalising on its Information and Communications Technology (ICT) capabilities and emphasising software solutions, Taiwan can capture these new business opportunities and maintain strong growth momentum in the years to come.

As reported by OpenGov Asia, digitalisation is no longer an option, but it is a necessity in Taiwan. As face-to-face contact is limited, digitalisation has become crucial not only for businesses but also for schools. Local corporations were prudent about revamping older information technology infrastructure to keep up with the global digitalisation trend, but most office employees still worked in front of desktop computers at their offices.

Taiwan’s small businesses were slow to transform digitally, giving the nation a lower ranking in the “digital observer” category than other Asian countries, according to the Small Business Digitalisation and COVID-19 survey released. Most countries fell in the “digital observer” category, the second of the survey’s four categories. Asia-Pacific small businesses mostly lagged behind those from the U.S. and Europe.

Taiwan’s government agencies and private businesses should keep progressing to address the increasing needs of their citizens and customers.

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