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Technology Strengthens Taiwan’s Civil Society

Society’s use of technology reflects the perception of value. Taiwan cares about whether digital technologies bring public benefits to society as a whole. The development of new technology makes people worry about losing job opportunities and Artificial Intelligence (AI) may compete with humans, but it also leads to more exploration of human potential.

AI can augment our collective intelligence. For example, sorting through hundreds of thousands of input from citizens is very tedious. Now that AI can power this conversation at scale, a hundred thousand people can listen to one another because the facilitation is in AI. The more people join, the better the quality.

– Audrey Tang, Digital Minister of Taiwan

Using AI to power conversation can scale the idea of listening to scale to tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands of people talking together. People can still listen to each other’s main points. This is how Taiwan is using AI to power its public service consultation. One example of this is an AI-powered conversation platform that very cleverly takes away the chores but opens up the agenda-setting for people.

Technologies that Help Taiwan most to Manage the COVID-19 Pandemic

In Taiwan, the pandemic has strengthened its model of collaboration between people, government, and the private sector, deepening “people-public-private” partnerships. This is because Taiwan has built a digital infrastructure that lets people freely express opinions on policy reforms. When the COVID-19 outbreak struck last year, masks, the most essential personal protective equipment, were in short supply and the central government had to adopt a “real name registration system” for ordering face masks.

The contact-tracing system 1922 SMS is another case in point. It was a solution jointly proposed by civic tech communities in Taiwan to ensure both privacy protection and efficient contact tracing. Civic technologists enthusiastically discussed how to improve existing registration systems, which primarily relied on paper and pencil, or primitive web forms and were often confusing or counter-productive to virus suppression measures.

Inspired by these discussions, the government worked with five leading telecoms firms to develop 1922 SMS. By scanning a QR code using a smartphone camera and sending a text message to the toll-free number 1922, check-in records are created and stored—with no need for an app. When necessary, contact tracers can retrieve data from the system for quick and effective tracing. From discussion to deployment, the 1922 SMS system was built in a week. This would not have been possible without a robust partnership between the public and private sectors and the people.

Digital Social Innovation in Taiwan

Social innovation refers to using innovative methods, such as digital technology and cross-disciplinary cooperation, to find effective solutions to social and environmental challenges. Social innovation means “everyone’s problem; everyone helps”: Everyone uses innovative methods to spontaneously invest and participate in things that contribute to the world, and then change the relationship between different groups in society and find solutions for the common problems.

As reported by OpenGov Asia, when it comes to digital democracy, democracy is the main idea, and digital is just an objective to assist democracy. Around the world, there is the other way of ideas that somehow democracy must give way to the public health measures, to counter disinformation measures. However, technology needs to adapt to the people’s will and the people’s norms, and people’s co-creation and real needs.

In Taiwan, the system has been successful in hearing younger people. A lot of the most impactful ideas came from very young people. To shorten the time that a genuinely good idea gets thought by a teenager or young people, and the time that it is understood by the senior people and implemented, is key to moving democracy forward. The younger people, because they are digital natives, they do not think that once every four years is sufficient to upload bandwidth, the latency is too high, they prefer to collaborate on a day-to-day basis.

PARTNER

Qlik’s vision is a data-literate world, where everyone can use data and analytics to improve decision-making and solve their most challenging problems. A private company, Qlik offers real-time data integration and analytics solutions, powered by Qlik Cloud, to close the gaps between data, insights and action. By transforming data into Active Intelligence, businesses can drive better decisions, improve revenue and profitability, and optimize customer relationships. Qlik serves more than 38,000 active customers in over 100 countries.

PARTNER

CTC Global Singapore, a premier end-to-end IT solutions provider, is a fully owned subsidiary of ITOCHU Techno-Solutions Corporation (CTC) and ITOCHU Corporation.

Since 1972, CTC has established itself as one of the country’s top IT solutions providers. With 50 years of experience, headed by an experienced management team and staffed by over 200 qualified IT professionals, we support organizations with integrated IT solutions expertise in Autonomous IT, Cyber Security, Digital Transformation, Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure, Workplace Modernization and Professional Services.

Well-known for our strengths in system integration and consultation, CTC Global proves to be the preferred IT outsourcing destination for organizations all over Singapore today.

PARTNER

Planview has one mission: to build the future of connected work. Our solutions enable organizations to connect the business from ideas to impact, empowering companies to accelerate the achievement of what matters most. Planview’s full spectrum of Portfolio Management and Work Management solutions creates an organizational focus on the strategic outcomes that matter and empowers teams to deliver their best work, no matter how they work. The comprehensive Planview platform and enterprise success model enables customers to deliver innovative, competitive products, services, and customer experiences. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, with locations around the world, Planview has more than 1,300 employees supporting 4,500 customers and 2.6 million users worldwide. For more information, visit www.planview.com.

SUPPORTING ORGANISATION

SIRIM is a premier industrial research and technology organisation in Malaysia, wholly-owned by the Minister​ of Finance Incorporated. With over forty years of experience and expertise, SIRIM is mandated as the machinery for research and technology development, and the national champion of quality. SIRIM has always played a major role in the development of the country’s private sector. By tapping into our expertise and knowledge base, we focus on developing new technologies and improvements in the manufacturing, technology and services sectors. We nurture Small Medium Enterprises (SME) growth with solutions for technology penetration and upgrading, making it an ideal technology partner for SMEs.

PARTNER

HashiCorp provides infrastructure automation software for multi-cloud environments, enabling enterprises to unlock a common cloud operating model to provision, secure, connect, and run any application on any infrastructure. HashiCorp tools allow organizations to deliver applications faster by helping enterprises transition from manual processes and ITIL practices to self-service automation and DevOps practices. 

PARTNER

IBM is a leading global hybrid cloud and AI, and business services provider. We help clients in more than 175 countries capitalize on insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs and gain the competitive edge in their industries. Nearly 3,000 government and corporate entities in critical infrastructure areas such as financial services, telecommunications and healthcare rely on IBM’s hybrid cloud platform and Red Hat OpenShift to affect their digital transformations quickly, efficiently and securely. IBM’s breakthrough innovations in AI, quantum computing, industry-specific cloud solutions and business services deliver open and flexible options to our clients. All of this is backed by IBM’s legendary commitment to trust, transparency, responsibility, inclusivity and service.

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