Thu, Jan 11, 2018 - Page 12 News List

Far EasTone to double AI workforce

TALENT NEEDED:The telecom plans to increase recruitment of AI experts, including data scientists, to create models to help local industries shift to ‘smart’ manufacturing

By Lisa Wang  /  Staff reporter

Far EasTone Telecommunications Co (遠傳電信) yesterday said it aims to double its data and artificial intelligence (AI)-related workforce over the next three years to cater to customers’ needs.

The initiative is part of efforts by the nation’s third-largest telecom to transform itself into a provider of new value-added services, such as information and communication technology and the Internet of Things.

Far EasTone last month began a major organizational restructuring effort, the largest in its history, to change into a “customer-centric” organization.

“Far EasTone has been working to foster AI talent. This year it is looking to step up recruitment of AI experts, including data scientists,” company president Yvonne Li (李彬) told reporters on the sidelines of a media briefing.

“Data plays a vital role in our strategy this year. We hope data-related employees will account for 30 percent of our new businesses over the next three years, compared with the current 15 percent,” Li said.

A total of 500 employees have been allocated to offering new businesses, she said.

Far EasTone aims to recruit experts with domain knowledge and data scientists to analyze data and to work out optimal models to help local industries move toward “smart” manufacturing, Li said.

Li’s remarks came after Far EasTone yesterday announced that it has partnered with Microsoft Corp to help apply AI technology to local industries seeking digital transformation.

Microsoft is to provide the AI technology and the brainpower for the project, while Far EasTone might play a bridging role and help to resolve problems faced by different domains by providing system integration solutions and sharing its experiences in offering Internet of Things and big data services.

Far EasTone, a telecom arm of Far Eastern Group (遠東集團), is to target the manufacturing, healthcare and cybersecurity sectors by leveraging the group’s strength, Far EasTone vice president Philip Tseng (曾詩淵) said.

The group owns numerous subsidiaries, including fabric maker Far Eastern New Century Corp (遠東新) and Far Eastern Memorial Hospital (亞東醫院).

The telecom yesterday reported that net income last month rose 3.1 percent year-on-year to NT$531 million (US$17.94 million).

That raised its net profit for the whole of last year to NT$10.86 billion, or earnings per share of NT$3.33, surpassing its forecast.

However, revenue fell 2.41 percent to NT$92.07 billion for last year, compared with NT$94.34 billion in 2016.

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