Google to invest in Taiwan’s AI talent evolution

HUB::Students from selected Taiwan universities who have developed a foundation in advanced technologies are to be given the opportunity to join a Google boot camp

By Lauly Li  /  Staff reporter

Thu, Mar 22, 2018 - Page 1

Alphabet Inc’s Google yesterday announced a large investment in Taiwan’s artificial intelligence (AI) development, saying it would hire at least 300 AI engineers, cultivate 5,000 talents and train more than 50,000 digital marketing personnel this year.

The company’s AI investment in Taiwan is by far the largest from an international tech company, following Microsoft Corp’s launch of an AI research and development (R&D) center and Amazon Web Services’ joint innovative center at the beginning of this year.

“Taiwan is already Google’s largest R&D center in Asia and it has strong software, hardware and cloud-computing teams — the core elements to develop AI technology. We expect Taiwan to become Google’s global strategic center for AI in the long term,” Google Taiwan managing director Chien Lee-feng (簡立峰) told a media conference in Taipei.

The 300 new vacancies range from positions in software, hardware, cloud-computing and data center engineers to administration management, Chien said.

Google is to carry out the phase-four expansion plan at its data center in Changhua County later this year, he added.

“It is by far Google’s largest recruitment drive in Taiwan,” Chien said.

“The recruitment and the expanded data center represent Google’s commitment to investment in Taiwan in the long term and our plan to commence many AI projects here,” he added.

Google’s initiative, dubbed “Intelligent Taiwan,” includes holding AI innovation boot camps in collaboration with National Taiwan University, National Tsing Hua University, National Chiao Tung University and National Cheng Kung University.

Students recommended by these universities are to join a five-day event this summer with the opportunity to have face-to-face discussions with Google’s global AI professionals, Chien said, adding that the boot camps are important, as Taiwanese students have developed a foundation in advanced technologies, but lack the opportunity to interact with global professionals.

Google said it would convene boot camps to share the company’s Machine Learning Crash Course with college professors, high-school teachers and seed instructors at the Institute for Information Industry in a bid to help Taiwan accelerate the popularization of AI education.

Google said it has also translated its free online digital marketing course into Chinese for small and medium-sized enterprises, jobseekers and students, and is to launch an offline one-year course on digital marketing in Taichung and Tainan this year.