The Ministry of Science and Technology yesterday celebrated the launch of its Joint Center for Artificial Intelligence and Automated Healthcare at National Taiwan University, which it hopes will help carry over research results into the industrial and business sectors.
“AI [artificial intelligence] research began in the 1950s, and by the 1980s and 1990s, significant AI developments had been achieved in industrial control systems,” university acting president Kuo Tei-wei (郭大維) said.
By 2010, AI research on deep learning had branched out to linguistics, item recognition and medical imagery recognition, Kuo said.
Only three universities in Asia have made it into the top 50 in terms of AI research, and NTU ranks No. 37, the best in Asia, Kuo said.
“With the ministry’s center set up at the university, we hope to promote biomedical research using our medical and health data archives, as well as increase the competitiveness of Taiwan’s AI industry,” Kuo said.
AI research is a globally trending topic and has been a primary focus of Minister of Science and Technology Chen Liang-gee (陳良基) since he was appointed to the position on Feb. 15 last year, Department of Foresight and Innovation Policies Director-General Yang Hsiu-ya (楊琇雅) said.
The ministry plans to launch AI-related projects based on a five-year cycle, with an allotted funding of NT$1 billion (US$34.24 million) per year, she said.
The center would offer core support to developing technology and applications from the nation’s AI research, she added.
The ministry plans to establish a total of four centers, with the center at NTU being the only one to support both research and applications, Yang said, adding that it would have an AI technology department and an automated healthcare department.
The other three centers would depend on technical assistance from the one at NTU, Yang said.
The ministry expects the resources injected into the centers to boost cooperation across universities and departments, hopefully spilling over into the industrial and business sectors, as well as foreign research centers, Yang said.
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