Sat, Jan 26, 2019 - Page 3 News List

AI research shifting focus, minister says in CES review

QUALITY NOT QUANTITY:Researchers are moving away from collecting as much data as possible in favor of in-depth analysis of smaller data sets, Chen Liang-gee said

By Lin Chia-nan  /  Staff reporter

Minister of Science and Technology Chen Liang-gee, front row fourth left, and Taiwanese exhibitors who attended the CES expo in Las Vegas pose for photographs at a news conference in Taipei yesterday.

Photo: Chien Hui-ju, Taipei Times

Artificial intelligence (AI) research is changing focus from the quantity to the quality of data, Minister of Science and Technology Chen Liang-gee (陳良基) said yesterday.

Chen made the remarks at a news conference in Taipei, where the team leaders of the Taiwanese exhibitors who attended the CES gadget show in Las Vegas, Nevada, earlier this month shared their experience of pitching their products.

It was the second time that the ministry has led a delegation to the show and some of the exhibitors received purchase orders totaling NT$5.5 billion (US$178 million), NT2.5 billion more than last year, Chen said.

Ten of the nation’s 44 exhibitors were academic groups, he said, adding that some of them have founded their own firms or plan to, which proves that entrepreneurship is booming in local academia and basic research breakthroughs pave the way for industry.

While the ministry last year set up AI research centers at four universities, it withdrew funding for six of the 66 research teams, as they failed to meet their own development goals, he said, adding that the funding has been redirected to 20 humanities and data science research teams.

Instead of collecting as much big data as possible, many researchers say that the key to AI technology is more in-depth analysis of smaller volumes of data, Chen said.

Ganzin Technology (見臻科技) founder Chien Shao-yi (簡韶逸), who is also a professor at National Taiwan University’s Department of Electrical Engineering, has developed an eye-tracking module that is small enough to be installed on eyeglasses.

Reuters selected the device as one of the best inventions at this year’s CES, he said.

Students are better motivated to do research when they are engaged in the development of new ideas, Chien said, encouraging start-ups to explore uncharted territory.

National Chiao Tung University biological science associate professor Chen Wen-liang (陳文亮), who developed a crop management system called AgriTalk with his students, said that Japanese, Singaporean and German developers have shown an interest in their system, and they plan to found a firm later this year.

Educators should be able to ignite a passion for learning in their students, Chen Wen-liang said, adding that he would leave the firm for his students to run once its operations stabilize.

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