Taiwan to spend $33 million over five years on AI research centers

TAIPEI (Reuters) - Taiwan plans to spend T$1 billion ($32.73 million) every year over a period of five years on artificial intelligence research centers, the government said, in a move that will help its technology firms enter the fledgling sector.

“The importance of AI for Taiwan is apparent through its semiconductor companies. Right now, they have an opportunity to enter the sphere of AI, and Taiwan needs to grab onto this opportunity,” Minister of Science and Technology Liang-Gee Chen said during a press conference in Taipei.

While mainland Chinese companies, such as Baidu Inc, have made large investments in AI applications, Taiwan hopes to supply technology to these firms in the future, Chen said.

Taiwan will build three to four innovation centers, and will seek to work with domestic and international technology firms, including Nvidia Corp, a leader in AI chips.

The funding will also help attract research and engineering talent, both from within and outside the island, Chen said.

Reporting by Jess Macy Yu; Editing by Biju Dwarakanath