Facebook may be lucrative today, but not necessarily so tomorrow, according to Hsi-Peng Lu, a professor at National Taiwan University of Science and Technology. Facebook's name change to Meta has demonstrated its forward-looking strategy to embrace the future digital world. If we consider all the applications and technologies, perhaps metaverse is just a transition in tech development, rather than the end.
From a technical point of view, applications enabled by 5G or 6G allow users to access on-demand services. Applications will cater to user preferences and behavior. But this will expand the global digital divide. Under the continuous performance improvement of the semiconductor chips, the computing power of the machine has "virtualized" environments perceived by everyone's visual and auditory senses. The perfectly virtualized panorama environment of home, office, cars and even mobile objects will come into play. This is the technological breakthrough and an era of virtual reality that we are imagining.
From the application point of view, the huge amounts of data generated from end users and devices is to raise cybersecurity awareness. Applications optimized by AI and other related technologies will be ubiquitous in smart cities, EVs and smart manufacturing, etc. The digital utopia imagined by many seems to be emerging and has even started to take shape. Metauniverse will be the transitional technology, and what is lying further ahead?
The development of science and technology is endless. But the human minds and physical environments may not be adaptable to changes. Digital technology and quantum technology are taking center stage in geopolitics. It foresees the impending dramatic global changes will exert an impact on you and me with slim chances that any one us can stay out of it.
Anticipating various applications to spread, IBM launched the "Smart Planet" campaign in 2009 to implement an overall strategy centered on the digital technology. After a decade of accumulated efforts and dialogues, ESG has taken shape. The framework of "Environmental, Social, and Governance" involves the regulation of electricity usage, demographic changes, national strength and buying power, all of which play a part in the sensitive geopolitics.
Taiwan may be small accounting for only 0.4% of the world's population, but it has a semiconductor industry that connects communications, computers and consumer electronics. With its excellent geographical location in the middle of the Western Pacific, Taiwan will be a regional production outpost of the future decentralized production ecosystem triggered by the future EV industry extended from the traditional notebook and mobile phone industries.
Taiwan may be small, but from the perspective of either talent structure or capital raising, or even international relations, Taiwan will lead the world into a new era, which may be a new version of the "flying geese paradigm." Vietnam, which is replicating Taiwan's experience, will be the next manufacturing powerhouse for the ICT industry. Thailand's EECc(Eastern Economic Corridor) is looking to be the next Detroit. With a population of 1.4 billion, India is making all-out efforts to prop up a new G2.5 system under the G2 (the US and China) structure. What about the EU and Japan?
Taiwan is too small to uphold alone such an immense framework. The best Taiwan can do is to be "selfless" to enable co-creation and co-prosperity. Imagine what the world would look like 10 years from now. It must be very different!
(Editor's note: This is part of a series of analysis of Taiwan's role in the global ICT industry.)