Taiwan's GenAI ecosystem unrivaled for next decade, says former tech minister

Bryan Chuang, Taipei; Willis Ke, DIGITIMES Asia 0


Taiwan boasts a comprehensive Generative AI (GenAI) ecosystem, with deep deployments in AI chips, packaging, and heat dissipation technologies, and no other place in the world is expected to catch up with Taiwan in the next decade, according to Chen Liang-gee, former Minister of Science and Technology and currently Honorary Professor of the Department of Electrical Engineering at National Taiwan University.

Chen made the remarks when speaking at a recent AI forum hosted by the Monte Jade Science & Technology Association of Taiwan and KPMG. The forum revealed a survey showing that 70% of CEOs worldwide view GenAI as their top investment priority for the next three years, with the market scale expected to reach new highs.

GenAI was once criticized as "serious nonsense," but its ability to generate accurate information has grown significantly along with ever-expanding training data. Chen noted that the volume of training data for ChatGPT has grown from 200 billion pieces to one trillion for the latest ChatGPT-4o, while Google's Gemini uses an even larger dataset of two trillion pieces.

Chen emphasized that AI has become the new overlord of this generation. Currently, the global supply of high-end chips falls short of demand, prompting many large tech companies, such as Microsoft, Google, AWS, and Meta, to invest heavily in this area.

Chen highlighted that Taiwan can leverage its experience in vertical integration in hardware manufacturing to develop software services. Through the professional division of labor, he continued, Taiwan can develop a business model that integrates both AI hardware and software services, thus helping to address the pain points of enterprises in AI applications and improve the overall value of the supply chain.

At the forum, T.H. Tung, chairman of the Monte Jade Science & Technology Association of Taiwan, highlighted Taiwan's crucial position in the AI industry, attributing it to the country's dedicated efforts. He emphasized the urgency for Taiwan to proactively research AI regulations, especially as more data is uploaded to the cloud. Tung reasoned that AI could use this data to assess and predict people's health conditions, potentially leading to undesirable scenarios such as commercial insurance denials.

KPMG also stressed the growing importance of effectively managing the risks and challenges associated with the rapid development of AI technology. Minister of Digital Affairs, Yenun Huang, pointed out via video that while the digital economy era brings infinite opportunities, it also presents risks and challenges. He asserted that addressing AI-related cybersecurity and trust issues is essential for establishing a solid foundation for national development.

The EU AI Act was officially passed by the European Council in May 2024. Lin Da-kuei, KPMG's consulting executive vice president, said that enterprises must implement measures to prevent hidden AI risks, enhance the transparency, fairness, and reliability of AI technologies, and mitigate issues such as deepfake technology, cybersecurity attacks, and insufficient algorithm performance to avoid threats to business operations.