Taiwan AI Academy (AIA), established by the Taiwan AI Academy Foundation (formerly known as the Science & Technology Ecosystem Development Foundation), is a non-profit organization that aims to enhance Taiwanese industrie’s competitive edge through AI-assisted solutions by providing in-person professional training.
In 2017, a group of key academic leaders visited more than twenty Taiwanese manufacturers, and helped the companie's manufacturing processes with AI-assisted solutions. The group was led by Dr. James C. Liao, President of Academia Sinica, H.T. Kung, William H. Gates professor of computer science at Harvard University and the late Dr. Sheng-Wei Chen, AIA founder and former CEO. The group recognized that urgent steps needed to be taken to transform Taiwan’s industries.
Faced with fierce global competition, a solid AI approach was needed to form the foundation of Taiwan’s AI strategy. To properly take advantage of the opportunities and tackle the challenges brought about by AI, it was imperative that Taiwan formulates a positive outlook based on its core values and strategic approach. Against this backdrop, the group decided it was important to begin with promoting the development and deployment of AI across Taiwan’s industries.
The group also identified four key challenges for AI adoption, namely:
With the clear goals of meeting industry demand and tackling the challenges, AIA was established in 2018.
AIA has a problem-solving and project-oriented approach for its industry-academic collaboration. Experience tells us that as long as problems can be clearly identified and defined, with the right existing data, a viable solution can be formulated within three months. Industry experts can easily identify issues within their respective fields, the next step is to empower domain experts from various fields, such as chemical engineering, architecture, finance, and medicine, to master machine learning and deep learning skill sets through intensive training programs. AIA envisions a future where domain professionals can utilize AI in their fields and propel industries to new heights.
To achieve such vision, the AIA offers training programs, industry meetups and alumni sessions.
The four-month training programs are designed for industry professionals, with the goal of nurturing future AI talents. There are several courses being offered, but the two most popular courses are specifically designed for engineers and business managers respectively. The engineer training course is focused on computer science skills, specifically AI skill sets. Meanwhile, the business manager training course offers AI-domain knowledge. In this course, business managers learn how to apply AI within their domains, and the potential benefit that AI can bring.
Meanwhile, industry meetups and alumni sessions serve as an exchange platform for industry, government and university interdisciplinary leaders. Such a platform also offers opportunities for networking, talent discovery and resource sharing.
The combination of intensive training and open exchange platform creates the appropriate environment for AI development, and can better fill the gap between industry and academia.
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