AI in Taiwan

Taiwan’s Semiconductor Manufacturing Industry

Taiwan's semiconductor industry, of which it is proud, had a global market share of 77.3% in wafer foundry, ranking first in the world in 2020, a market share of 57.7% in packaging and testing, also ranking first in the world, and a market share of 20.1% in IC design, ranking second in the world only after the United States. Amid the US-China technology war, geopolitical tensions, and the COVID-19 pandemic causing a severe chip shortage, Taiwan has become an invincible technology island surrounded by the "Protect Taiwan's Chips" movement. The advantage of Taiwan's semiconductor industry lies in its highly integrated industrial chain, including wafer foundry, packaging and testing, IC design, etc. In these areas, Taiwan's enterprises have excellent technology, manufacturing capabilities, and product quality. Additionally, the Taiwanese government actively promotes industry upgrading and technological innovation, such as investing heavily in the development of 5G and AI technology, which provides strong support for the development of Taiwan's semiconductor industry. As for the current status and direction of AI application in Taiwan's semiconductor industry, some application cases have emerged, such as intelligent control, monitoring, and predictive maintenance in the semiconductor manufacturing process. In the future, AI will be applied in more areas, such as smart manufacturing, intelligent driving, and smart cities, further improving industry efficiency and quality, promoting industry upgrading and transformation. Moreover, as AI technology continues to develop and become popularized, Taiwan's semiconductor industry will further expand its application scope, and achieve higher levels of technological innovation and industry development.

Taiwan's Smart Manufacturing Industry

Taiwan's manufacturing industry is one of the important pillars of its economy, producing mainly electronic, computer, and mechanical products. According to statistics, in 2019, Taiwan's manufacturing industry had a production value of approximately $320 billion USD, accounting for about 3.5% of the global manufacturing market. Taiwan's manufacturing products are widely used around the world, especially in the electronic industry where they hold a significant position in the global market. Taiwan's manufacturing industry is known for its high-quality, efficiency, and flexibility. Its production capacity and technological level are highly acclaimed worldwide. In addition, Taiwan's manufacturing industry has a well-established supply chain system and rich experience that can provide comprehensive services and support, offering customers customized products and solutions.

AI technology is gradually becoming more prevalent in the manufacturing industry, especially in the field of smart manufacturing. Taiwan's manufacturing industry has also been exploring and practicing AI technology applications. Among them, the intelligent production process is an important direction of application. Through AI technology, the manufacturing process can be automated and intelligent, thereby improving production efficiency and quality. Furthermore, AI technology can be applied to quality control and fault detection during the manufacturing process, improving product quality and stability.

Taiwan's Smart Healthcare Industry

The healthcare industry is an important sector of Taiwan's economy, with its main products including medical devices, pharmaceuticals, and medical services. According to statistics, the market size of Taiwan's medical device industry was approximately US$4.4 billion in 2020, while the pharmaceutical market was about US$7.1 billion. In addition, Taiwan's medical service industry is also growing rapidly, with its market size becoming increasingly larger.

Taiwan's advantages in the healthcare industry lie in its technological and human resources. Taiwan has abundant medical technology and professional talent, and its medical level and technology are at a leading position in the Asian region. Furthermore, Taiwan's production capacity of medical devices and pharmaceuticals is also quite strong, making it one of the world's important production bases for medical devices and pharmaceuticals.

The application of AI technology in the medical field has gradually become popular, especially in medical imaging and disease diagnosis. Taiwan's healthcare industry has also made many explorations and practices in the application of AI technology. Among them, the application of AI technology in medical image analysis has gradually matured and can achieve automatic analysis and diagnosis of images such as CT and MRI, thereby improving diagnosis efficiency and accuracy. In addition, AI technology can also be applied to drug research and treatment, providing more personalized treatment options for patients.

Taiwan AI Academy and AI Education

In the face of challenges in Taiwan’s industries resulting from the rise of emerging technologies such as AI, companies urgently need more professionals and concrete measures to maintain and enhance competitiveness. Founded at the 2017 Artificial Intelligence Annual Conference, the AIA initiated by Academia Sinica’s Dean James C. Liao and Academician Hsiang-Tsung Kung has begun operations in January 2018. With the support of several local leading businesses, the AIA has been able to spawn the next generation of talent to inject new growth momentum into Taiwan’s technological innovation ecosystem.

To this end, the AIA offers different types of training courses for businesses to upskill and reskill their employees, such as top management classes, technical classes, smart healthcare classes, smart manufacturing classes, and edge AI classes. These classes provide intensive, fast, and systematic training. Between 2018 and 2021, more than 8,000 individuals graduated from the Taipei Main Campus, Hsinchu Campus, Taichung Campus, and Tainan Campus. These graduates have been able to facilitate the industrial adoption of AI while driving industrial upgrading and transformation in Taiwan.

The AIA also attaches great importance to practical training. For example, during the 4-month technical course, students from different industries must pass a midterm exam and complete a POC project before graduation. In addition to helping individuals from different industries improve problem-solving skills for problems facing today’s businesses, POC projects can be further developed and deployed in businesses, and the graduates can become the seeds for businesses to introduce more AI into their operations.
Figure : POC Projects Analysis of Technical Classes

Source:2022 Taiwan AI Readiness Assessment Report