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ITRI Hosts Symposium on Trends of Artificial Intelligence Technologies and Applications

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ITRI Hosts Symposium on Trends of Artificial Intelligence Technologies and Applications

ITRI Hosts Symposium on Trends of Artificial Intelligence Technologies and Applications on June 26, 2017.
ITRI Hosts Symposium on Trends of Artificial Intelligence Technologies and Applications on June 26, 2017.


Due to the rapid and cost-effective computation and data analysis that enable machines’ image and voice recognition ability to go beyond humans, artificial intelligence (AI) has been seen as a revolutionary technology to transform industries and bring new market opportunities. Supported by Taiwan’s Ministry of Economic Affairs, the Industrial Economics and Knowledge Center (IEK) of ITRI hosted a symposium on Trends of AI Technologies and Applications in Taipei on June 26, inviting AI experts from Stanford University and Silicon Valley to share their experiences on AI research and new business creation. The event has attracted over 300 participants from industry and academia.

IEK General Director Stephen Su remarked that according to IEK observations, the AI industry in 2017 has entered a hastened phase of growth in areas such as image recognition, speech recognition, and medical diagnosis, triggering a reorganization of the original industrial chain. Consequently, he suggested that Taiwan should convert “AI x” into an “x factor,” in which the integration of software and hardware drives innovation. Taiwan should utilize its industrial expertise and ICT technology to integrate AI into various applied service systems, he said. Examples include “AI x Smart Transportation,” “AI x Smart Retailing,” “AI x Smart Manufacturing,” “AI x Smart Health,” and “AI x Smart Travel.”

Prof. Chuck Eesley from Stanford University gave a speech on Venture Investment in AI Startups and Future Opportunities, covering the economics of AI, top venture capitals’ investments in AI/machine learning startups, and recent IPOs/acquisitions. He also indicated some future commercial opportunities for AI developments.

The presentation by Dr. Nicolas Pinto, Founder of AI startup Perceptio, explored the intertwined relationship between reverse and forward engineering of intelligence in the context of mobile devices/hardware. Dr. Pinto pointed out that the next milestone of AI is to develop computational vison neuroscience for image recognition by learning from human brains. He hoped that his study can close the gap and manage the expectations set by an over-promising AI hype that is detaching from reality at an alarming rate.

Prof. Silvio Savarese, Director of SAIL-Toyota Center for AI Research of Stanford University, said that despite the tremendous progress that machine learning, computational vision and perception robotics have made over the past decade, AI is still far from exhibiting the level of visual intelligence and behavioral traits—common sense reasoning, decision-making, adaptation and generalization, to cite a few—that humans are capable of as they observe, navigate and interact with the real world. He discussed challenges and opportunities in modern AI and showed its potential impact to applications related to autonomous driving, assistive robotics, robotic mobility, smart environments, augmented and virtual reality as well as large-scale information management in the construction business.

Regarding the local perspective on AI, Prof. Jane Yung-Jen Hsu from the National Taiwan University was invited to share her opinions on AI’s trends in the world of IoT. She suggested that we need to develop intelligent technologies that can enhance human-machine collaboration and real-time interaction, which can be used to assist in areas such as smart manufacturing. She further commented that researchers in Taiwan can collaborate with industry to provide vertical integration solutions for AI.

Dr. Chih-Han Yu, Founder and CEO of Appier, shared his personal experience from an AI scientist in the lab to an entrepreneur in the actual market. Appier was selected by Fortune magazine as one of the 50 companies leading AI revolution. Dr. Yu talked about how he has leveraged the innovative capacity and talents in Taiwan and led his team to develop the world’s leading AI applications and services.

ITRI established a collaboration platform with Stanford University in 2004, which leads to annual mutual visits and conferences that enhance the link between Taiwan and Silicon Valley. Gathering AI experts from both sides, this year’s symposium has gained more insights in AI that can further transform Taiwan’s industries.