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Science ministry, Uber in self-driving exchanges

2018/11/12 15:14:01

Science Minister Chen Liang-gee

Taipei, Nov. 12 (CNA) The Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) said Monday that it will team up with ride-hailing company Uber in artificial intelligence (AI) and self-driving technology exchanges.

In a joint statement with Uber, the MOST said the ministry will send a delegation organized by its AI research center and self-driving task force to the first Uber Open Summit 2018, scheduled to open Nov. 15 in San Francisco.

The MOST said the presence by the delegation in the upcoming Uber summit is expected to facilitate exchanges of tech talent between Taiwan and the San Francisco-headquartered company.

Science Minister Chen Liang-gee (陳良基) said in the statement that the MOST is gearing up to help the local AI and self-driving industries seek partnerships with Silicon Valley in the United States, and with such cooperation, Taiwanese firms are expected to gain access to tech resources in the U.S. market.

Chen said the efforts to team up with foreign tech giants are expected to pay off, adding in particular that cooperation with Uber, which took the top position in the CB Insights's rankings of unicorn startup rankings -- a privately owned startup valued at more than US$1 billion -- will benefit Taiwan's AI and self-driving development.

In addition to the presence at the Uber summit, the Taiwanese delegation will visit the Uber AI Labs and the company's self-driving operations, the MOST said.

The delegation will be comprised of National Chiao Tung University electronics and engineering professor Chang Tian-sheuan (張添烜), National Cheng Kung University electrical engineering professor Juang Jyh-ching (莊智清) and Feng Chia University automatic control engineering associate professor Lin Yu-chen (林昱成), the MOST said.

According to Uber, the summit will serve as a venue for developers and community leaders to advance open-source collaboration and innovation.

The summit will feature more than 15 talks and workshops, while the conference will also showcase how these technologies are driving the future of data visualization, AI, machine intelligence and website reliability.

Jim Zemlin, executive director of Linux Foundation, and Zoubin Ghahramani, chief scientist of Uber AI, will give keynote speeches at the summit.

According to Uber, the company is upbeat about Taiwan's potential in AI and self-driving development, and the move by Uber to invite the Taiwanese experts to the summit is expected to give Taiwan a better understanding of Uber's efforts in developing these emerging technologies.

(By Pan Tzu-yu and Frances Huang)