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Taiwan should aim at markets outside US, China in AI era: Acer founder

03/29/2024 08:21 PM
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Acer founder Stan Shih gives a keynote speech at the forum celebrating the 75th anniversary of the Taiwan Electrical and Electronic Manufacturers' Association in Taipei Friday. CNA photo March 29, 2024
Acer founder Stan Shih gives a keynote speech at the forum celebrating the 75th anniversary of the Taiwan Electrical and Electronic Manufacturers' Association in Taipei Friday. CNA photo March 29, 2024

Taipei, March 29 (CNA) Taiwan should explore markets outside the United States and China to develop and promote its own innovative AI applications in the future and avoid taking on major players head on, Acer founder Stan Shih (施振榮) said Friday.

Discussing Taiwan's role in the new artificial intelligence (AI) era at an event marking the 75th anniversary of the Taiwan Electrical and Electronic Manufacturers' Association in Taipei, Shih said Taiwan is a major supplier of global computing power and could leverage that on AI.

Taiwan should ride the new boom of AI-based total solutions such as smart medicine, smart city, and smart transportation in the AI era by putting an emphasis on the "third-world" market, Shih said, defining "third-world" as outside the U.S. and China, including Europe and Japan.

He argued that as the U.S. and China will have their own dominant players, Taiwan should explore other markets for its AI application products that require both software and hardware capabilities, he said.

"Taiwan's local market is relatively small, but markets are where innovation happens," Shih said.

Since AI innovation requires chips from Taiwan, the island can become a "lab" for AI application development as it has advantages in both cost and speed, he noted.

After demonstrating the advantages of its approach in this lab, Taiwan can then offer custom-made AI applications for local needs in the "third-world" market, Shih said.

Because of that, Taiwan should develop new core capabilities that are not just focused on hardware, the Acer founder said, stressing that Taiwanese businesses should be "closer to users."

The business-to-business (B2B) model has been the foundation of how Taiwanese industries globalize, but in the AI era, "we need to extend the model to B2B2C, or business-to-business-to-customers, where higher added-value lies," Shih said.

There will be a wealth of commercial opportunities in the AI-based service sector in the future, he predicted.

(By Alison Hsiao)

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