Just last week I attended a very interesting AI event organized by Hive Ventures in Taipei – Galaxy Summit 2021. Summit was organized around the public release of the survey on the state of enterprise AI in Taiwan. Hive Ventures collected and prepared surveys together with partners Taiwan Artificial Intelligence School, Asia Silicon Valley and Startup Island Taiwan. 247 organizations took part in the survey, mostly medium to large enterprises. Event included forums on related topics such as AI and e-commerce, plus keynotes by Taiwanese technology personalities such as former head of Google Taiwan, Dr. Lee Feng Chien and opening speech by Taiwan’s National Development Council Minister Kung Ming-Hsi..

Summit photo by Hive Ventures

Understanding and devotion

Survey data pointed out the mature state of understanding AI as the important component of the organization’s future, as highlighted by the fact that Taiwanese companies are technically oriented and minded. This was especially evident in data showing that 52% of the companies deployed AI on their local system, and only 6% of surveyed considering discussion with senior management as an obstacle in further AI development. Clearly showing that Taiwan has strong technical orientation within enterprise and focus on advanced technologies, like implementation of AI will not be an obstacle in the future for Taiwan.

Which question should be asked at the beginning of the process, is a great point made by Huatai Electronics CIO Jinqiu Wang. It is very important to understand challenges and goals,  and build a clear roadmap before starting the AI journey. Setting up the right goal and expectations with stakeholders are imperatives for AI development within enterprises. Considering that AI will impact almost every process with companies -’AI is the new electricity’ as great Andrew Ng stated – use of AI will grow exponentially, and it will be important to understand and manage responsible AI, its impact, biases, diversity, and confidently lead with purpose driven goals  

Photo by Hive ventures

Sharing the vision

I can confidently state  – there is NO better country in the world to dominate the future development of AI, than Taiwan. We can do this. Understanding, maturity, focus, technical knowledge, determination and resources are all present  Next step is to give our products wings..Yes, nobody will come to give us a spot we deserve in the great AI revolution. Same as a few decades ago nobody knew that their laptop was built in Taiwan, nobody will use our AI, unless we also build a vision for the future We must lead our own future.

Current lead in hardware is another proof of high level of product execution Taiwan is capable of -.staggering 63% market share for Taiwanese semiconductors companies, with lion share of 54% standing with TSMC hands (Source: TrendForce, March 2021). Even one of the most influential people of our times, German Chancellor Angela Merkel asked Taiwan and TSMC to help German automotive industry – showing tremendous influence of Taiwan semiconductor companies in the current landscape. This is another chance we should not miss. I encourage TSMC and UMC to take more significant roles in thought leadership. They are in the perfect position to be at the forefront of the technology revolution – create events, collaborations, educational programs and share their know-how in achieving amazing results within highly competitive markets. Semiconductor companies should partner with software companies producing AI software to offer initiative across the world.. This is also a great opportunity to share Taiwanes culture and increase visibility. 

100-year shortcut’

Tesla Motors is built on the promise of the automotive future, not on products it ships. Tesla became the most valuable car company in the world based on vision which CEO Elon Musk successfully shared – an act which I call a ‘100-year shortcut’. This vision rewarded Tesla with valuation higher than ‘mature’ car companies such as Ford and GM. What more it took around 100 years less for Tesla to reach the same (and higher) valuation. Important is to note that Tesla valuation is not built on the value of its products, as production is a very small percentage of the output numbers Ford and GM have, and product itself is far from perfect (even in my personal experience with Model S, I find it interesting but not satisfying to drive). Therefore, the product didn’t matter as much as vision in driving Tesla to the high position which holds today. Today is always shaped by the vision for tomorrow.

Being global is within the reach

Companies should not limit themselves to local customers, as your first customers are your stakeholder, and for startups – the first customers are like co-founders. They will help  build and shape company products and services. This means companies of all sizes should really invest in finding the right customers, who are willing to invest in open collaboration. Luckly, the current terrifying pandemic did bring one good thing  – everyone works remotely. Everyone is sitting in front of their Zoom screen and building relationships across the globe. This is another component which leveling the playing field for Taiwanese companies, as everyone has the same access to potential customers  – and tools to get followers behind their vision for the future of AI. 

We must show to the world the place we deserve in the great AI revolution. Taiwanese companies must invest in sharing their vision – and establishing their position in the global markets. They deserve it.

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For a full report on the state of Taiwanese enterprise AI, please contact Hive Ventures.

To contact Dean, author of this article: dean@mission.ai