In line with global AI development trends, the Executive Yuan initiated "Digital Nation & Innovative Economic Development Program, DIGI+” program starting from 2017 across governmental agencies to achieve a Smart Sustainable Human-centric DIGI vision.

To follow up DIGI+ initiative, in 2017, the Executive Yuan launched the “AI Action Plan” with the aim to prosper AI development and to build solid digital infrastructure. MOST announced an AI Grand Strategy. Important topics included in these AI policies are the publication of open data, the encouragement of AI start-ups, the attraction of multinationals, the cultivation of AI talents and the stimulation of AI research.

In order to keep Taiwan’s AI research community’s momentum, MOST initiated “AI thematic research program to cope with national grand challenges” in 2021. The main aims of this program include AI frontier technology breakthrough, AI technology solutions for industries, AI talents cultivation, and balancing digital development of northern and southern Taiwan. Through this program, it is expected to reach following goals to lead Taiwan toward the 2030 vision of innovation, inclusion, and sustainability.
  1. To enhance Taiwan research communality equipped with a deeper level of fundamental AI research capacity
  2. To develop more diversified cross-domain dissemination
  3. To build stronger international impact for global good
  4. To establish an environment with sound laws and regulations, and intelligently and massively lead innovative AI applications

Program Key Points:
  1. Select grand challenges topics having global impacts, aligning with Taiwan advantages, and connecting with the requirements of industry applications. Technology and applications teams are then integrated to jointly research and then propose the corresponding solutions for the challenges. Some examples of the grand challenges are population with unbalanced structure and non-uniform distribution, industry and labors transformation challenges induced by the accelerated cross-domain innovation of new technologies, and the threats to environmental sustainability caused by extreme climate and deficient resources.
  2. Activate AI technology application to cope with Taiwan’s grand challenges and important needs. Further, integrate trustworthy AI to facilitate research achievements’ future cross-domain and transboundary applications for greater potential to industrialize AI solutions.
  3.  Emphasize the mechanism of data governance and model sharing for higher AI trustworthiness and more benefits of resource investment.
  4.  Pay attention to the potential humanities and societal impacts due to AI development. And hence figure out the corresponding practical solutions in the early stage for the AI thematic research program’s possible influences on society, ethics, laws and regulations.

To implement the key points and achieve the goals, the MOST AI thematic research program’s call for proposals include two types of projects as follows.
  1.  Thematic research group projects: The cross-domain research teams focusing on specific challenging topics and thoroughly consider the issues relating to core technology, domain applications, data governance, and societal ethics.
  2.  Overcoming Core technology challenges projects: The standalone projects strictly selected for sprinting the global leading position of AI related research in order to upgrade Taiwan’s international competitiveness and influence on cutting edge AI science.
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