I traveled to Taiwan last week, where I met many CEOs interested in AI transformation of traditional companies. I also visited Taiwan AI Labs which, similar to OpenAI, started as a nonprofit AI research institute.
Funded by government and private financing, Taiwan AI Labs works on smart city, healthcare, and other projects; for example, using computer vision to estimate traffic flow. Ethan Tu, the lab’s leader, tells me it focuses on practical and socially important projects, including ones that are hard to fund commercially, and openly publishes all its work. I also several professors on sabbatical there. They told me that the lab gives them more engineering resources for AI than they can generally find in a university.
I’m glad to see different nations experiment with new ways to organize AI research and development. I hope more countries will fund nonprofit AI research labs.
Shout out also to National Taiwan University, Taiwan Ministry of Science and Technology, and Taiwania Capital for helping organize my trip!