Microsoft continues to recruit top talent to build a world-class AI R&D community in Taiwan
September 27, 2019, Taipei — On the eve of its 30th anniversary, Microsoft Taiwan is pleased to announce that the AI R&D Center in Taiwan, which was established in 2018, is expanding and relocating, a year and a half after its grand opening.
Microsoft is investing more resources into Taiwan’s AI industry. In the era of AI, where software and hardware integration are inseparable, Microsoft will continue to work with software and hardware partners to build an AI ecosystem of the next generate and create the next momentum for Taiwan’s technology industry through development of pioneering technology.
Wen-Sheng Tseng, Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Economic Affairs, said at the opening ceremony that “Microsoft spared no effort to work with Taiwan’s industry, government and academic circles in technology cooperation.” He added that “We are looking forward to seeing that after the expansion and relocation of the Microsoft AI R&D Center, it can drive the next upgrade of Taiwanese AI talents and technology, enhance Taiwan’s competitiveness and realize Taiwan’s vision of becoming Asia-Pacific AI talent pool.”
On the eve of its 30th anniversary, Microsoft Taiwan will continue to collaborate with partners to create Taiwan’s technological miracle.
Michael Chang, Director of Microsoft AI R&D Center, further pointed out that the keen perception, teamwork ability, creativity and cross-disciplinary integrated logical thinking of the young talents in Taiwan are impressive, “Since its establishment, the Microsoft AI R&D Center in Taiwan has recruited more than 100 talent, and we are thrilled to expand to a two-story office in a short period of time. The relocation will enable outstanding young talents to work on a world-class team and access top international resources, advanced research and development technologies without leaving Taiwan. The Microsoft AI R&D Center focuses on AI technology research and industrial application development. In the future, it will continue to work with Taiwan’s major strategic industry partners to gain an in-depth understanding of AI application needs and assist Taiwan’s industries to upgrade easily and transform with AI.”
Microsoft AI R&D Center’s 3 areas of focus
As the starting point for Microsoft’s long-term AI program in Taiwan, the Microsoft AI R&D Center will focus on the following three areas of R&D.
- Computer vision
Microsoft has set up a computer vision technology research team in Taiwan to work with Microsoft’s research and engineering teams around the world. Computer vision technology can be applied to vertical industry applications such as quality management, detection of smart manufacturing, automated production line management, and textile industry dye management. In smart cities scenarios, computer vision can process urban traffic management and public security maintenance work. In smart agriculture, computer vision can greatly improve crop growth management, cultivation and identification. Computer vision can further promote the development of smart factories, smart cities and smart agriculture in Taiwan
- User intention recognition:
User intention is a very important part of AI. This technology subtype creates applications that meet the user’s needs by understanding users and building on their preferences to form intention models. At the beginning, the Microsoft AI R&D Center used Bing advertising as the first area for the application. In the future, the center will expand cooperation with various industries and develop various AI application solutions.
- Applications of AI to vertical industries:
Implementing the application of AI in vertical industries is an important goal of the AI R&D center in the medium to long term. In this branch of research, Microsoft will conduct a comprehensive study on industries such as “Smart Manufacturing” and “Smart Healthcare” as mentioned in the 5+2 Industrial Innovation Plan proposed by Taiwan’s Executive Yuan.
Vincent Shih, Assistant General Counsel at Microsoft and General Manager of Corporate, Legal & External Affairs for Microsoft Taiwan, says: “On the special occasion of Microsoft Taiwan’s 30th anniversary, we would like to express our gratitude to our industry, government and academic partners for their long-term support and assistance. In the next 30 years, we will continue to respond to the government’s “5+2 Industry Innovation Plan”, fully launch AI for industry, expand cooperation with all industries, join hands with Taiwan’s industrial partners to enter the era of Industry 4.0 and empower various industries to carry out digital transformation. Together we will help Taiwan to seize the opportunities and advantages in the next wave of the intelligence revolution.”
At the opening ceremony, the AI R&D Center demonstrated a series of Microsoft’s latest AI technology applications, which can be widely applied in medical, entertainment, retail, security management and other fields. The Microsoft R&D team has developed a number of top technologies for computer vision and deep learning, letting the computer strengthen its role in people’s lives and helping people get closer to the world while living life with more wisdom. Microsoft demonstrated the following technologies:
- Security management such as access control systems
Windows Hello and 3D anti-spoofing technology strengthen the level of security protection. Windows Hello is a world-leading face verification system for unlocking devices developed by Microsoft. It adopts deep learning technology, allowing users to log into the system easily, quickly and securely without entering complicated passwords. 3D anti-spoofing technology is where Microsoft combines the latest deep learning neural network, a 3D depth sensor camera and its Azure cloud computing platform to create a powerful anti-spoofing system. This technology can enhance the security of biometric authentication systems such as access control, which further prevents malicious attacks from hackers.
- Text recognition and digitization of paper documents:
Microsoft offers its state-of-the-art optical character recognition and receipt understanding technologies to enable the digital transformation of business operations. The system can identify the text content in receipts, business cards, invoices and other forms. Although the text may be distorted, faded, or blemished, they can still be accurately identified and processed according to the semantics of the text. In the future, various industries can apply this core technology to digitize paper documents or to enable scenarios such as digital government, smart factories and smart cities. Receipt understanding is a natural language processing technology developed by the Microsoft AI R&D Center in Taiwan. Assisted by optical character recognition, this technology enables computers to understand the complex structures and values in receipts and automatically summarize various receipt attributes. This advanced service that combines computer vision and natural language processing can help improve the efficiency of accounting and expense management.
An injection of localized design and sustainable materials will create the ideal office environment for AI research and development.
The Microsoft AI R&D Center office is located in the prime location of the Xinyi District of Taipei with convenient transportation. Construction of the office space used selected materials and focus on environmental protection, green energy and integration into the local culture. It combines Taiwan’s unique humanity with Microsoft’s corporate culture. The space utilizes the unique features of Yingge pottery, symbolizing a profound history. River-simulation carpeting replicates the sophisticated, underlying beauty of Taiwan. The office is designed to meet the diverse needs of R&D personnel. For example, whiteboards can be seen everywhere in the office so that the R&D team can start brainstorming meetings and deftly discuss and document creative content at any time, inspiring more creative possibilities. A hotel-style lounge provides space for relaxation. The center also comes with nursery room, restrooms friendly to all genders, an accessible restroom and accessible meeting room. There’s a friendly working environment as well for women or for people with limited mobility.