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Taiwan stages sci-tech show, promoting AI development

Xinhua | Updated: 2017-12-29 17:23

TAIPEI -- An exposition featuring future sci-tech is being held in Taipei to promote the development of AI technology.

The three-day exposition, which opened Thursday, focuses on the development and application of AI technology, green energy, bio-medicine, medical materials and nanotechnology.

The island's scientific and technological affairs authorities have recently announced an investment of 16 billion new Taiwan dollars ($537 million) to develop AI technology in the coming five years. The plan includes constructing AI research centers and robot production bases.

At the exposition, many institutions are demonstrating their research in disaster prevention technology by integrating AI, which is of importance for an island with a high risk of natural hazards such as earthquakes and typhoons.

For instance, researchers are developing technologies for earthquake disaster reduction and emergency response. The measures include technology to detect weak p-waves that are the first signals from earthquakes, to estimate the strength of earthquakes within three seconds.

Based on these estimates, escape guide lights in buildings will be automatically turned on while gas and electricity are cut off.

In order to prevent traffic accidents caused by tired drivers, researchers are developing an early-warning system by utilizing AI technology.

According to Archie Wang, project manager of the College of Medical Science and Technology of the Taipei Medical University, researchers are collecting big data about drivers' history of illness and tiredness, which will help analyze their physical condition.

"We also use AI face recognition system to monitor driver behavior like dozing, nodding and blinking, and send early warnings to prevent fatigued driving," Wang said.

In addition to red-hot AI technology, Taiwan has also seen a large demand for new medical technology, as the island is becoming an aging society.

Yeh Chen-Sheng, a professor from the department of chemistry at Taiwan's Cheng Kung University, said they had developed a drug by combining nanometer materials, which could shorten wound healing time from 22 days to 13 days. The drug, which could be especially helpful for diabetics, has been tested on animals, and is awaiting clinical trial.

A fast charging and discharging battery also drew attention at the exposition. The battery, using aluminum ion, can completely charge within two minutes, and costs are much lower and it is much safer than a lithium ion battery, according to a researcher from the Taiwan University of Science and Technology.

The battery life could potentially be as much as 20 years, and it could work in environments with a temperature as low as minus 30 to minus 40 degrees Celsius. The battery may be used in cranes, robots, emergency power supply and solar energy storage devices.

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