Taiwan's Approach to AI Governance

Taiwan's Approach to AI Governance

2024/06/19

In an era where artificial intelligence (AI) reshapes every facet of life, governance plays a pivotal role in harnessing its benefits while mitigating associated risks. Taiwan, recognizing the dual-edged nature of AI, has embarked on a comprehensive strategy to ensure its development is both ethical and effective. This article delves into Taiwan's AI governance framework, exploring its strategic pillars, regulatory milestones, and future directions.

I. Taiwan's AI Governance Vision: Taiwan AI Action Plan 2.0

Taiwan has long viewed AI as a transformative force that must be guided with a careful balance of innovation and regulation. With the advent of technologies capable of influencing democracy, privacy, and social stability, Taiwan's approach is rooted in human-centric values. The nation's strategy is aligned with global movements towards responsible AI, drawing lessons from international standards like those set by the European Union's Artificial Intelligence Act.

The "Taiwan AI Action Plan 2.0" is the cornerstone of this strategy. It is a multi-faceted plan designed to boost Taiwan's AI capabilities through five key components:

1. Talent Development: Enhancing the quality and quantity of AI professionals while improving public AI literacy through targeted education and training initiatives.

2. Technological and Industrial Advancement: Focusing on critical AI technologies and applications to foster industrial growth and creating the Trustworthy AI Dialogue Engine (TAIDE) that communicates in Traditional Chinese.

3. Supportive Infrastructure: Establishing robust AI governance infrastructure to facilitate industry and governmental regulation, and to foster compliance with international standards.

4. International Collaboration: Expanding Taiwan's role in international AI forums, such as the Global Partnership on AI (GPAI), to collaborate on developing trustworthy AI practices.

5. Societal and Humanitarian Engagement: Utilizing AI to tackle pressing societal challenges like labor shortages, an aging population, and environmental sustainability.

II. Guidance-before-legislation

To facilitate a gradual adaptation to the evolving legal landscape of artificial intelligence and maintain flexibility in governance, Taiwan employs a "guidance-before-legislation" approach. This strategy prioritizes the rollout of non-binding guidelines as an initial step, allowing agencies to adjust before any formal legislation is enacted as needed.

Taiwan adopts a proactive approach in AI governance, facilitated by the Executive Yuan. This method involves consistent inter-departmental collaborations to create a unified regulatory landscape. Each ministry is actively formulating and refining guidelines to address the specific challenges and opportunities presented by AI within their areas of responsibility, spanning finance, healthcare, transportation, and cultural sectors.

III. Next step: Artificial Intelligence Basic Act

The drafting of the "Basic Law on Artificial Intelligence," anticipated for legislative review in 2024, marks a significant step towards codifying Taiwan’s AI governance. Built on seven foundational principles—transparency, privacy, autonomy, fairness, cybersecurity, sustainable development, and accountability—this law will serve as the backbone for all AI-related activities and developments in Taiwan.

By establishing rigorous standards and evaluation mechanisms, this law will not only govern but also guide the ethical deployment of AI technologies, ensuring that they are beneficial and safe for all.

IV. Conclusion

As AI continues to evolve, the need for robust governance frameworks becomes increasingly critical. Taiwan is setting a global standard for AI governance that is both ethical and effective. Through legislation, active international cooperation, and a steadfast commitment to human-centric values, Taiwan is shaping a future where AI technology not only thrives but also aligns seamlessly with societal norms and values.

※Taiwan's Approach to AI Governance,STLI, https://stli.iii.org.tw/en/article-detail.aspx?no=105&tp=2&i=168&d=9199 (Date:2024/07/20)
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The Key Elements for Data Intermediaries to Deliver Their Promise

The Key Elements for Data Intermediaries to Deliver Their Promise 2022/12/13   As human history enters the era of data economy, data has become the new oil. It feeds artificial intelligence algorithms that are disrupting how advertising, healthcare, transportation, insurance, and many other industries work. The excitement of having data as a key production input lies in the fact that it is a non-rivalrous good that does not diminish by consumption.[1] However, the fact that people are reluctant in sharing data due to privacy and trade secrets considerations has been preventing countries to realize the full value of data. [2]   To release more data, policymakers and researchers have been exploring ways to overcome the trust dilemma. Of all the discussions, data intermediaries have become a major solution that governments are turning to. This article gives an overview of relevant policy developments concerning data intermediaries and a preliminary analysis of the key elements that policymakers should consider for data intermediaries to function well. I. Policy and Legal developments concerning data intermediaries   In order to unlock data’s full value, many countries have started to focus on data intermediaries. For example, in 2021, the UK’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) commissioned the Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation (CDEI) to publish a report on data intermediaries[3] , in response to the 2020 National Data Strategy.[4] In 2020, the European Commission published its draft Data Governance Act (DGA)[5] , which aims to build up trust in data intermediaries and data altruism organizations, in response to the 2020 European Strategy for Data.[6] The act was adopted and approved in mid-2022 by the Parliament and Council; and will apply from 24 September 2023.[7] The Japanese government has also promoted the establishment of data intermediaries since 2019, publishing guidance to establish regulations on data trust and data banks.[8] II. Key considerations for designing effective data intermediary policy 1.Evaluate which type of data intermediary works best in the targeted country   From CDEI’s report on data intermediaries and the confusion in DGA’s various versions of data intermediary’s definition, one could tell that there are many forms of data intermediaries. In fact, there are at least eight types of data intermediaries, including personal information management systems (PIMS), data custodians, data exchanges, industrial data platforms, data collaboratives, trusted third parties, data cooperatives, and data trusts.[9] Each type of data intermediary was designed to combat data-sharing issues in specific countries, cultures, and scenarios. Hence, policymakers need to evaluate which type of data intermediary is more suitable for their society and market culture, before investing more resources to promote them.   For example, data trust came from the concept of trust—a trustee managing a trustor’s property rights on behalf of his interest. This practice emerged in the middle ages in England and has since developed into case law.[10] Thus, the idea of data trust is easily understood and trusted by the British people and companies. As a result, British people are more willing to believe that data trusts will manage their data on their behalf in their best interest and share their valuable data, compared to countries without a strong legal history of trusts. With more people sharing their data, trusts would have more bargaining power to negotiate contract terms that are more beneficial to data subjects than what individual data owners could have achieved. However, this model would not necessarily work for other countries without a strong foundation of trust law. 2.Quality signals required to build trust: A government certificate system can help overcome the lemon market problem   The basis of trust in data intermediaries depends largely on whether the service provider is really neutral in its actions and does not reuse or sell off other parties’ data in secret. However, without a suitable way to signal their service quality, the market would end up with less high-quality service, as consumers would be reluctant to pay for higher-priced service that is more secure and trustworthy when they have no means to verify the exact quality.[11] This lemon market problem could only be solved by a certificate system established by actors that consumers trust, which in most cases is the government.   The EU government clearly grasped this issue as a major obstacle to the encouragement of trust in data intermediaries and thus tackles it with a government register and verification system. According to the Data Government Act, data intermediation services providers who intend to provide services are required to notify the competent authority with information on their legal status, form, ownership structure, relevant subsidiaries, address, public website, contact details, the type of service they intend to provide, the estimated start date of activities…etc. This information would be provided on a website for consumers to review. In addition, they can request the competent authority to confirm their legal compliance status, which would in turn verify them as reliable entities that can use the ‘data intermediation services provider recognised in the Union’ label. 3.Overcoming trust issues with technology that self-enforces privacy: privacy-enhancing technologies (PETs)   Even if there are verified data intermediation services available, businesses and consumers might still be reluctant to trust human organizations. A way to boost trust is to adopt technologies that self-enforces privacy. A real-world example is OpenSAFELY, a data intermediary implementing privacy-enhancing technologies (PETs) to provide health data sharing in a secure environment. Through a federated analytics system, researchers are able to conduct research with large volumes of healthcare data, without the ability to observe any data directly. Under such protection, UK NHS is willing to share its data for research purposes. The accuracy and timeliness of such research have provided key insights to inform the UK government in decision-making during the COVID-19 pandemic.   With the benefits it can bring, unsurprisingly, PETs-related policies have become quite popular around the globe. In June 2022, Singapore launched its Digital Trust Centre (DTC) for accelerating PETs development and also signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the International Centre of Expertise of Montreal for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (CEIMIA) to collaborate on PETs.[12] On September 7th, 2022, the UK Information Commissioners’ Office (ICO) published draft guidance on PETs.[13] Moreover, the U.K. and U.S. governments are collaborating on PETs prize challenges, announcing the first phase winners on November 10th, 2022.[14] We could reasonably predict that more PETs-related policies would emerge in the coming year. [1] Yan Carrière-Swallow and Vikram Haksar, The Economics of Data, IMFBlog (Sept. 23, 2019), https://blogs.imf.org/2019/09/23/the-economics-of-data/#:~:text=Data%20has%20become%20a%20key,including%20oil%2C%20in%20important%20ways (last visited July 22, 2022). [2] Frontier Economics, Increasing access to data across the economy: Report prepared for the Department for Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport (2021), https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/974532/Frontier-access_to_data_report-26-03-2021.pdf (last visited July 22, 2022). [3] The Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation (CDEI), Unlocking the value of data: Exploring the role of data intermediaries (2021), https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1004925/Data_intermediaries_-_accessible_version.pdf (last visited June 17, 2022). [4] Please refer to the guidelines for the selection of sponsors of the 2022 Social Innovation Summit: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/uk-national-data-strategy/national-data-strategy(last visited June 17, 2022). [5] Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on European data governance and amending Regulation (EU) 2018/1724 (Data Governance Act), 2020/0340 (COD) final (May 4, 2022). [6] Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and The Committee of the Regions— A European strategy for data, COM/2020/66 final (Feb 19, 2020). [7] Proposal for a Regulation on European Data Governance, European Parliament Legislative Train Schedule, https://www.europarl.europa.eu/legislative-train/theme-a-europe-fit-for-the-digital-age/file-data-governance-act(last visited Aug 17, 2022). [8] 周晨蕙,〈日本資訊信託功能認定指引第二版〉,科技法律研究所,https://stli.iii.org.tw/article-detail.aspx?no=67&tp=5&d=8422(最後瀏覽日期︰2022/05/30)。 [9] CDEI, supra note 3. [10] Ada Lovelace Institute, Exploring legal mechanisms for data stewardship (2021), 30~31,https://www.adalovelaceinstitute.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/Legal-mechanisms-for-data-stewardship_report_Ada_AI-Council-2.pdf (last visited Aug 17, 2022). [11] George A. Akerlof, The Market for "Lemons": Quality Uncertainty and the Market Mechanism, THE QUARTERLY JOURNAL OF ECONOMICS, 84(3), 488-500 (1970). [12] IMDA, MOU Signing Between IMDA and CEIMIA is a Step Forward in Cross-border Collaboration on Privacy Enhancing Technology (PET) (2022),https://www.imda.gov.sg/-/media/Imda/Files/News-and-Events/Media-Room/Media-Releases/2022/06/MOU-bet-IMDA-and-CEIMIA---ATxSG-1-Jun-2022.pdf (last visited Nov. 28, 2022). [13] ICO publishes guidance on privacy enhancing technologies, ICO, https://ico.org.uk/about-the-ico/media-centre/news-and-blogs/2022/09/ico-publishes-guidance-on-privacy-enhancing-technologies/ (last visited Nov. 27, 2022). [14] U.K. and U.S. governments collaborate on prize challenges to accelerate development and adoption of privacy-enhancing technologies, GOV.UK, https://www.gov.uk/government/news/uk-and-us-governments-collaborate-on-prize-challenges-to-accelerate-development-and-adoption-of-privacy-enhancing-technologies (last visited Nov. 28, 2022); Winners Announced in First Phase of UK-US Privacy-Enhancing Technologies Prize Challenges, NIST, https://www.nist.gov/news-events/news/2022/11/winners-announced-first-phase-uk-us-privacy-enhancing-technologies-prize (last visited Nov. 28, 2022).

Executive Yuan’s call to action:“Industrial Upgrading and Transformation Action Plan”

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It can be observed that as Taiwan’s industrial core strength is largely concentrated within the the manufacturing sector, the service sector, on the other hand, dwindles. Similarly, the country’s manufacturing efforts have been largely centered upon the Information & Communications Technology (ICT) industry, where the norm of production has been the fulfillment of international orders in components manufacturing and Original Equipment Manufacturing (OEM). Additionally, the raising-up of society’s ecological awareness has further halted the development of the upstream petrochemical and metal industry. Consumer goods manufacturing growth impetus too has been stagnated. Against the backdrop of the aforementioned factors at play as well as the competitive pressure exerted on Taiwan by force of the rapid global and regional economic integration developments, plans to upgrade and transform the existing industrial framework, consequently, arises out as an necessary course of action by the state. Accordingly, Taiwan’s Executive Yuan approved and launched the “Industrial Upgrading and Transformation Action Plan”, on the 13th of October 2014, aiming to reform traditional industries, reinforcing core manufacturing capacities and fostering innovative enterprises, through the implementation of four principal strategies: Upgrading of Product Grade and Value, Establishment of Complete Supply Chain, Setting-up of System Integration Solutions Capability, Acceleration of Growth in the Innovative Sector. 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Unlike practices in countries such as Germany and Korea, the research fund input by private enterprises into academic and research institutions is still a relatively unfamiliar exercise in Taiwan. With regards to investment focus, the over-concentration in ICTs should be redirected to accommodate growth possibilities for other industries as well. It has been observed that research investments in the pharmaceutical and electric equipment manufacturing sector has increased, yet in order to not fall into the race-to-the-bottom trap for lowest of costs, enterprises should be continually encouraged to develop high-quality and innovative products and services that would stand out. 2.Human talent and labor force issues Taiwan’s labor force, age 15 to 64, will have reached its peak in 2015, after which will slowly decline. It has been estimated that in 2011 the working population would amount to a meager 55.8%. If by mathematical deduction, based on an annual growth rate of 3%, 4% and 5%, in the year 2020 the labor scarcity would increase from 379,000, 580,000 to 780,000 accordingly. Therefore, it is crucial that productivity must increase, otherwise labor shortage of the future will inevitably stagnate economic growth. Notwithstanding that Taiwan’s demographical changes have lead to a decrease in labor force; the unfavorable working conditions so far has induced skilled professionals to seek employment abroad. The aging society along with decrease in birth rates has further exacerbated the existing cul-de-sac in securing a robust workforce. In 1995 the employment rate under the age of 34 was 46.35%, yet in 2010 it dropped to a daunting 37.6%. 3.Proportional land-use and environmental concerns Taiwan’s Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is a time-consuming and often unpredictable process that has substantially deterred investor’s confidence. 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(2) Total GDP of the service sector, starting at 3.03 trillion from 2011 is expected to grow in 2020 to 4.75 trillion NTD. 1.Strategy No.1 : Upgrading of product grade and value Given that Taiwan’s manufacturing industry’s rate for added value has been declining year after year, the industry should strive to evolve itself to be more qualitative and value-added oriented, starting from the development of high-end products, including accordingly high-value research efforts in harnessing essential technologies, in the metallic materials, screws and nuts manufacturing sector, aviation, petrochemical, textile and food industries etc. (1) Furtherance of quality research Through the employment of Technology Development Program (TDP) Organizations, Industrial TDP and Academic TDP, theme-based and pro-active Research and Development programs, along with other related secondary assistance measures, the industrial research capability will be expanded. The key is in targeting research in high-end products so that critical technology can be reaped as a result. (2) Facilitating the formation of research alliances with upper-, mid- and downstream enterprises Through the formation of research and development alliances, the localization of material and equipment supply is secured; hence resulting in national autonomy in production capacity. Furthermore, supply chain between industrial component makers and end-product manufacturers are to be conjoined and maintained. National enterprises too are to be pushed forth towards industrial research development, materializing the technical evolution of mid- and downstream industries. (3) Integrative development assistance in Testing and Certification The government will support integrative development in testing and certification, in an effort to boost national competitive advantage thorough benefitting from industrial clusters as well as strengthening value-added logistics services, including collaboration in related value-added services. (4) Establishment of international logistics centre Projection of high-value product and industrial cluster image, through the establishment of an international logistics centre. 2.Strategy No.2 : Establishment of a Complete Supply Chain The establishing a robust and comprehensive supply chain is has at its aim transforming national production capabilities to be sovereign and self-sustaining, without having to resort to intervention of foreign corporations. This is attained through the securing of key materials, components and equipments manufacturing capabilities. This strategy finds its application in the field of machine tool controllers, flat panel display materials, semiconductor devices (3D1C), high-end applications processor AP, solar cell materials, special alloys for the aviation industry, panel equipment, electric vehicle motors, power batteries, bicycle electronic speed controller (ESC), electrical silicon steel, robotics, etc. The main measures listed are as follows: (1) Review of industry gaps After comprehensive review of existing technology gaps depicted by industry, research and academic institutions, government, strategies are to be devised, so that foreign technology can be introduced, such as by way of cooperative ventures, in order to promote domestic autonomous development models. (2) Coordination of Research and Development unions – building-up of autonomous supply chain. Integrating mid- and downstream research and development unions in order to set up a uniform standard in equipment, components and materials in its functional specifications. (3) Application-theme-based research programs Through the release of public notice, industries are invited to submit research proposals focusing on specific areas, so that businesses are aided in developing their own research capabilities in core technologies and products. (4) Promotion of cross-industry cooperation to expand fields of mutual application Continuously expanding field of technical application and facilitating cross-industry cooperation; Taking advantage of international platform to induce cross-border technical collaboration. 3.Strategy No.3 : Setting-up of System Integration Solutions capability Expanding turnkey-factory and turnkey-project system integration capabilities, in order to increase and stimulate export growth; Combination of smart automation systems to strengthen hardware and software integration, hence, boosting system integration solution capacity, allowing stand-alone machinery to evolve into a total solution plant, thus creating additional fields of application and services, effectively expanding the value-chain. These type of transitions are to be seen in the following areas: turnkey-factory and turnkey-project exports, intelligent automated manufacturing, cloud industry, lifestyle (key example: U-Bike in Taipei City) industry, solar factory, wood-working machinery, machine tools, food/paper mills, rubber and plastic machines sector. Specific implementation measure s includes: (1) Listing of national export capability – using domestic market as test bed for future global business opportunities Overall listing of all national system integration capabilities and gaps and further assistance in building domestic “test beds” for system integration projects, so that in the future system-integration solutions can be exported abroad, especially to the emerging economies (including ASEAN, Mainland China) where business opportunities should be fully explored. The current action plan should simultaneously assist these national enterprises in their marketing efforts. (2) Formation of System Integration business alliances and Strengthening of export capability through creation of flagship team Formation of system integration business alliances, through the use of national equipment and technology, with an aim to comply with global market’s needs. Promotion of export of turnkey-factory and turnkey-projects, in order to make an entrance to the global high-value system integration market. Bolstering of international exchanges, allowing European and Asian banking experts assist Taiwanese enterprises in enhancing bids efforts. (3) Establishing of financial assistance schemes to help national enterprises in their overseas bidding efforts Cooperation with financial institutes creating financial support schemes in syndicated loans for overseas bidding, in order to assist national businesses in exporting their turnkey-factories and turnkey-solutions abroad. 4. Strategy No.4 : Acceleration of growth in the innovative sectors Given Taiwan economy’s over-dependence on the growth of the electronics industry, a new mainstream industry replacement should be developed. Moreover, the blur distinction between the manufacturing, service and other industries, presses Taiwan to develop cross-fields of application markets, so that the market opportunities of the future can be fully explored. Examples of these markets include: Smart Campus, Intelligent Transportation System, Smart Health, Smart City, B4G/5G Communications, Strategic Service Industries, Next-Generation Semiconductors, Next-Generation Visual Display, 3D Printing, New Drugs and Medical Instruments, Smart Entertainment, Lifestyle industry (for instance the combination of plan factory and leisure tourism), offshore wind power plant, digital content (including digital learning), deep sea water. Concrete measures include: (1) Promotion of cooperation between enterprises and research institutions to increase efficiency in the functioning of the national innovation process Fostering of Industry-academic cooperation, combining pioneering academic research results with efficient production capability; Cultivation of key technology, accumulation of core intellectual property, strengthening integration of industrial technology and its market application, as well as, establishment of circulation integration platform and operational model for intellectual property. (2) Creating the ideal Ecosystem for innovation industries Strategic planning of demo site, constructing an ideal habitat for the flourishing of innovation industries, as well as the inland solution capability. Promotion of international-level testing environment, helping domestic industries to be integrated with overseas markets and urging the development of new business models through open competition. Encouraging international cooperation efforts, connecting domestic technological innovation capacities with industries abroad. (3) Integration of Cross-Branch Advisory Resources and Deregulation to further support Industrial Development Cross-administrations consultations further deregulation to support an ideal industrial development environment and overcoming traditional cross-branch developmental limitations in an effort to develop innovation industries. IV. Conclusion Taiwan is currently at a pivotal stage in upgrading its industry, the role of the government will be clearly evidenced by its efforts in promoting cross-branch/cross-fields cooperation, establishing a industrial-academic cooperation platform. Simultaneously, the implementation of land, human resources, fiscal, financial and environmental policies will be adopted to further improve the investment ambient, so that Taiwan’s businesses, research institutions and the government could all come together, endeavoring to help Taiwan breakthrough its currently economic impasse through a thorough industrial upgrading. Moreover, it can be argued that the real essence of the present action plan lies in the urge to transform Taiwan’s traditional industries into incubation centers for innovative products and services. With the rapid evolution of ICTs, accelerating development and popular use of Big Data and the Internet of Things, traditional industries can no longer afford to overlook its relation with these technologies and the emerging industries that are backed by them. It is only through the close and intimate interconnection between these two industries that Taiwan’s economy would eventually get the opportunity to discard its outdated growth model based on “quantity” and “cost”. It is believed that the aforementioned interaction is an imperative that would allow Taiwanese industries to redefine its own value amidst fierce global market competition. The principal efforts by the Taiwanese government are in nurturing such a dialogue to occur with the necessary platform, as well as financial and human resources. An illustration of the aforementioned vision can be seen from the “Industrie 4.0” project lead by Germany – the development of intelligent manufacturing, through close government, business and academic cooperation, combining the internet of things development, creating promising business opportunities of the Smart Manufacturing and Services market. This is the direction that Taiwan should be leading itself too. References 1.Executive Yuan, Republic of China http://www.ey.gov.tw/en/(last visited: 2015.02.06) 2.Industrial Development Bureau, Ministry of Economic Affairs http://www.moeaidb.gov.tw/(last visited: 2015.02.06) 3.Industrial Upgrading and Transformation Action Plan http://www.moeaidb.gov.tw/external/ctlr?PRO=filepath.DownloadFile&f=policy&t=f&id=4024(last visited: 2015.02.06)

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