National Science and Technology Council (NSTC) chief Wu Tsung-tsong gives a speech during the launch ceremony of the Institute for Democracy, Society, and Emerging Technology in Taipei on Monday. Photo Courtesy of NSTC Oct.2, 2023
Taiwan's National Science and Technology Council (NSTC) launched its Research Institute for Democracy, Society, and Emerging Technology (DSET) on Monday, the nation's first national-level, interdisciplinary institute dedicated to assessing and responding to the impacts that emerging technologies bring to democracy.
Speaking at the launch conference in Taipei, NSTC chief Wu Tsung-tsong (吳政忠) emphasized that national science and technology policy extends its influence beyond the government and technology giants to encompass various societal groups and the general public as part of Taiwan's democratic governance and practice.
"The DSET is therefore tasked with conducting systematic research on the effects and risks that the development of emerging technologies may bring to the humanities and society," he said.
According to the NSTC, the new institute aims to foster connections between the government, society, and the general public in areas such as artificial intelligence, semiconductors, quantum computing, space technology, precision medicine, clean energy, and information security.
Also present at the press conference was Chen Dung-sheng (陳東升), the convener of the DSET's advisory committee, who outlined the institute's major missions, which include providing interdisciplinary policy recommendations and cultivating talents across generations.
Acknowledging that no single think tank in Taiwan can accomplish all tasks, the sociology professor suggested collaboration with institutions such as the Chung-Hua Institution for Economic Research and the Institute for National Defense and Security Research to build an ecosystem for policy research.
The DSET is also set to explore the interactive impact of emerging technologies on democratic society, political dimensions, and economic dimensions from a Taiwanese perspective, the council said in a statement.
In addition, the new institute will seek to foster human-centric technological development in the nation and facilitate the implementation of technological applications in line with principles of fairness and justice, according to the NSTC.
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