Applications of Taiwan's new AI dialogue engine highlighted

Taiwan's self-built large language model TAIDE is shown to be applied to many fields in a presentation held in Taipei

A presentation Friday on Taiwan’s self-built language model TAIDE, released commercially on April 15, showed the many fields it can be applied to, from language learning and agricultural knowledge searches to banking customer service.

The project to develop TAIDE, which stands for Trustworthy AI Dialogue Engine, was initiated by the Cabinet-level National Science and Technology Council (NSTC) in April 2023 to create a foundational model for a traditional Chinese generative AI dialogue engine specifically for Taiwan.

The NSTC has collaborated with several institutions on the project over the past year, and a number of them appeared at Friday’s presentation in Taipei to promote the system and demonstrate some of its applications.

A team from the University of Tainan, led by computer science and information engineering professor Lee Chang-shing (李建興), developed, for example, a Taiwanese Hokkien-English AI chatbot for elementary and junior high school students based on TAIDE to learn the languages.

National Chung Hsing University, meanwhile, created an agricultural knowledge search engine called “Divine Farmer TAIDE” that can answer professional agricultural questions with citations, according to Fan Yao-chung (范耀中), an associate professor of computer science and engineering at the university.

He said the answers generated through “Divine Farmer TAIDE” are more “context-based and detailed” than an engine the team previously developed based on ChatGPT because the new model includes reports from Taiwan’s Ministry of Agriculture in its database.

Taiwan Business Bank, in collaboration with an AI company, has applied TAIDE to help the bank’s employees access internal financial product information – which can be complicated and is continuously being updated – to help them provide better customer service.

The TAIDE model is said to be “grounded in Taiwanese culture, incorporating unique elements such as Taiwanese language, values, and customs, enabling generative AI to understand and respond to the needs of local users.”

A TAIDE model based on Meta’s Llama 2 (Large Language Model Meta AI) model (TAIDE-LX-7B) was released for commericial use on April 15, and another version for research only (TAIDE-LX-13B) has also been released.

NSTC head Wu Tsung-tsong (吳政忠) said more than 6,000 downloads have been made in the half month since the TAIDE LX-7B’s release, showing that there is demand for a traditional Chinese-based foundational model with a contextual understanding of Taiwan.

Announcing that the project will be extended for another year, Wu likened TAIDE to a car engine and said it would be up to different fields to use the model to “make their own cars.”

Lee Yuh-jye (李育杰), a research fellow at the Research Center for Information Technology Innovation of Academia Sinica and a TAIDE project convener, said, however, that TAIDE is not aimed at competing with other major engines.

Llama 3 is trained by 24,000 Nvidia’s H100 GPU (graphics processing unit, which has become the backbone of AI training), while Mixtral, another large language model, has 1,500, and “we only have 72.”

“What we have to do is to play smart,” not big, Lee said.

Date: 2024-5-3
Source: Focus Taiwan