Remarks by AIT Director W. Brent Christensen
at U.S.-Taiwan Tech Challenge Award Ceremony
February 20, 2020
(As Prepared for Delivery)
Vice Premier Chen, Principal Deputy Coordinator Kimmage, distinguished guests and friends, good afternoon. I’m happy to be back this afternoon to conclude the exciting two days of the U.S.-Taiwan Tech Challenge.
By all accounts this has been a very beneficial event for all involved; I can now say that I was correct this morning when I said that we have assembled the right group of people for this challenging subject!
I would like to once again acknowledge and thank our State Department colleagues from the Global Engagement Center, our partners from Park Advisors in the United States and the Institute for Information Industry here in Taiwan, for their collaboration in organizing and hosting the activities of the past two days. To our panel of judges, your thoughtful deliberations are much appreciated. For all of you that have made the time to be here today, thank you. Most of all, to the representatives of the seven companies that competed in the Tech Challenge competition yesterday – thank you for your enthusiastic participation and for sharing your innovative technology solutions with us.
Before we get to the matter at hand, announcing the winners of the Tech Challenge, I would like to stress that the threats that propaganda and disinformation pose to our democratic societies and values are indeed critical.
While I am proud of the work being done by my U.S. government colleagues at the Global Engagement Center and here at AIT, as well as our counterparts in Taiwan, I think we all know that all sectors of society – not just government – must work together to find innovative solutions to the pressing problem of disinformation and the manipulation of the truth by malign actors. Civil society – including the tech community, NGOs, academics, and journalists – people like you that are assembled here today – are key players in leading the charge in bringing cutting-edge technology tools to the battlefield against disinformation.
As you know this event was designed as a competition and so the time has come to announce which of you will receive grant funds to further develop your technologies. Regardless of the outcome, you are all winners in my eyes and I thank you again for your contributions to this event and to our greater societies as a whole.