Technology paradigm shifts have played a critical role in facilitating the development of civilization in our history. However, the extensive application of technology is, in fact, driven by human’s innate desire to unleash creativity through cultural and social innovations, which, in turn, trigger developments in technology. Therefore, culture and technology have always been enhancing each other: technology application can facilitate the innovation and dissemination of culture, and cultural perspectives can also influence the future envisioned by technology.
The contemporary society is undergoing changes in industrial structure, social life and dissemination model of culture brought about by digital technology. For example, the dawning of 5G era accelerated cultural dissemination, supported more diverse models in the creation, engagement and sharing of cultural experiences. Big data, artificial intelligence, algorithm, internet of things, block-chain and smart robots are all part of this change.
However, we should not forget that the subject of technology development is not technology per se, but human and society. Starting from a humane perspective, we can find a better way to apply the developed technology in the society. The underlying core value of cul-tech, culture and technology united, is to leverage technology as a medium to promote prosperous cultural developments and let human-centered thoughts to lead innovative developments and applications of technology.
Therefore, the Ministry of Culture (MOC) is devoted to promote the development of culture and technology. Article 17 of Cultural Fundamental Act, promulgated in June 2019, stipulates that “the nation shall draft policies concerning the development of culture and technology to spur innovation and cooperation between culture and technology, and shall cultivate cross-disciplinary personnel so as to lay the foundation for an innovative environment.” The article reaffirms that the country should actively build an eco-system conducive to the sustainable development of culture and technology, cultivate cross-disciplinary talents of cultech, and develop integrated and innovative services.
To catalyze the formation of an eco-system of cultural content industry in the digital era in Taiwan, the MOC launched a flagship program on cultural content and technology application in 2017, encouraging the industry to translate local cultural materials into remarkable intellectual property (IP) and derivative works through innovative processes that leverage digital technology, and engage in cross-disciplinary resources integration.
I am also extremely pleased to share with you that Taiwan Creative Content Agency, an administrative institution established through the promotion of the MOC, was launched in June 2019. The agency aims at vitalizing the cultural content industry, and one of its major missions is to build the eco-system of cultech industry.
In the future, the MOC will combine the cross-departmental strengths of the central government bodies and administrative institutions to actively promote “guidelines for the development of culture and technology” proposed by the MOC. We will leverage digital technology to strengthen the production of our own cultural content, ensure cultural dissemination rights in Taiwan, and forge our cultural soft power. At the same time, digital technology will be utilized to promote cultural engagement, safeguard equality and diversity, and shape a cultured civil society in the digital era. We believe that innovative ideas that are human-centered and culture-oriented will give birth to technology meant for a better humane society.