Moon to pro­mote AI sec­tor as core na­tional in­dus­try

Gov’t un­veils map to be­com­ing global AI pow­er­house

The Korea Times - - FRONT PAGE - By Do Je-hae [email protected]­re­

Pres­i­dent Moon Jae-in will place more im­por­tance on pro­mot­ing Ar­ti­fi­cial In­tel­li­gence (AI) with the aim of es­tab­lish­ing it as a core na­tional in­dus­try.

Dur­ing a visit to the Devel­oper’s View con­fer­ence at COEX, Mon­day, Moon un­der­lined the need to build an “AI pow­er­house” to take the global lead in pre­par­ing for the Fourth In­dus­trial Rev­o­lu­tion. To that end, the ad­min­is­tra­tion will an­nounce a na­tional roadmap for pro­mot­ing the AI sec­tor with com­pre­hen­sive sup­port mea­sures within the year, ac­cord­ing to Cheong Wa Dae.

The roadmap will in­clude ex­pand­ing the gov­ern­ment bud­get, and in­creas­ing per­son­nel and or­ga­ni­za­tions to bet­ter sup­port AI de­vel­op­ment poli­cies. In ad­di­tion, the ad­min­is­tra­tion plans to nur­ture AI spe­cial­ists, by es­tab­lish­ing more grad­u­ate schools within the na­tion’s ma­jor uni­ver­si­ties.

Moon’s key­note speech at the na­tion’s largest con­fer­ence for soft­ware and AI spe­cial­ists pri­mar­ily re­flected the Pres­i­dent’s fo­cus on re­spond­ing to the need to catch up with global com­pe­ti­tion in the AI sec­tor.

“We may not be a pi­o­neer­ing coun­try in AI and we have not yet reached the world’s top level in AI. But we have the ex­pe­ri­ence of lead­ing the in­ter­net rev­o­lu­tion while un­der­go­ing the Asian fi­nan­cial cri­sis. We are a global leader in man­u­fac­tur­ing and have the world’s top ICT in­fra­struc­ture, in ad­di­tion to rich ex­pe­ri­ence in con­duct­ing e-gov­ern­ment poli­cies,” Moon said.

The Pres­i­dent added that the knowhow ac­quired through past in­dus­trial achieve­ments will en­able

Korea to be­come a leader in the AI sec­tor. “By com­bin­ing the sec­tors where we al­ready have a global edge, we will be able to pro­duce the smartest and most hu­man-like AI.”

A key fo­cus of his speech was about his plans to sup­port com­pa­nies deal­ing with AI and star­tups so that they can be­come more prof­itable. He also placed em­pha­sis on the need for “pre­emp­tive in­vest­ment in ar­eas such as next-gen­er­a­tion AI chips” where Korean com­pa­nies com­mand a strong edge over global com­peti­tors.

“The gov­ern­ment will spend 1.7 tril­lion won, up 50 per­cent from this year on data, net­works and ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence. We’ll cre­ate an en­vi­ron­ment where com­pa­nies can con­fi­dently in­vest in com­pet­i­tive ar­eas and quickly make prof­its. We will di­rect our funds to start-ups that will de­ter­mine our fu­ture, and cre­ate an in­dus­trial ecosys­tem where in­no­va­tion keeps flow­ing.”

Moon said that he will work closely with the Na­tional As­sem­bly to swiftly pass bills to ad­vance the AI sec­tor.

Fi­nally, he ex­plained that the gov­ern­ment will more ac­tively uti­lize AI tech­nol­ogy as a way to ad­vance e-gov­ern­ment prac­tices. “We will trans­form the gov­ern­ment into an AI-based dig­i­tal gov­ern­ment that goes be­yond the world’s best e-gov­ern­ment, and pro­vide high-qual­ity ser­vices in ar­eas closely re­lated to the peo­ple’s lives, such as the en­vi­ron­ment, dis­as­ters, safety and na­tional de­fense. The gov­ern­ment will also ex­pe­dite the trans­for­ma­tion to In­ter­net and smart­phones-based pub­lic ser­vices.”

The Pres­i­dent’s par­tic­i­pa­tion in the con­fer­ence was his lat­est move to un­der­line his fo­cus on re­viv­ing the econ­omy, after sev­eral out­ings hosted by ma­jor con­glom­er­ates, in­clud­ing Sam­sung and Hyundai, re­lated to fu­ture in­dus­tries in re­gional ar­eas over the past few weeks.

“The Pres­i­dent has taken a per­sonal in­ter­est in the AI sec­tor and will con­tinue to fo­cus on this area,” a pres­i­den­tial aide said dur­ing a brief­ing Sun­day.


Pres­i­dent Moon Jae-in tests a four-legged “mini-chee­tah” robot at the Devel­oper’s View con­fer­ence at COEX in Seoul, Mon­day.

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