S. Korea to spend big on AI to spur innovation

Jan 17, 2020, 09:30 am

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Minister of Science and ICT Choi Ki-young speaks at a press conference at the main government office complex in Seoul on Jan. 14, 2020./ Source: The Ministry of Science and ICT

By AsiaToday reporter Jang Ye-rim

The government will push ahead building up its artificial intelligence (AI) capability this year by investing 1 trillion won in the AI chip sector, making the year 2020 the first year to become an AI power. 

The Ministry of Science and ICT announced its work plan for 2020 together with the Korea Communications Commission on Thursday. Under the plan, the ministry focuses on three strategies: a strong science and technology powerhouse, an AI power leading innovation in data, network, and AI sectors, and a digital media powerhouse driving the nation’s future growth. 

First, the government will invest 1.96 trillion won over the next decade on next-generation smart chips to secure key AI technologies. It plans to carry out research and development in the AI field, including new processor-in-memory (PIM) technology and advanced deep learning. It will set up an AI fund of 300 billion won while expanding the number of computing power supporting institutions from 200 to 800 this year. It will also invest 393.9 billion won to support SMEs and venture companies.

The government plans to promote data industry so that the “three data-related bills” that have been passed at the National Assembly last week, including the amendment to the Personal Information Protection Act, the Information Communications Network Act and the Protection of Credit Information Act, take roots immediately. It decided to build a data map and provide data vouchers worth 57.5 billion won.

The government plans to carry out the so-called AI+X project, which explores new AI services, while focusing to nurturing professionals. It will train around 1,000 AI software professionals and provide related education opportunities to the public. It will also run a software educational institution called ‘innovation academy’, and select 150 pilot schools utilizing AI software this year. 

A total of 30 trillion won has been earmarked for the government and the private sector to jointly foster the country’s 5G communication network industry by 2022, with Seoul offering various benefits for businesses. South Korea was the first country in the world to launch full-fledged commercial 5G services in April last year. 

In addition, the ministry will inject some 24 trillion won of the annual state research and development budget towards biohealth, future vehicles, aerospace and clean energy. 

#AI #Ministry of Science and ICT 
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