On September 13th (Wed.), the Ministry of Science and ICT
(Minister Lee Jong Ho, hereinafter referred to as "MSIT") hosted an
event titled "South Korea's Great Leap in Hyper-scale AI" at
Yeongbingwan, Cheong Wa Dae. The event was organized to celebrate independent
development and launching of hyper-scale artificial intelligence (AI) by Korean
companies in response to the emergence of ChatGPT, and to promote
public-private cooperation in enhancing hyper-scale AI competitiveness and
reliability through open innovation.
Since ChatGPT made its debut in November last year, global big tech
companies such as OpenAI, Meta, and Google have been engaging in a fierce
competition surrounding hyper-scale AI. In response, major countries such as
the United States, the European Union, and the United Kingdom are actively
discussing the establishment of a regulatory framework and safety measures to
address the potential risks and side effects posed by AI technologies.
After unveiling the "Digital Strategy of Korea" in September
2022, the Korean government has consequently derived and executed a diverse set
of strategies to drive the development of AI technology and industry. These
include the "Plan for Everyday Use of AI and Industrial
Sophistication" in January 2023 and the "Competitiveness Enhancement
Strategy for Hyper-scale AI" in April 2023. Additionally, through initiatives
including the "New York Initiative" in September 2022, the
"Conversation with Top AI Scholars" in September 2022, the
"Paris Initiative" in June 2023, and the recent "Republic of
Korea (RoK)-ASEAN AI Youth Festa" in September 2023, the government has
taken a leading role in discussions on the establishment of new digital order
and norms, while expanding global AI cooperation.
Today's event was attended by over 70 participants, which included
government officials, domestic AI businesses, startups, young entrepreneurs,
researchers, and students. The goal was to kickstart Korea's growth towards
becoming a digital model nation and to advance Korean AI onto the global stage.
The event consisted of four main parts: 1) Dialogue with young AI leaders, 2)
Introduction to the AI leap policy directions, 3) Declaration of the embarkment
of Korean hyper-scale AI, and 4) Roundtable on policy recommendations.
Marking the start of the event, the "Dialogue with young AI
leaders" took a free-flowing format of standing talk between three prominent
figures in the AI scene: Bae Kyunghoon, Chief of LG AI Research, Ha Jung-Woo,
Head of AI Innovation at Naver Cloud, Bae Soonmin, Chief of KT AI2XL. The talk
explored the current status of and outlook for Korean hyper-scale AI models,
and shared firsthand opinions and insights from these experts on many timely
issues, such as application for specialized domains, global expansion
strategies, AI risk management, and AI semiconductor.
The young leaders emphasized that although Korea had started as a latecomer
in the field of AI, it has rapidly grown to develop and secure independent
hyper-scale AI models through the combined efforts of businesses and
governmental support. They expressed confidence that by harnessing existing
advantages in semiconductor, platforms, ICT infrastructure, and combining them
effectively, Korea can create tremendous synergy.
They also pointed out that Korea's AI capabilities are definitely not
lagging behind other major countries, and positively diagnosed the potential of
Korean AI industry to lead the global market through pioneering specialized
application services, collaborations between large businesses and SMEs for
win-win growth, and ensuring international-level safety and reliability.
Next part of the event featured Minister Lee Jong Ho. He introduced to the
participants the "Plan to Achieve Growth Surge in AI" for becoming a
digital model nation, of which the fundamental themes are: 1) Expanding global
AI cooperation, 2) Promotion of the nationwide AI Integration into everyday
lives, 3) Establishing the Digital Bill of Rights, and 4) Ensuring AI ethics
and reliability. Details of the plan are as follows:
First, for domestic AI models to reach the top level in the global stage,
Korea will pursue international joint research with leading universities in the
U.S., Canada, the EU, and other countries starting next year. For example,
joint laboratory for AI research will be established and master's or doctoral
candidates will be dispatched as visiting scholars for specialized training.
Korea will also reinforce mutual assistance on AI reliability policies and
regulatory framework through bilateral consultative bodies and international
organizations.* By taking on initiatives such as the RoK-ASEAN Digital
Innovation Flagship, the government will support cooperation for shared AI
prosperity and overseas expansion, particularly targeting emerging economies
such as ASEAN and the Middle East.
RoK-Japan ICT Policy Forum, RoK-UK Digital Partnership, Organization for
Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), United Nations Educational,
Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Global Partnership on
Artificial Intelligence (GPAI), etc.
Second, to improve citizens' convenience and drive industrial development
through creation of large-scale demand, the government will allocate a budget
of 909 billion KRW, jointly with relevant ministries, to promote nationwide AI
integration into everyday lives. Collaborating across various sectors,
including general lifestyle, industry, and public administration, Korea aims to
spread AI solution throughout the nation. This will enable the public to enjoy
benefit garnered by AI, and form a solid foundation for becoming a digital
Third, in line with the basic direction for new digital order and norms
set by the "New York Initiative (September 2022)" and the "Paris
Initiative (June 2023)," the government will establish the Digital Bill of
Rights. The Bill defines the basic principles for a digital society of mutual
prosperity and outlines the rights of citizens that should be guaranteed, as
well as the responsibilities of various stakeholders. It was developed through
a series of 14 roundtable discussions with university presidents, nine academic
societies, business leaders, the young generation, and many others to reflect a
wide range of concerns coming from diverse players in society. On the occasion
of the 1st anniversary of the New York Initiative, the government
plans to announce the Digital Bill of Rights and share it with the
international community through organizations such as the UN and OECD, taking a
leading role in shaping global digital norms.
Fourth, MSIT will enforce AI ethics and reliability to proactively
mitigate potential risks and undesirable effects arising from the rapid
technological advancement. This will involve the development and dissemination
of the "Domain-specific Self-regulatory Checklists and Development
Guidelines" for highly specialized areas including security (e.g. CCTV)
and generative AI-based services. A certification system of reliability through
a credible third-party organization will be established, which will evaluate
significant risk factors and performance of AI services, and will be supported
by the government to encourage voluntary implementation and adoption by the
private sector. Additionally, next year, the Ministry will put forward the
development of core technologies for AI explainability and fairness, as well as
addressing key challenges of hyper-scale AI systems, for example, artificial
hallucination (a confident response by AI not justified by its training data),
bias, and unethical or harmful expressions.
Afterwards, Chairman Jo Jun Hee from the Korea Software Industry
Association (KOSA) introduced the "Hyperscale-AI Promotion Committee"
as the industry representative. The Committee is founded in order to promote
open innovation with collaborative efforts for overseas expansion and
investment, networking through technology showcases and exchanges, infrastructure
development and utilization, and facilitating conversation between the industry
and the government on AI policies and regulatory framework.
In particular, KOSA, along with eight representing companies, Naver Corp.,
LG AI Research, Kakao Corp., KT, SKT, Konan Technology, Scatterlab, and
Rebillions, declared their commitment to launching a hyper-scale AI into the
global market by promising to strengthen cooperation and investment for global
expansion, enhancing AI reliability and safety to improve societal benefit, and
ensuring compliance with and leadership in international standards.
In the ensuing discussion, participants proposed thoughtful policy
suggestions for the advancement of AI technology in Korea. The suggestions
included: 1) Fostering an ecosystem of win-win cooperation between large
corporations and startups, 2) supporting international joint research efforts,
3) Promotion of research on AI with ambitious goals and innovative hyper-scale
AI application service development, 4) Securing competitive edge in cloud
computing through the utilization of AI chips, 5) The need for establishing a
new digital order, and 6) Ensuring AI reliability and a regulatory framework.
Minister Lee Jong Ho emphasized, "To win the fierce digital
competition, it is crucial to elevate both our competitiveness in AI technology
and industry, and social acceptance in the same pace." He further stated,
"We will diligently push forward with nationwide AI integration into
everyday lives, which will create substantial demand and share benefits of AI
with all citizens. At the same time, we will also stay keen on responding to
international trends in AI and the digital, by reinforcing AI ethics and
reliability and amendment of the Digital Bill of Rights. In the end, the Ministry
aims to lead the normative discussions on a new digital order necessary for
this era of deepening digitization."
For further information, please contact the Public
Relations Division (Phone: +82-44-202-4034, E-mail: email@example.com)
of the Ministry of Science and ICT.
Please refer to the attached PDF.