Category Archives: Korea

Korea to mount challenge in AI industry

AI-Artificial-Intelligence-Machine-Learning-Cognitive-ComputingKorea has announced plans to invest roughly 100 billion won (approximately $87.2 million) to foster the development of supercomputers in the country, according to the Korea Times.

Following the 5-game Go match between Google’s AlphaGo programme and Go World Champion Lee Se-dol, there has been a rise in interest in AI within the country. The attention has seemingly prompted the Ministry of Science, ICT, and Future Planning to invest 10 billion won annually for the next 10 years to boost the growth of artificial intelligence, big data, the Internet-of-Things technologies and other emerging industries through supercomputers.

The Go match would appear to have raised the profile in a country which is already in the process of bolstering its cloud computing credentials. At a cloud conference, the ministry also announced plans to increase the adoption of cloud computing from 6.4% to 13% over the next 12 months, as well as targeting international growth for Korean cloud computing companies.

The ministry has outlined a plan to develop a supercomputer with a data-processing speed of 1 petaflop (PF) in five years, eventually reaching 30 PF by 2025. The 1 petaflop supercomputer could be utilized in such use cases as predicting maritime and landslide-related disasters. It is believed that the supercomputer project has been granted state-level importance as more than 95% of Korea’s market for high-performance computers is controlled by overseas firms. The country’s market for high-performance computing is estimated at 260 billion won for 2015, accounting for 2.5% of the global total.

Google’s publicity stunt is only one of a number is recent months to demonstrate the potential and also challenges of AI. While Google’s stunt could be deemed a success, Microsoft’s twitter inspired AI bot Tay was less so. Tay highlighted to the industry that while there has been progress in the development and deployment of AI, there are still some challenges which persist. It would appear programming morals, values as well as the sense of right and wrong is one of the challenges which remain within AI.

The Korean government would appear to be targeting cloud computing and other emerging technology markets for future growth. The ministry has highlighted that as little as 6.4% of Korean companies currently utilize cloud computing technologies, representing a huge area of growth for domestic cloud computing organizations, as well as any international players who are active in south east Asia.

Korean government prioritizes growth of cloud computing

Network ExpansionThe Korean government has announced a new policy to accelerate the adoption of cloud computing in the country, according to Business Korea.

Speaking at a cloud computing conference in Korea, the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning have announced that it will be running a number of initiatives to increase the adoption of cloud computing from 6.4% to 13%, seemingly over the next twelve months. Over the same period, the government also plans to increase the number of Korean cloud companies from 353 to 500, as well as growing private cloud adoption in public institutions to at least 3%.

The Korean government has estimated that should the new initiatives be successful the domestic cloud market could be worth in excess of 1.1 trillion won, roughly £670 million. To support the growth of the industry, the government will also build a cloud computing support centre in Daegu City, which will provide guidance for public institutions who are making the transition.

While the government has laid bare its intentions for the industry in the country, it has not been stated how cloud computing is currently perceived by enterprise. The government has estimated that 6.4% of businesses in Korea currently utilize the cloud, whereas in the UK the figure is viewed as generally much higher. It has been estimated recently that 93% of enterprise in the UK have adopted the cloud.

In what could be seen as a move to encourage enterprise appetite for the cloud, the government has invited enterprises in need of cloud computing in various industries to join the deregulation task force currently led by IT firms in the private sector.

Alongside this announcement, the government has also prioritized the growth of SME’s through the adoption of cloud. In what appears to be a move to emulate companies such as Uber and AirBnB, Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning will work in collaboration with the Center for Creative Economy & Innovation to provide cloud software and infrastructure to smaller organizations who could otherwise not afford the technology.

In terms of international expansion of the Korean cloud computing industry, the government will once again provide assistance highlighting the Software-as-a-Service market. It believes the SaaS market is where the country has the greatest opportunity to compete on the international scale, as there is not an outright market leader for the moment. It also believes that the country is a good position to capitalize on the growing Infrastructure-as-a-Service market in South East Asia.

The success of all cloud initiatives could partly depend on the success of the government in engaging enterprise in the country and building the appetite for the technology, which is at a low adoption rate in comparison to other nations.