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.