2021 Korea-LAC Digital Cooperation Forum

Minister of Foreign Affairs Chung Eui-yong on March 17 delivers a keynote speech at the Korea-LAC (Latin America and the Caribbean) Digital Cooperation Forum held at Lotte Hotel Seoul.


By Yoon Sojung
Photos = Jeon Han
Seoul | March 17, 2021


An international forum in Seoul has proposed bolstering digital cooperation between Korea and Central and South American countries.


The 2021 Korea-LAC (Latin America and the Caribbean) Digital Cooperation Forum, held from March 17-18 at Lotte Hotel Seoul, was jointly hosted by the Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Science and ICT.


Under the theme "Partnership toward Digital Innovation and Inclusiveness," the forum was attended by eight high profile officials, including ministers and vice ministers, from five Latin American countries: Costa Rica, Guatemala, Brazil, Colombia and Honduras. Experts and other high-ranking officers in digitalization from the region also took part via videoconferencing.


The forum discussed cooperation in areas such as 5G networks, digital government, cyber security, smart city and smart farms. Participants called Korea the best partner to work with in such collaboration.


The forum was the first high-level international gathering in the digital sector since Seoul announced the Korean New Deal last year.


At the forum's opening ceremony, Minister of Foreign Affairs Chung Eui-yong said, "Korea and Latin America are creating a new cooperation paradigm centered on the Fourth Industrial Revolution, 5G, digital government and artificial intelligence."

"We wish to pursue win-win cooperation though Korea's Digital New Deal policy and the digital transformation policy of Latin American countries. Our government also wants to share its pursued values of innovation and inclusiveness with other Latin American nations."


Minister Chung added that the Korean government will send a public-private delegation on e-government and information and communications technology to search for opportunities in customized cooperation projects with Latin America and share Korea's experience and benchmarks in digital transformation to narrow the digital divide.


Minister of Science and ICT Choi Kiyoung also introduced the Digital New Deal, one of the two pillars of the Korean New Deal. "Through the Digital New Deal, Korea is focusing on strengthening the digital ecosystem's DNA and boosting national competitiveness by building early a non-contact system in major sectors like education and social overhead capital."


"Through this forum, Korea will bolster solidarity with its Latin American partners,” he said. "Based on our win-win experiences, let us seek higher-level cooperation measures to effectively respond to the Fourth Industrial Revolution."


Costa Rican Minister of Foreign Affairs and Worship Rodolfo Solano Quiros said, "Korea is a world leader and a model country in digitalization of the economy and public service."

"Strengthened cooperation between Korea and Latin America will help narrow the global economic divide and the service gap in technology, medicine, and health and medical services among countries."


"Costa Rica hopes to follow Korea's example by narrowing the digital divide through policies such as building infrastructure for information and communications," he added. "By bolstering digitalization capability, we can overcome the waves of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and COVID-19 and recover."


In the forum's first session, "KOR-LAC Cooperation on Digital Transformation for Building Back Better and Preparing for the Future," Minister Solano said, "Latin American countries are effectively overcoming difficulties in the process of digital development by sharing their digital experiences with Korea."


In the same session, Colombian Vice Minister of Creativity and Orange Economy Adriana Padilla Leal introduced her country's "orange economy" (cultural and creative goods and services) initiative to overcome the pandemic and boost the country’s digital competitiveness.

Mentioning the four Oscars won last year by the Korean film "Parasite" as a benchmark, she said, "The orange economy focuses on promoting culture and creativity, helps artists and creators realize their various ideas, and extends the development of human resources and technology."

“We wish to cooperate with Korea in creative content sectors like film through diverse ways such as corporate joint ventures and signing an agreement in creative technology for digital transformation."


Participants on the forum's second day on March 18 discussed cooperation in cyber security, smart city and smart farms.

Livestreaming of the forum is available on the website k-lacdcf.or.kr.


2021 Korea-LAC Digital Cooperation Forum

Minister of Science and ICT Choi Kiyoung on March 17 introduces Korea's Digital New Deal at the opening ceremony of the Korea-LAC Digital Cooperation Forum held at Lotte Hotel Seoul.


2021 Korea-LAC Digital Cooperation Forum

Costa Rican Minister of Foreign Affairs and Worship Rodolfo Solano Quiros on March 17 stresses the importance of digital cooperation between Korea and Latin America at the opening ceremony of the Korea-LAC Digital Cooperation Forum held at Lotte Hotel Seoul.


2021 Korea-LAC Digital Cooperation Forum

Colombian Vice Minister of Creativity and Orange Economy Adriana Padilla Leal on March 17 urges bilateral digital cooperation with Korea during the first session of the Korea-LAC Digital Cooperation Forum at Lotte Hotel Seoul.



arete@korea.kr

 




Since 2017, Born2Global Center has been in continuous discussions with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) towards a bilateral Korea-LAC support of startups and in October of 2019 held the first Korea-LAC Startup Pitch Day and one-on-one partnership meetings between the two countries.

 

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, Born2Global Centre has consistently hosted online meetings, meetups, and pitch competitions that further promoted bilateral collaborations and development.

 

 

These sustained IDB and joint venture endeavors have resulted in the first Joint Venture partnership to be announced in April.


 

 


200924_culry_in1

The artificial intelligence robot Curly in March 2018 prepares its stone for a test match at the Icheon Training Center of the Korea Paralympic Committee. At the time, Curly lost a two-end game against a high school team, 3-0. (Korea.net DB)



By Kim Young Deok and Lee Jihae 
Video = Korea.net 


An artificial intelligence (AI) robot developed by Korean researchers has won three out of four games against a curling team comprising top female players and members of the national wheelchair team.


A research team led by professor Lee Seong-whan from Korea University's Department of Artificial Intelligence told the global journal Science Robotics on Sept. 24 that the robot, named Curly, achieved this result through "deep reinforcement learning."


Deep reinforcement enables the AI robot to adapt in real time without relearning to its exposed environment, which has a variety of variables and high uncertainty. Through real-time adaptation, the robot stably fulfills its task.


The report said Curly set over three to four days pitching strategies and internalized the strength and direction for pitching and methods to control the swirls of the stone. As a result, it came to possess skills close to that of a curling professional.  

Curling is an official event of the Winter Olympics. The ice field can be irregular depending on the venue's temperature and humidity and ice maintenance. Thus a player needs to consider these elements.


Professor Lee said his team developed the core technology to develop an AI curling robot with the performance level of a skilled athlete. He said the achievement is notable as AI technology based on machine learning can lead to performance at the level of a skilled competitor.


The professor said, "We note that the insights obtained within our framework on how to alleviate challenges such as strong temporal variability, uncertainties, and continuousness are readily transferable for contributing to other real-world applications of comparable complexity in robotics and beyond."


He first developed Curly back in March 2018 at the time of the PyeongChang Winter Olympics. At the time, the robot lost, 3-0, in its two-end game against a high-school curling team. 

 

kyd1991@korea.kr



문 대통령, '데뷰 2019' 기조연설_03

President Moon Jae-in on Oct. 28 gives a keynote address at the AI conference De View (Developer's View) 2019 in Seoul.



By Min Yea-Ji and Lee Jihae

Photos= Cheong Wa Dae Facebook



President Moon Jae-in on Oct. 28 emphasized his administration's resolve to make the country go beyond its status as an information and communications technology (ICT) powerhouse and make Korea a global power in artificial intelligence (AI), pledging "national-level support" for AI.


He was speaking at the AI conference De View (short for "Developer's View") 2019 in Seoul. Attended by entrepreneurs, AI developers and students, the event is a major stage for domestic tech startups and related exchanges that attracts about 1,200 AI virtuoso.


The president cited the example of a senior citizen who collapsed in May at midnight due to high blood pressure. He survived by seeking help through a government-provided AI speaker, which was part of social services for elderly who live alone.


President Moon said the world is now living in the AI era, adding, "AI transcends scientific and technological advances. It's a new civilization that is approaching us."


"Korea led the internet revolution when it went through the financial crisis of 1997. It now boasts the world's top-tier manufacturing competitiveness and No. 1 ICT infrastructure and an abundance of electronic government data."


"If we combine AI with our competitive fields, we can create the smartest and human-like AI," he added.


"The Fourth Industrial Revolution is an era in which imagination will determine the world."


President Moon pledged government support for AI developers so that "they can unfold and fulfill their limitless imagination," adding, "To aid developers, we will switch to comprehensive negative regulations and break down the barriers for each sector."


The government has earmarked KRW 1.7 trillion for next year's budget for data, network and AI, up 50% from this year's amount, he said.


"We will lay out a national AI strategy based on a completely new basic plan (for AI) by the end of this year," he added.


"We will provide educational opportunities so that anyone who wants to learn about AI can do so."


He also said the government will be based on AI and digitization and provide the people with high-quality services in fields interlinked with daily life such as the environment, disaster management, and national security and defense.



문 대통령, '데뷰 2019' 부스 02

President Moon Jae-in at the AI conference De View (Developer's View) 2019 listens to an explanation from Kim Yoon-gi, a student who developed a program that distinguishes sidewalks and roadways for the blind.



jesimin@korea.kr

 

 

A model test-drives the new Hyundai Sonata equipped with an AI platform developed by Kakao. (Hyundai Motor Company)

A model test-drives the new Hyundai Sonata equipped with an AI platform developed by Kakao. (Hyundai Motor Company)


By Park Gil-ja and Yoon Sojung

Artificial intelligence (AI) functions such as voice recognition and car control will be installed in the latest Hyundai Sonata set for release this week.

Leading Korean IT company Kakao said on March 18 that the new Sonata will be equipped with an AI platform technology dubbed Kakao I. This will enable drivers to use high-tech functions such as voice recognition and car control.

Both Hyundai and Kakao jointly developed a voice recognition system for the popular car model by combining a dialogue-based voice assistance service and Kakao I technologies.

The Sonata will offer more than ten AI-powered services such as news briefings, weather forecasts, information on films and TV programs, and language interpretation.

The car can also answer questions on topics ranging from the latest news to the English equivalents of select Korean words. The driver simply asks what he or she wants to know while pushing the voice recognition button.

Kakao said its latest technology can also control air conditioning, heating, cooling and wind direction through the car’s voice recognition function. All the driver has to do is to give commands like "Turn on the air conditioner," "Remove humidity" or "Direct more wind to the body."

Both companies said they will collaborate to take the lead in connected-car network technology.

krun@korea.kr




 

Employees can enter a smart office without an ID card or fingerprint recognition through a 5G walk-through system in which cameras powered by artificial intelligence control entry and exit through facial recognition.

Employees can enter a smart office without an ID card or fingerprint recognition through a 5G walk-through system in which cameras powered by artificial intelligence control entry and exit through facial recognition.


By Jung Joori and Kim Minji
Photos = SK Telecom 


At 8:30 a.m., an office worker reserves a seat at her office through her smartphone. She chooses to sit apart from others to finish a project proposal. Arriving at the office, she needs no ID card to get in because of a facial recognition system that controls entry.

At 9 a.m., she sits in her reserved seat and connects her smartphone to a docking pad. The project proposal she was on working last night comes up on the monitor.

At 2 p.m., she orders a coffee using a robot barista at a cafeteria with her smartphone, which sends out an alert when the coffee is ready. She picks it up by entering a personal identification number.

At 4 p.m., she holds a virtual meeting with a coworker on a business trip in Paris using augmented reality (AR) glasses. They exchange ideas on the project proposal. 



These are scenes Korea.net observed on Feb. 24 in a demonstration of a 5G smart office hosted by one of Korea’s top telecom companies. In December last year, the country became the world’s first to launch 5G service and achieved another global first in March this year by commercializing 5G for smartphones. 

Cameras and large screens were installed around each gate in the lobby. Artificial intelligence (AI) cameras recognized employee faces based on 3,000 characteristics such as skin tone, face shape and hair, so they could enter without ID cards or fingerprint recognition. Intelligent surveillance cameras also controlled the office door.


Employees in a 5G smart office can bring up saved data on their desktop monitors by connecting their smartphones to docking pads installed in each desk.

Employees in a 5G smart office can bring up saved data on their desktop monitors by connecting their smartphones to docking pads installed in each desk.


At the office, all laptops and PCs were replaced with smartphone docking pads. Staff could bring up data saved in cloud servers by plugging their smartphones into docking systems under a system called virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI). This technology hosts a virtualized desktop on a centralized server that allows data to be stored and later brought up on a user’s desktop. Thanks to the incredibly high speed of 5G, 300 employees can simultaneously use the system without disconnection or delay. 

The office had about 2,400 internet of things sensors, collecting bulk data through 5G in real time. They were installed in task force rooms, bathrooms, parking lots and even on the doorknobs of meeting rooms to check the usage of space or electricity. All data from the office were analyzed to provide the best working environment. 


Staff in a 5G smart office can hold a virtual meeting by wearing AR glasses, using 3-D blueprints and watching a bulk data video in virtual spaces.

Staff in a 5G smart office can hold a virtual meeting by wearing AR glasses, using 3-D blueprints and watching a bulk data video in virtual spaces.

 
An Soyeon, a manager at Smart Work CoE who works in a smart office, said, "The biggest difference is that I can choose where and how to work. The combination of AI and 5G has greatly boosted work efficiency." 

The wider application of 5G is expected to greatly boost efficiency and productivity at smart homes, factories and farms thanks to the mobile technology's blazing speed, massive bandwidth and super low latency. 

etoilejr@korea.kr



LG Electronics invested in USD 3 million into the U.S.-based robotics firm BossaNova Robotics on June 22. The photo shows a BossaNova Robotics service robot managing the shelves at a retail store. (LG Electronics)

LG Electronics invested in USD 3 million into the U.S.-based robotics firm BossaNova Robotics on June 22.

The photo shows a BossaNova Robotics service robot managing the shelves at a retail store. (LG Electronics)

 

 

By Jung Joo-ri and Yoon Sojung

 

Korean companies are concentrating on high-tech information and communications technology (ICT), hoping that this will give them an edge as the fourth industrial revolution unrolls across the global economy. The key technologies mainly include robotics, artificial intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT).

 

Large Korean conglomerates are working hard to be at a point where the development of ICT can become a new engine for economic growth in and of itself, by connecting technologies with innovation within those fields.

 

Korea’s leading telecommunications firm, KT, unveiled on June 22 "AIR i," an electric bicycle equipped with IoT, in collaboration with Reacon Hi-Tech, a smart mobility-specialized firm.

 

Riders can check the bike's location in real-time thanks to an inner module that works on KT’s LTE-M phone networks. When the bicycle is lost or stolen, the owner can still control its power, backed by KT’s smart mobility platform.

 

LG Electronics announced on June 22 that it invested USD 3 million into the U.S. firm BossaNova Robotics, which develops service robots for retail stores. This is the first time for LG Electronics to make such an investment in an overseas robotics company, the firm said.

 

LG Electronics has also been focusing on AI research, along with robotics. The firm launched a research body in Silicon Valley in January this year, and has been preparing the establishment of an AI lab in Toronto, Canada.

 

Samsung Electronics launched a “Q Fund” to invest in AI-related start-ups on June 14. The conglomerate said that the fund is designed to invest in start-ups that can develop new AI technologies. The firm also opened AI centers in the U.K., Russia, Canada and France in order to support research into AI technology and to recruit talented workers.

 

etoilejr@korea.kr

 

 

 


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