Humanoid robots are more than just sci-fi novelties in South Korea, which holds the top spot for the world's highest robot density – beating out China, Japan, Germany and the United States. Robot density refers to the ratio of industrial robots to employees. To maintain its lead, the South Korean government has committed $450 million to robotics over the next five years. 'The Highs' is a series which looks at countries that rank the highest in certain categories – for better or worse.
Samsung Electronics Co. is taking its autonomous vehicle program out of the shop and onto the street, following a decision by the South Korean Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport to allow the company to test its sensor-laden vehicles on public roads. Interestingly, Hyundai Motor Co. was granted approval to test its own self-driving cars on public South Korean streets in February of 2016 -- though presumably this is an unrelated effort. Apple's self-driving car program has been approved for testing on California public roads by the state's Department of Motor Vehicles, and what is believed to be an Apple car was recently spotted in the wild. However, the decision to test the company's self-driving systems on South Korean public roads means that Samsung technology might very well soon play a vital role in making sure you arrive safely at your destination.
Seoul and Washington have agreed to join efforts to develop an advanced artificial intelligence (AI) technology to counter cyberspace threats, according to a joint statement quoted by the local media on Monday. The two countries "intend to explore areas of mutual value and benefit, which may lead to joint activities aimed at enhancing operational readiness to support cybersecurity, and resilience," the statement issued by the US Department of Homeland Security and the South Korean Ministry of Science reads as quoted by Yonhap news agency. The South Korean ministry told the media that the sides had agreed to cooperate on joint research on "AI-based cybersecurity" following the recent visit to the country of Reginald Brothers, the US under secretary for science and technology. Last month, South Korean media reported that North Korea had allegedly carried out a number of cyberattacks and stolen information from dozens of Seoul top government officials' smartphones.