The South Korean government shared roughly 170 million face images of citizens and resident foreign nationals with the private sector without their consent to be used in training and testing biometric algorithms, according to a recent Ministry of Justice document. The move is part of an "AI identification and tracking system development project" based on a memorandum of understanding between the Korean Ministry of Justice (MOJ) and the Ministry of Science and ICT (MSIT). Scheduled for completion in 2022, the project has seen the MOJ transferring information obtained during the immigration screening process to the MSIT, including face biometrics, nationality, gender, and age. The MSIT subsequently transferred that information to private businesses for the purpose of artificial intelligence technology research, according to the allegations. The South Korean government mentioned the creation of the project in a press release when it first launched in 2019 but did not disclose information about its structure, scope, or data collection methods.
South Korea unveiled plans to spend roughly $450 billion to build the world's biggest chipmaking base over the next decade, joining China and the U.S. in a global race to dominate the key technology. Samsung Electronics Co. and SK Hynix Inc. will lead more than 510 trillion won of investment in semiconductor research and production in the years to 2030 under a national blueprint devised by President Moon Jae-in's administration. They'll be among 153 companies fueling the decadelong push, intended to safeguard the nation's most economically crucial industry. Moon will get a briefing from chip executives on the initiative Thursday during a visit to the country's most advanced chip factory, a Samsung plant south of Seoul. The investment comes at a time when the U.S., China and the European Union seek to shore up their semiconductor capabilities after a global chip shortage exposed a reliance on just a handful of Asian manufacturers and hobbled efforts to repair pandemic-scarred economies.
South Koreans must learn how to work alongside machines if they want to thrive in a post-pandemic world where many jobs will be handled by artificial intelligence and robots, according to the country's labor minister. "Automation and AI will change South Korea faster than other countries," Minister of Employment and Labor Lee Jae-kap said in an interview Tuesday. "Not all jobs may be replaced by machines, but it's important to learn ways to work well with machines through training." While people will have to increase their adaptability to work in a fast-changing high-tech environment, policymakers will also need to play their part, Lee said. The government needs to provide support to enable workers to move from one sector of the economy to another in search of employment and find ways to increase the activity of women in the economy, he added.
SsangYong Motor's compact crossover sport utility vehicle Korando runs a Level 3 self-driving test drive. SsangYong Motor said Monday it has gained government approval to test-run Level 3 self-driving technology for its Korando model, and will start test-driving the vehicle on regular roads next month. The autonomous vehicle of the company's compact crossover sport utility vehicle Korando is the second model for the automaker to receive such approval, following the Tivoli Air, the company said. South Korea's Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport has introduced a permission system to drive autonomous vehicles for test and research purposes in 2016. Level 3 autonomous cars are capable of keeping in lane to drive on highways and designated areas of motorways.
Seoul – South Korean President Moon Jae-in called on Wednesday for a regional infectious disease control and public health initiative involving Japan, China, Mongolia, and North Korea to tackle health crises and lay the foundation for peace with Pyongyang. Moon unveiled the so-called Northeast Asia Cooperation Initiative for Infectious Disease Control and Public Health during a video address to the U.N. General Assembly. "In the face of the COVID-19 crisis that poses a greater threat to humanity than a war, we came to be acutely reminded that the safety of neighboring countries is directly linked to that of our own," Moon said, according to an English translation of his prepared remarks distributed by his office. Such an initiative would lead North Korea to "engage with the international community," according to Moon. "It is not only Korea's response to COVID-19 but also the invaluable lessons Korea will be gaining from institutionalizing peace that Korea wishes to share with the rest of the world," he said.
Countries around the world – including the US, South Korea and Taiwan – are using artificial intelligence (AI) to help slow the spread of COVID-19. The technology is being used to speed up the development of testing kits and treatments, to track the spread of the virus, and to provide citizens with real-time information. In South Korea, the government mobilised the private sector to begin developing coronavirus testing kits soon after reports of a new virus began to emerge from China. As part of this drive, Seoul-based molecular biotech company Seegene used AI to speed up the development of testing kits, enabling it to submit its solution to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) three weeks after scientists began working on it. The company's founder and chief executive, Chun Jong-yoon, told CNN that had AI not been used, the process would have taken two to three months.
DGIST announced on Tuesday, July 16 that Senior Researcher Dae-gun Oh's team in the Collaborative Robots Research Center developed a radar system that can detect subminiature drones that are 3km away. This research is expected to make huge contributions to strengthening domestic industries and defense capabilities by securing a world-class radar sensing technology. As a result of discovering a North Korean drone in Paju in March 2014, South Korea's Ministry of National Defense has adopted a drone detection radar based on an overseas technology. Since last year, the ministry has devoted itself into building a combat system using drones and training specialized personnel by forming a drone unit to strengthen its defense capability. The necessity of enemy surveillance reconnaissance and the early detection of offensive drones has increased in Korea.
Foreign Minister Taro Kono plans to ask overseas media outlets to write the names of Japanese people with the family name first, as is customary in the Japanese language. If realized, the new policy would mark a major shift in the country's long-running practice for handling Japanese names in foreign languages -- which began in the 19th to early 20th centuries amid the growing influence of Western culture. At a news conference Tuesday, Kono said that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's name should be written as "Abe Shinzo," in line with other Asian leaders such as Chinese President Xi Jinping and South Korean President Moon Jae-in. Now is the right time to make the change, given that the Reiwa Era has just begun and several major events -- including next month's Group of 20 summit and the 2020 Tokyo Olympics -- are approaching, Kono said. "I plan to ask international media organizations to do this. Domestic media outlets that have English services should consider it, too," he said, citing a report released in 2000 by the education ministry's National Language Council that said it was desirable to write Japanese names with the family name first in all instances.
South Korea plans to map major cities and establish a smart traffic system for autonomous driving. This week, local media reported that the South Korean government wishes to prevent the kind of accidents that have already taken place in the US involving pedestrians and autonomous vehicles. An Uber self-driving vehicle undergoing tests was involved in a fatal collision this month with a woman. Although a human driver was in attendance -- as required by law -- sadly, the pedestrian from Tempe, Arizona, was still struck by the car as she walked across the road. Uber has temporarily stopped tests in Arizona and all other cities, and the fatality has highlighted the risk of accidents -- leading to scrutiny in the self-driving space by government officials and technology vendors themselves worldwide.