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OECD to prepare recommendation on AI for South Korea Ministry of Science and ICT

OECD to prepare recommendation on AI for South Korea Ministry of Science and ICT

The
Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has announced that
it will establish recommendations for artificial intelligence (AI) development,
according to a press release by South Korea’s Ministry of Science and ICT

The announcement
follows the conclusion of the 76th Regular Session of the OECD Committee on
Digital Economy Policy held in Paris between 16 to 18 May ; South Korea’s
Minister for Science and ICT You Young-Min was in attendance, and had
introduced the country’s I-Korea 4.0 policy as well as emphasised the growth
potential of AI in South Korea.

Formerly
known as the Committee for Information, Computer and Communications Policy, the
OECD Committee on Digital Economy Policy is tasked with “developing
evidence-based policies through multi-stakeholder processes” that foster a
secure, open and inclusive digital economy and tap on the potential of ICT,
with the Internet in particular.
The 76th Regular Session evaluated the
progress of the OECD’s Going Digital Project, as well as called for new reports
on the socio-economic impact of current technological trends such as e-commerce
and AI.

South Korea’s I-Korea 4.0 policy refers to the national
strategy for transforming the country in light of the 4th Industrial
Revolution, and consists of 4 aspects: intelligence, innovation, inclusiveness
and interaction. In its bid to drive technological innovation and new tech
ecosystems, the South Korean government has not only provided large amounts of
public funding for companies operating in relevant fields, but also created
platforms for fostering stronger public-private partnerships to drive
technological transfer and further innovation.

According
to the press release by South Korea’s Ministry of Science and ICT
, the OECD
recommendations for AI development provide a code of conduct for AI development
to deliver positive impact on society, the economy and the environment. The
recommendations are not legally binding, but should be fulfilled as “a matter
of social responsibility”. 

According to the Ministry of Science and ICT, the
establishment of the OECD’s recommendations on AI development will provide “an
international principle that serves as a major standard for regulating
investment and development of AI”.

The preparation of the recommendations will be overseen by an
Expert Group on AI Recommendations, which is headed by the current Chairman of
OECD Digital Economic Policy Committee Dr Min Won-Ki. By actively
participating in the committee’s efforts to draft new global standards
governing the development of AI, South Korea expects to play an important role
in formulating the upcoming recommendations, as well as form future
international norms related to AI.

The establishment of AI development recommendations also
comes in light of recent
controversy regarding the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology’s
(KAIST) partnership with South Korean arms manufacturer Hanwha Systems in
developing AI-controlled weaponry.
The partnership saw the opening of a new
AI-defence research facility called the Research Center for the Convergence of
National Defence and Artificial Intelligence, which will spearhead the
country’s development of autonomous military systems and weapons. The OECD’s
recommendations will bolster current international efforts to better regulate
the global development of AI, particularly on the sensitive topic of autonomous
weapons systems.

In 2017 and 2018, the OECD, as part of its Going Digital
Project, will evaluate how aspects of digital transformation will affect
policymaking across a wide scope of policy fields such as consumer, digital
economy, tech and innovation policy. Since
2005, the OECD has hosted the Technology Foresight Forum to “ help identify
opportunities and challenges for the Internet economy posed by technical
developments”
. In October 2017, the OECD hosted the conference “AI:
Intelligent Machines, Smart Policies” in Paris, which saw policymakers, civil
society representatives and experts on AI gather to evaluate the role of policy
and international cooperation in light of opportunities and challenges posed by
AI. In evaluating the challenges of digital transformation, the OECD seeks to
create stronger and more inclusive growth by supporting the creation of
coherent and inclusive policy approaches.