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Singapore and South Korea to collaborate on South Korea’s first AI Town project

Singapore and South Korea to collaborate on South Korea’s first AI Town project

Korean
university Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology (GIST) recently formed collaborative
partnership with a Singapore group to advance the development of Korea’s first
artificial intelligence (AI) cluster town project, the AI Town Project in Gwangju.

Established in 1993, GIST
is a research-oriented university located in Gwangju, Korea. Since its establishment,
it has been committed to fulfilling its goals of advancing the nation's science
and technology and nurturing excellent talents in those fields.

On Mar
2, GIST signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Golden Equator
Group. Under the MoU, the Golden Equator Group is to advise and help with the
development plans of the AI Town Project. It will conduct feasibility studies to
formulate development plans. Future collaborations could include joint
investment funds, boot camps, and other consulting projects.

The GIST-Golden
Equator will see strengthened bilateral relations and AI-related collaborations
between Singapore and South Korea. The initial areas of collaboration will
include feasibility studies, conceptualisation, and development of facilitation
plans for GIST’s AI-oriented start-up ecosystem, knowledge, and expertise
sharing as well as sharing of partners and network relationships.

“We
are thrilled to partner with Golden Equator who will help in building out the
AI-oriented start-up ecosystem within our AI Town Project via its businesses
and partners. They have an established access to international business
networks and capital as well as expansion know-how, and this is the kind of
relationship we want to cultivate to accelerate the growth and expand the
connections of the AI Town,” said President of GIST Seung Hyeon Moon.

The
AI Town Project, also known as the AI-oriented
Startup Incubator Foundation Project, is Korea’s 10-year Plan to establish a
global research and development (R&D) hub with world-class AI expertise.

The
project objective is to develop an AI research institute and an AI-based
campus and startup ecosystem to nurture convergence experts, such as AI Scientists
and engineers, with a focus on strategic R&D for the Industrial Revolution
4.0.

Gwangju
Metropolitan City (GMC) plans to set aside US$920 million (1 trillion won) to
support the AI Town Project, which is expected to incubate 1,000 AI-oriented startups
and educate and train 5,000 for the sector within the decade, starting from
2019.

The
3 sub-projects of the AI Town Project include: (1) Establishment of AI Research Institute, (2) Development of AI-oriented Campus, and (3) Creation of AI-oriented Start-up Ecosystem.

Credit: Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology

Late
last year, GIST Artificial Intelligence Center hosted
the 2017 GIST AI Forum to encourage international collaboration and exchange. The
Forum aimed to foster exchange on AI research and exchange opinions on the
future development of AI. Among the attendees included representatives from
Singapore.

The BBC
also published
an article on why South Korea is an ideal breeding ground for robots.

“Tech-savvy,
community-minded and intensely pragmatic, Koreans might be more eager than many
markets, then, to view AI as part of the solution, not the
problem,” the article writes.

According to the BBC article, instead of
worrying about an AI apocalypse, Koreans are figuring out how robots can make
their lives better, helping to solve a vast range of social troubles from the
very small to the large and looming.

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