Korea to invest $527 mil. to integrate AI into all sectors of society

ICT Minister Lee Jong-ho, front row fifth from left, and other officials named as a member of the state-run AI Strategy High-Level Consultative Council, applaud during their first meeting at FKI Tower in Seoul, Thursday. Courtesy of Ministry of Science and ICT

Korea plans to invest 710.2 billion won ($527 million) this year across 69 sectors to foster innovations propelled by artificial intelligence (AI) in people’s daily lives, industries, and government administrative services, the Ministry of Science and ICT said Thursday.A government-led study forecasts that the successful integration of AI across various sectors and in people’s daily lives could generate an annual economic impact of 310 trillion won by 2026.The government’s initiative and the study coincided with the launch of the AI Strategy High-Level Consultative Council, a governance body tasked with spearheading the nation’s comprehensive AI innovation strategies.The establishment of the council aims to enhance the country’s capability to tackle issues such as low birthrate and stagnant growth, especially as AI finds increasing applications not only in manufacturing but also in various social sectors. The ministry anticipates that this initiative will propel the country to become one of the top three AI nations globally by bolstering its competence in the field.The council, led by ICT Minister Lee Jong-ho and Taejae University President Yeom Jae-ho, consists of 32 members including private-sector experts, representatives of IT companies such as Samsung Electronics, SK Telecom, KT, Naver and Kakao, and director-level officials from government agencies including the ICT, education, finance and industry ministries.The ICT minister said that the council was launched under a government-wide consensus on the need to guide the overall direction of national AI innovation as the influence of generative AI continues to expand.“As the primary ministry for AI in this era, we bear a significant sense of responsibility. We are committed to promptly implementing follow-up measures to ensure that our citizens and businesses can swiftly witness tangible results,” Lee said during the inaugural event.

“We hope that the council will serve as a stepping stone for the nation’s AI advancement, enriching the lives of our citizens, and setting a leading example of harmonious coexistence with AI on the global stage.” The council’s objectives include spearheading innovations in the global AI technology market, facilitating the transition of all industries through AI adoption, and enhancing the prevalence of AI-based services in people’s daily lives.”AI is now expanding its influence across all manufacturing sectors and into various social spheres. Particularly as a general-purpose technology, it is recognized as a disruptive innovation capable of being applied across all other technological fields to enhance added value,” Park Sang-ook, senior presidential secretary for science and technology, said.”Given its profound social impact, addressing legal systems, policies, and ethical norms is crucial. However, it’s equally imperative to advance technological innovations, industrialization, and services in tandem to harness AI’s full potential.”The government views the spread of AI technology as an opportunity to address structural crises such as low growth and a declining birthrate in Korea. According to a study conducted jointly with Bain & Company, the successful implementation of AI across the economy, including both the manufacturing and service sectors, could yield an annual economic impact of 310 trillion won by 2026.The economic effects include an annual revenue increase of 123 trillion won attributed to AI-integrated new products, and an annual cost reduction of 185 trillion won achieved through enhanced efficiency and automation.”This analysis suggests that the revenue-generating effect of adopting AI could lead to an additional average annual GDP growth of 1.8 percentage points,” the ICT ministry said.The next strategic council meeting will be held in June, and follow-up actions 메이저 and new agenda items from Thursday’s inaugural meeting will be announced, the ministry said.

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