Sunday, May 26, 2024

The future of generative AI in Korea

 During the past several semesters, including Spring 2004, I've been teaching an undergraduate course entitled Modern Digital Technologies and Innovation (EST 204 at Stonybrook University).  Not surprisingly, the public introduction of generative AI with the release of chatGPT in the Fall of 2022 had a big impact on my approach to this class.  I've been encouraging students to explore the possibilities of generative AI for both good and bad.  The "emergent properties" sometimes generated by AI models may sometimes be good, but may also on occasion be hallucinations that may have various adverse impacts. 

The rapid spread of generative AI clearly suggests that there is an urgent need to train large numbers of students in what we may call generative AI literacy.  In my class, students work in small teams of 5-6 students each.  They are asked to select one of the sustainable development goals and to use generative AI and the design thinking process to develop solutions to help achieve the goal. 

The massive electric power requirements to implement generative AI on a large scale using silicon chip based computing and large data centers suggests that we are only at the beginning of a process that may eventually revolutionize the role of technology in sustainable development.  The human brain, although it runs on significantly less power, has far more capabilities than even the largest and latest AI models.

South Korea harnessed the digital network revolution for national development faster and more effectively than any other country in the world.  However, it did so with relatively more emphasis on hardware and exports than on software and services.  The arrival of the generative AI era suggests that future developments will depend largely on AI generated software and services across all sectors of society, industry and government.  In future posts I will try to break down some of the issues and possibilities. 

Thursday, April 13, 2023

Korea's world lead in industrial robot density


As shown in this bar chart published by the International Federation of Robotics (IFR) in its World Robotics  2022, South Korea continues to lead the world in industrial robot density (robots installed per 10,000 employees).  It leads by quite a large margin over Singapore, Japan, Germany and China, the next top ranking countries.  As explained by the IFR "The Republic of Korea hit an all-time high of 1,000 industrial robots per 10,000 employees in 2021. This is more than three times the number reached in China and makes the country number one worldwide. With its globally recognized electronics industry and a distinct automotive sector, the Korean economy profits from two large customer industries for industrial robots."

Another graphic provided by the IFR shows the overwhelming importance of the ICT and Automotive sectors in Korea's industrial robot installations.  For those interested, the full World Robotics 2022 report provides similar data for other countries, allowing comparative analysis.

Friday, March 3, 2023

Human writer or AI? A detection model being developed at Stanford


The Human Centered Artificial Intelligence program at Stanford University reports that scholars there have built a detection program that "...can determine with up to 95% accuracy whether a large language model wrote that essay or social media post."  For more information on their efforts, use this link to the news release.

After a somewhat long hiatus in posting to my blog, I'm planning to follow developments relating to the public release of chatGPT and competing programs soon to be released by Microsoft, Facebook (Meta) and others.  This Spring semester I'm teaching both an undergraduate course on digital networks and innovation and a graduate seminar on networked communication technologies, so the development and spread of generative natural language programs is highly relevant in both classes.

Friday, January 6, 2023

More on the decline of Internet Cafes (aka PC Bangs)

 The Chosun Ilbo English edition caught my eye with the headline "Internet Cafes Vanish."  In fact, they have not vanished, but their use has declined dramatically during the Covid and post-Covid era.  For further background and detail on the Internet Cafe (AKA PC Bang) phenomenon in South Korea, search this blog ( a search on "PC Bang" yeilds this result).

Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Korea to spend $144 million on digitalization of R&D

 As reported by The Korea Herald, "South Korea will spend 200 billion won ($144 million) on digital integration strategy projects over the next five years to shorten the time researchers take to solve complex problem surrounding new technologies by decades, the Ministry of Science said Tuesday."  Furthermore, the announcement indicated that "... the government will use the financial support for projects that integrate artificial intelligence, digital twin and big data into developing diagnoses of diseases such as intractable cancer and dementia, nine new materials and prediction models of changes in space."