South Korea is investing big in a multibillion dollar "data dam."
As part of the Moon Jae-in government's 'New Deal' to pull the country out of its virus-induced economic slowdown, some 15 billion dollars will be injected into the creation of a massive data platform over the next five years. The dam will store and process innumerable bytes of data to be analyzed by Artificial Intelligence, then be used to advance various fields such as 5G services, medical care, security, and environment.
The effort is expected to create thousands of jobs 389-thousand to be exact in the country's digital economy, as part of the greater Korean New Deal to revive the South Korean economy.
The numbers seem big and promising but will the plan deliver?
On this, we speak with Dr. David Tizzard, Professor of Korean Studies at Seoul Women's University.
We also speak with Dr. JR Reagan, CEO of IdeaXplorer Global, joining us from Daejeon.
1. Dr. Tizzard: South Korea plans to build a ‘data dam’ to promote the use of open data for innovation. There have been efforts all over the world to build up an open data platform. But there hasn't been great progress compared to private companies. What needs to be done differently with this new digital dam?
2. Dr. Reagan: What are your thoughts on the digital dam? Will it be worth the 15 billion dollars we're investing?
3. Dr. Tizzard: How important is it to develop a national capacity in emerging technologies like AI, 5G and data-based services?
4. Dr. Reagan: Why is it important for South Korea to adopt this plan at this stage? And how do you think it's been doing so far?
5. Dr. Tizzard: Many digital services rely more and more on data. Self-driving cars and so-forth require a lot of regulatory changes. But many companies and experts are saying South Korea’s regulations on privacy and data need to be revised. What’s your view?
6. Dr. Reagan: What’s important about innovation is that it often comes from the bottom up, as a result of collaboration between academia, industry and start-ups. How can South Korea spur that kind of open innovation, rather than enforce a top-down approach?
7. Dr. Tizzard: How can South Korea encourage this kind of innovation ecosystem? And is there an example we can learn from?
8. Dr. Tizzard: The plan comes very late in President Moon’s presidency. He only has a year and a half left in office. Is it possible for him to see this plan through?
9. Dr. Reagan: What do you think South Korea needs the most to advance as a leader of innovation, rather than a fast-follower?
This is where we'll have to wrap up the discussion but it's been incredible hearing your insights.
Dr. David Tizzard, Professor of Korean Studies at Seoul Women's University, and Dr. JR Reagan, CEO of IdeaXplorer Global. Thank you for joining the program.