Global AI Project exposes participants to latest tech
Dozens of future data scientists from different parts of Korea gathered in Sangam-dong, western Seoul on Sunday to show an array of ideas using artificial intelligence (AI) and blockchain technologies.
The participants showed their work on projects ranging from a lung nodule detecting system to an analysis of the digital divide hurting North Korean defectors in South Korea at the Stanford Hotel Seoul on Saturday. After the presentations, one team won the grand prize Sunday, one won second prize and three won third prizes, wrapping up a seven-week program.
The Global AI Project is part of the ICT ministry’s regional ICT Innovation Square Expansion Project, which is supposed to give insights into global technology trends to people who hope to work at data science businesses. The program was hosted by the Gangneung Science and Industry Promotion Agency and co-organized by the Korea JoongAng Daily and its U.S.-based affiliate the Korea Daily.
The grand prize went to a team of three people — Moon Kyoung-min, Shin Seung-heon and Han Chun-hee — who presented an AI- and Virtual Reality (VR)-aided system for the detection of lung nodules.
“I’d like to contribute to bridging the gap between medicine and engineering, and hopefully realize the democratization of digital technology,” said Moon, 44, an associate professor of pulmonary, allergy and critical care medicine at Gangneung Asan Hospital.
Moon started to take courses from an online college in 2018 and has been working with various startups on research related to medical artificial intelligence.
“People in remote areas like Uljin in Gangwon need to wait for three months to book a medical appointment at my hospital,” Moon said. “By expanding the medical field to virtual reality and artificial intelligence such as in the metaverse, I hope for a world where medically underserved populations can freely use the medical system.”
Kim Gil-jae, a 26-year-old graduate student majoring in education, took home the second prize. Kim analyzed data on problems and solutions for the digital alienation of the elderly.
“While I found out as digital skills decrease along with age, and life satisfaction is higher with higher digital skills — a lifelong education program and teaching the use of digital devices are necessary to enhance the digital capabilities of people in their 60s and older,” Kim said.
Based on the government’s announcement of a revised curriculum, Kim said it is likely that short-answer and essay questions will be introduced in future Korean College Scholastic Ability Test (CSAT), raising the importance of writing skills.
“Using big data and new technology, I’d like to start a startup developing an AI model that can give objective feedback such as on vocabulary by looking at sentence structure,” Kim said.
From university students, doctors, soldiers and a B&B owner, a total of 80 participants from their 20s to their 50s from Gangwon, North Gyeongsang and Daegu took part in the program this year.
The participants were divided into two groups — one group consisted of 55 university students looking for a job, and another 25 people hoping to start a business in the field of IT and artificial intelligence. They participated in the Global AI project after taking a 120 to 160-hour AI and blockchain education course by the ICT Innovation Square.
Han, one of the three grand prize winners, said he was particularly impressed to learn how new technology can help solve problems.
“Once people can easily handle AI like Microsoft Word, AI will be a lot of help in solving problems in each specialized field,” said Han, a 42-year-old graduate student studying oriental medicine at South Baylo University.
“AI is like analyzing patterns,” he continued. “I could utilize AI to feel a patient’s pulse or diagnose diseases in oriental medicine. My dream is to become an oriental doctor who develops programs or a developer who can give an acupuncture treatment.”
This year, the program was geared to lectures from employees in artificial intelligence and related fields in the United States, including from prestigious companies like Tesla and Amazon, so students could grasp the latest global IT and industry trends and figure out an employment strategy.
Kim Seon-ho, an associate director at the Integrated Media Systems Center at the University of Southern California, led a course on an introduction to computing technology every Friday night through Zoom classes.
“At first I wasn’t sure if the project would come out well due to the tight schedule, but everyone worked hard during the whole process and I think the overall project was satisfactory,” Kim said.
Kevin Kim, CEO at metaverse game startup Brave Turtles, gave tips on starting a business. Working as a visual effects artist for the movie “Hugo” and TV series “Game of Thrones”, which won an Oscar and Emmy for special visual effects, Kim delivered a lecture explaining differences between movies, computer games and the metaverse.
“I didn’t know that the Global AI Project would grow this big and go smoothly, but I was surprised that everyone participated with passion until the end of the course even though they all live far away,” Kim said.
“The ICT course program had only had courses from domestic experts in Korea, and this year was the first time we invited mentors from overseas so that students can learn global trends,” said Cho Eun-jeong, a senior official at the Gangneung Science and Industry Promotion Agency.
“This year we only had an offline course for only two days, but we’re planning to expand it next year.”
BY SEO JI-EUN [email@example.com]