President of South Korea Seeks Cooperation with Canada in AI



President Yoon Suk-yeol arrived in Canada, Thursday (local time), to strengthen technological ties with the North American country.


This visit is the last leg of his three-nation trip to the United Kingdom, the United States and Canada. Yoon began his schedule in Canada by meeting with a group of experts on artificial intelligence (AI) in Toronto.


At the University of Toronto, Yoon met with Geoffrey Hinton, a professor emeritus of computer science and a pioneer of deep learning, Garth Gibson, president of the Vector Institute, and Meric Gertler, president of the University of Toronto, along with Ontario Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade Victor Fedeli.


Yoon described Toronto as an AI powerhouse that researchers and big tech companies flock to.


"Korea and Canada will be able to take another leap forward in the field of AI if we cooperate. I am here to listen to the secret to Canada's success in AI and seek advice on Korea's path to becoming an AI powerhouse," Yoon said.


"The University of Toronto pioneered deep learning technology, breaking new ground, and secured a key position in the global supply chain for AI technology and talent," Yoon said.


Yoon also introduced to Canadian experts Korea's digital platform government initiatives, which were also featured during his address to the United Nations General Assembly, Tuesday. The Korean president wants to share and use digital technology with other countries to expand freedom.


"Korea's initiative to improving the quality of life through innovative digital services is going to serve as an example of sharing digital benefits with all countries around the world," Yoon said, adding that he wants to "listen to thoughts on the desirable use of digital and AI technology in expanding the freedom of global citizens and guaranteeing human rights."


Yoon said Korea is strong in information and communications technology (ICT) and Canada has talented professionals in AI industry, which could be a good match.


"The new government will spare no efforts when it comes to supporting bilateral collaboration in the AI sector and the University of Toronto could be the hub of economic and scientific cooperation between Korea and Canada," he said.


After the meeting, a senior presidential aide said that the reason for Canada's success in becoming an AI powerhouse is long-term investment in developing original technology and attracting talented workers.


"Canada continued to invest in the sector despite 'AI winters,' which led to the development of deep learning technology, and opened a new era," Choi Sang-mok, senior presidential secretary for economic affairs, said.


"Learning from the experience of Canada, Korea has started on its path to becoming an AI powerhouse, in addition to the semiconductor industry," Choi said.


By Kwon Mee-yoo

The Korea Times