Global AI Project exposes participants to latest tech

Global AI Project exposes participants to latest tech

Participants in the 2022 Global AI Project and its organizers pose at the end of the event at the Stanford Hotel Seoul in western Seoul on Sunday. [PARK SANG-MOON]

Participants in the 2022 Global AI Project and its organizers pose at the end of the event at the Stanford Hotel Seoul in western Seoul on Sunday. [PARK SANG-MOON]

Dozens of future data scientists from different parts of Korea gathered in Sangam-dong, western Seoul, on Sunday to showcase a variety of ideas using artificial intelligence (AI) and blockchain technologies.

At the Stanford Hotel Seoul on Saturday, the participants showed off their work on projects ranging from a lung nodule detection system to an analysis of the digital divide that has hurt North Korean defectors in South Korea. After the presentations on Sunday, one team won the grand prize, one second prize and three won third prizes, concluding 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 provide insight into global technology trends to people hoping to work at data science companies. The program was hosted by the Gangneung Science and Industry Promotion Agency and co-organized by the Korea JoongAng Daily and its US-based subsidiary the Korea Daily.

The grand prize went to a three-person team – Moon Kyoung-min, Shin Seung-heon and Han Chun-hee – who presented an AI and Virtual Reality (VR)-supported system for detecting lung nodules.

“I would 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 began taking courses at an online college in 2018 and has worked with several startups on research related to medical artificial intelligence.

“People in remote areas like Uljin in Gangwon have to wait three months to make a medical appointment at my hospital,” Moon said. “By expanding the medical field into virtual reality and artificial intelligence 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 to the digital alienation of the elderly.

“While I have found that digital skills decline with age, and life satisfaction is higher with higher digital skills – a lifelong education program and instruction in the use of digital devices is needed to improve the digital abilities 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 the future Korean College Scholastic Ability Test (CSAT), increasing the importance of writing skills.

“Using big data and new technology, I’d like to start a startup that develops an AI model that can provide objective feedback, such as about 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 work, and another 25 people who hoped 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 at 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 handle AI as easily as Microsoft Word, AI will greatly help solve problems in every 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 can use AI to feel a patient’s pulse or diagnose diseases in oriental medicine. My dream is to become an oriental doctor who develops apps or a developer who can give an acupuncture treatment.”

Winners of 2022 Global AI Project pose at the end of the event at Standford Hotel Seoul in western Seoul on Sunday. [PARK SANG-MOON]

Winners of 2022 Global AI Project pose at the end of the event at Standford Hotel Seoul in western Seoul on Sunday. [PARK SANG-MOON]

This year, the program focused on lectures from employees in artificial intelligence and related fields in the United States, including from prestigious companies such as Tesla and Amazon, so that students could grasp the latest global IT and industry trends and develop 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 computer technology every Friday night through Zoom classes.

“At first I wasn’t sure if the project would turn out well because of the tight schedule, but everyone worked hard during the whole process and I think the overall project was satisfactory,” said Kim.

Kevin Kim, CEO of metaverse gaming startup Brave Turtles, offered tips on starting a business. Kim has worked 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, and gave a lecture discussing differences between movies, computer games and the metaverse explained.

“I didn’t know that the Global AI project would grow so big and run smoothly, but I was surprised that everyone participated with passion until the end of the course, even though they all live far away,” said Kim .

“The ICT course program only had courses from local experts in Korea, and this year was the first time we invited mentors from overseas so 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 plan to expand it next year.”

BY SEO JI-EUN [[email protected]]

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