UPDATE : Friday, July 10, 2020
UNIST to develop next-generation AI technology
  • By Marian Chu
  • Published 2017.08.02 11:07
  • Updated 2017.08.02 11:07
  • comments 0

The government has selected Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST) as the principal institution to develop next-generation AI technology, the institute said Wednesday.

The project is one of nine national projects -- AI, virtual reality, self-driving cars, light-weight material, smart city, precision medicine, new drugs, carbon resources and fine dust -- that aim to create new growth engines in preparation for the fourth industrial revolution.

The government will fund about 15 billion won ($13.7 million) over five years until 2021 for UNIST to develop AI technology that not only analyzes and makes predictions based on actual data but also explains the decision-making process behind predictions made.

Currently, AI technology cannot account for the reasoning behind its decisions, making it less than reliable in areas such as stock predictions, military planning, and medical diagnosis, among others.

Choi Jae-sik, chief researcher of the next-generation AI technology national project, will lead the research team to develop AI technology that can explain decision-making rationale.

UNIST aims to “develop AI that explains its decision-making process,” according to Choi Jae-sik, the project’s chief researcher.

Choi, a UNIST associate professor in electrical and computer engineering, leads the research team composed of professors from UNIST, KAIST, Korea University, Yonsei University and an AI-related business organization Altrics to increase the level of AI credibility by adding human-like ability to explain decisions and predictions made.

The added feature will allow the use of AI technology in a myriad of sectors such as medical diagnosis, financial transaction reports, and other professional fields, the institute said.

Ulsan Metropolitan City has also viewed UNIST’s efforts favorably, seeing that it will likely expand source technology within the field of AI and lay the groundwork for related industries while contributing to the development of the existing industry.

For these reasons, Ulsan has financially and cooperatively supported UNIST from the early stages of the government project and will continue to support the institution by funding around 100 million won ($89,000) each year for four years, UNIST said.

“It is important to be an early-mover in primary source technology to lead the fourth industrial revolution. We have decided to actively pledge out resources as we expect the project’s results to power the growth of projects in Ulsan,” said an official at the municipal administration.


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