The Korea Herald

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G-Dragon to pioneer AI, metaverse integration in K-pop

By Kim Jae-heun

Published : June 7, 2024 - 14:01

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G-Dragon participates in a panel discussion at the Innovate Korea forum on the KAIST campus in Daejeon, Wednesday. (Lee Sang-sub/The Korea Herald) G-Dragon participates in a panel discussion at the Innovate Korea forum on the KAIST campus in Daejeon, Wednesday. (Lee Sang-sub/The Korea Herald)

DAEJEON -- Singer G-Dragon, best known as a member of Big Bang and an icon of K-pop, explained how he looks to pioneering the new field of "Enter-Tech" -- combining entertainment and technology -- as he prepares for the future of K-pop with artificial intelligence, at a forum on the campus of the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology.

Speaking at Innovate Korea, jointly hosted by Herald Media Group, KAIST and the National Research Council of Science & Technology, Wednesday, G-Dragon, whose real name is Kwon Ji-yong, said he hopes to utilize AI and metaverse technologies to meet with global fans more intimately.

"Using the AI avatar developed by Galaxy Corp. and KAIST, I'd like to communicate more closely with global fans in the future," he told an audience of 3,000 gathered at the Lyu Keun-chul Sports Complex in Yuseong-gu, Daejeon.

Galaxy Corp. is the singer’s new management agency that he signed in last December. It is an entrepreneurial company that combines entertainment with digital technologies such as the metaverse and AI.

G-Dragon and Galaxy Corp. will introduce new music technology, such as an AI fandom platform developed with KAIST. They are also preparing the first AI metaverse concert at the Sphere Dome, a large innovative venue in Las Vegas, for late next year.

G-Dragon (second from right) speaks at a panel discussion with Galaxy Corp. founder and Chief Happiness Officer Choi Yong-ho (right) at the Innovate Korea forum on the KAIST campus in Daejeon, Wednesday. (Im Se-jun/The Korea Herald) G-Dragon (second from right) speaks at a panel discussion with Galaxy Corp. founder and Chief Happiness Officer Choi Yong-ho (right) at the Innovate Korea forum on the KAIST campus in Daejeon, Wednesday. (Im Se-jun/The Korea Herald)

According to G-Dragon, many musicians are already working with AI and other advanced technologies to enable more diverse forms of creative work.

“I once organized a concert using holograms on Jeju Island. It was seven or eight years ago. From the fans' point of view, it made up for the period when I was absent, but I thought I had to be on the site to make the concert more meaningful. Now that AI is introduced and if I can utilize the technology myself well enough, I can offer a different kind of concert,” G-Dragon said.

The singer was also appointed as a visiting professor at KAIST’s mechanical engineering department the same day. The university said it saw G-Dragon as a leader in global achievements in arts and culture.

“I was impressed to see the research and development labs here because they were similar to the environment I work in," the singer-songwriter said Wednesday, reflecting on his tour of the campus the previous day. “Observing the development process from the ground up and seeing things that you can only understand once the product is finished made me think about how I can integrate these technologies into the cultural sector.”

From left: Galaxy Corp. founder and Chief Happiness Officer Choi Yong-ho, G-Dragon and KAIST President Lee Kwang-hyung pose for photos after G-Dragon's appointment as a visiting professor, at the Innovate Korea forum held on the KAIST campus in Daejeon, Wednesday. (Im Se-jun/The Korea Herald) From left: Galaxy Corp. founder and Chief Happiness Officer Choi Yong-ho, G-Dragon and KAIST President Lee Kwang-hyung pose for photos after G-Dragon's appointment as a visiting professor, at the Innovate Korea forum held on the KAIST campus in Daejeon, Wednesday. (Im Se-jun/The Korea Herald)

G-Dragon has been appearing at several IT and scientific events since joining Galaxy Corp. In January, he made a surprise visit to CES 2024, the world’s largest technology and consumer electronics show in Las Vegas.

“I went to CES (as a visitor) just like anyone else. What was interesting was that I was able to see the past, present and future all in one day. I was able to see technology not only in what I am doing now, but in everyone’s daily lives. It was a great opportunity to see what kind of comfortable and relaxed life awaits ahead of us while expanding my vision related to my music works,” G-Dragon said when asked about his first visit to CES.

“Since I was a kid, I’ve been told that I am a genius, but I am not. KAIST students are the real geniuses. If we hang out together, we can learn from each other. Even if we are not in the same field, I want to help students take on new challenges with creativity,” G-Dragon said.

G-Dragon (right) participates in a panel discussion with KAIST President Lee Kwang-hyung at the Innovate Korea forum held at the KAIST campus in Daejeon, Wednesday. (Im Se-jun/The Korea Herald) G-Dragon (right) participates in a panel discussion with KAIST President Lee Kwang-hyung at the Innovate Korea forum held at the KAIST campus in Daejeon, Wednesday. (Im Se-jun/The Korea Herald)