[THE INVESTOR] South Korea will dramatically increase its spending on robots and artificial intelligence next year, the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning said on June 30.
The government decided to inject a total of 470 billion won (US$406 million) in the high-tech industry, a 49.6 percent increase over this year’s 314 billion won. The plan was approved during the National Science and Technology Council’s session to decide allocation of R&D projects for 2017.
Artificial intelligence is to receive the biggest increase in the industry, with 165 billion won, a 80.2 percent hike from this year’s 91.9 billion won, thanks to the historic match between Google’s AI AlphaGo and professional Go player Lee Se-dol that inbrought public’s interest into the technology.
Next year, the government will pour in a total of 12.919 trillion won into research and development activities, a 0.4 percent increase from this year.
It will increase spending on R&D of clean energy by 30.4 percent to 591 billion won, as part of international efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and fight climate change.
The government’s allocation toward the unmanned vehicle and wearable technology segment will increase by 18.7 percent to 1.836 trillion won.
It also allotted 1.26 trillion won for basic research projects, up 14.5 percent on-year.
Korea plans to inject 511 billion won in biotechnology, up 8 percent on-year, and 784 billion won to increase safety measures against disasters, up 5.9 percent on-year.
By Ahn Sung-mi (firstname.lastname@example.org