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Prepare today for the 4th industrial revolution, one of humanity...
  • Writer : KU Research
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  • Date : 2018-05-08

KU Research Spring 2018
Prepare today for the 4th industrial revolution, one of humanity’s biggest challenges


Since its main theme “Mastering the 4th Industrial Revolution” in 2016, the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, has discussed the 4th Industrial Revolution as one of the most important issues every year. The WEF’s theme in 2018 was “Shared Future.” The 4th Industrial Revolution is characterized by hyperconnectivity and superintelligence and expected to spread across a wider spectrum of areas including the environment, jobs, food, and healthcare at a faster velocity. The WEF is intended to positively maximize the effect of the 4th Industrial Revolution and develop a cooperation model that enables the coexistence and development of the global community via understanding and sharing beyond one’s own vested interests in the near future, as wealth, information gaps, and conflicts between the rich and poor are increasingly widening and deepening around the world. Korea University (KU) is moving beyond its inherent role of education and research as a university and spearheading innovation in research and business development (R&BD) and living labs in collaboration with public and private sectors.

What the 4th Industrial Revolution Calls for, and KU’s Answer to that Call


Recently, Professor Seong-whan Lee introduced “Curly,” the world’s first artificial intelligence (AI) curling robot. It was launched right before the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Paralympic Games and garnered worldwide attention by competing in a game with a professional curling team. Curly understands the game situation such as the stone position by using a camera mounted on the skip robot and sends this information to the AI software Curl Brain, which in turn establishes a throwing strategy according to reinforcement learning–based deep learning technology. Curly is known to have much more advanced technology than AlphaGo, an AI program of the game of Go. A researcher who watched Curly’s game said that another revolution in AI research is imminent.

KU serves as a key partner in the 4th Industrial Revolution Innovation Committee established by the Korean government to prepare for the future. In particular, Professor Hee-jo Lee from the Department of Computer and Radio Communications Engineering, one of the most prominent figures in the field of cybersecurity in Korea, was appointed as one of the first private sector members of this committee. He will play a role in devising concrete policy measures with regard to cybersecurity and public identification. Professor Lee expressed his wishes saying, “I want to contribute to national competitiveness by reviewing government-led projects and innovating regulations for the 4th Industrial Revolution.”


In March this year, KU was selected as a participating institution in the Smart City Preliminary Planning Project Team, one of the key national strategy projects. The Planning Project Team will plan details for the Smart City Project, which will receive KRW 86.9 billion(about $ 81.5 million) in government funding over 5 years, and present a concrete blueprint for Smart City. KU is planning to establish a practical plan on Smart City performance diagnosis and utilization and living lab operation with competent researchers in urban safety, energy, healthcare, law, and various other fields. Project Manager Hun-hee Cho, a professor from the Department of Civil, Environmental and Architectural Engineering, stated that “Smart City is a platform that can support the 4th Industrial Revolution and share outcomes. By participating in this Planning Project in connection with the Pilot Project, we should be able to contribute to making KU a global leader in Smart City development.”

In addition, KU was designated as a training institution for the 4th Industrial Revolution Leader Training Program led by the Ministry of Employment and Labor in December 2017, providing four job training courses in the following three fields: Internet of Things (IoT), big data, and smart manufacturing. The vision of this program, named the Korea University Academy of Industry 4.0 (KU-AI 4.0), is to train pioneers who will lead the future industrial era and nurture highly skilled professionals, reflecting corporate demand. It focuses on providing practice-based training to companies that are closely collaborating with KU in their respective fields. Currently, around 90 trainees are participating in this program. Director Gwang-ho Song of the Center for Teaching and Learning, who is responsible for this program, stated, “KU-AI 4.0 is a training program that demonstrates KU’s commitment to preemptively respond to changes in the labor market in the 4th Industrial Revolution. We would like to show KU’s commitment to society-tailored training by providing students with opportunities to improve their job skills in accordance with corporate demand via a variety of projects and training courses, finding real connections between future scientific theory and industry.”


- KU Research Spring 2018


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