S. Korea must think of ways to put AI to use: report

South Korea is doing better than most countries in terms of developing artificial intelligence (AI)-related technologies, but the gap is too wide and it especially lags behind in terms of putting such technologies to actual use, a report suggested Thursday.

According to the report from the Korea Economic Research Institute (KERI), South Korea held 197 AI-related patents as of end-2014, the world's fourth largest number.

However, this marks only a fraction of the 9,171 patents held by global leader the United States and 1,965 by Japan. Germany also held 446 such patents as of the end of 2014, it noted.

"South Korea holds a large number of AI technology patents, but its gap with leading countries, such as the United States and Japan, is too wide," the report said.

The report also raised concerns over an even wider gap in terms of patents held for AI application technologies, which it called the foundation of future development.

As of end-2014, South Korea held only five patents for AI applications, while the United States held 1,114 and Japan 386.

"The country needs to enhance its competitiveness in terms of AI application as such technologies can be used to develop high-value added products, such medical equipment and machine control units, that could become the foundation of the local industry," said Lee Byeong-ki, head of KERI's future growth strategy research division.

"To this end, the country must come up with policy measures that promote and encourage more investment in research and development," he added.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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