“Big Data: Crude Oil of 21st Century,” Says Chief of Forum for Big Data Future
What is ‘big brother technology’ that can let us leapfrog others to lead the 4th industrial revolution in a super-connected world of the 21st century? All eyes are on who will rule the roost in next-generation ICTs, such as artificial intelligence (AI), big data and cloud computing.
Jang Kwang-soo, chairman of the Forum for Big Data Future, said: “Governments, companies and individuals need to collect and tap into various types of big data so as to create new services and values. We should make use of big data to address various social issues, such as crime prevention and welfare, and to prepare our responses to climate change and disease outbreaks by predicting the future.”
Q: Tell us about the purpose, role and major projects of the Forum for Big Data Future.
We are witnessing the advent of a super-connected society where humans, objects, data and the environment are interconnected with one another through the IoT, cloud computing, big data and AI. This kind of society can be described as an intelligent society where big data connected via the IoT and cloud computing is controlled by AI. Thus, big data will serve as the crude oil of the 21st century.”
Q: What’s the role of big data in pushing for political reform through cyberpolitics?
South Korea has the world’s best ultra high-speed Internet networks and the 4th highest smartphone penetration rate. Therefore, the foundations for cyberpolitics have already been laid.
As of now, the average daily volume of mobile financial transactions tops 50 million. All the government work, including procurement and patent registration, is taken care of online, therefore ensuring more transparency and preventing corruption.
Embracing cyberpolitics will play a role in adding transparency to the exclusive nature of the party politics system. Political parties can open up themselves by using a mobile open platform whereby people can register as party members, pay party dues, raise political funds, choose candidates, establish policies and canvass opinion on legislative bills.
Q: Politicians seem to have a lack of understanding of big data.
Unfortunately, that is true. In the 21st century, big data industry bills, designed to reinforce the competitiveness of this country, should be enacted at an earlier date.
At the inaugural meeting of the Forum for Big Data Future, held in September last year, we sought to raise the National Assembly’s awareness of big data, as well as public awareness, by making presentations on obstacles to the development of the big data industry and holding expert discussions on ways forward. We plan to ask for big data companies’ feedback on bills and continue to raise awareness of big data by holding discussions.
Q: It's not an overstatement to say big data takes center stage in the 4th industrial revolution.
Big data, including data on financial transactions, communications and health insurance, contain sensitive personal information. Therefore, indiscriminate collection and misuse of data by governments, companies and individuals could result in serious invasions of privacy, financial scams like voice phishing, unsolicited sales or marketing calls, abductions, etc.
To tackle such problems, South Korea and developed countries like the US have put in place various regulations on the collection of personal data. Those regulations include banning the use of personal data for a purpose other than the original purpose and making it mandatory to obtain prior consent from individuals before collecting and using their personal data.
Q: What are the strengths of South Korea when it comes to big data?
South Korea has the fastest broadband internet in the world and one of the highest smartphone penetration rates. We have optimal conditions for big data projects.
Leveraging such infrastructures, we are developing big data services and technologies in various sectors, such as transportation, distribution, medicine, disaster prevent and smart city. In particular, Korean developers of smart city technologies are currently making forays into China and Southeast Asian countries.
However, South Korea is lagging 1 to 3 years behind developed countries including the US when it comes to data collection, retrieval, analytics, visualization and prediction technologies. However, once we have succeeded in commercializing technologies and developing service models in various areas by exploiting our advanced information and communications infrastructures, we will enter oversea markets and reap tangible results.