Incheon opens AI Innovation Center, creating afoundation for quantum computing
Incheon is working with Amazon Web Services (AWS), a globalcloud service company, to build an artificial intelligence (AI) ecosystemcustomized to suit Incheon’s local conditions, which it hopes to use inbuilding a sustainable smart city that can dramatically improve the lives of itscitizens. AWS is the cloud computing business arm of Amazon (Amazon.com), theworld’s largest e-commerce company.
Incheon announced on March 31 that it had signed an “MOU forshared growth of AI future technologies” with AWS at its City Hall receptionroom.
With this MOU, Incheon will work towards buildingan AI ecosystem tailored the city by actively utilizing AWS’ advancedtechnology and expertise in developing AI companies as well as innovativesolutions featuring future technology (quantum computing).
▲ On March 31,Incheon signed an “MOU for Shared Growth of AI Future Technologies” with AWS.
Incheon has long been at the Center of developing global business initiativesfor Korea using its international cities - Songdo, Cheongna, and Yeongjong - ashubs for overseas expansion. The city is home to the world-class,state-of-the-art Incheon International Airport and Incheon Port, and a numberof international organizations (e.g. Green Climate Fund), international schools(e.g. Chadwick International School), and multinational corporations. To date,Incheon has tried to pursue various collaborative projects with overseasentities and overseas expansion projects. However, there are many issues thatneed to be ironed out to facilitate the full-fledged global business expansionor cooperation with overseas players moving forward.
Also, although Incheon’s old city center has been at the Centerof multiple urban regeneration projects, Incheon will have to expand the targetarea and find more effective ways to improve medical services for people withpoor access to hospitals and clinics.
Incheon has continued to promote “smart urbanization” of its newcity centers over the years, and has gradually improved the environment of theold city center with help from the public, but the consensus is that theseconventional measures still have their limitations when it comes to activelyresponding to fast-changing trends.
Accordingly, Incheon will strategically cooperate with AWS, aglobal cloud service company, through this latest MOU.
First, in close cooperationwith AWS, Incheon will jointly promote a support project so that AI convergence(start-up) companies with substantial growth potential in the Incheon area cangrow into global unicorn companies.
Selected candidates will be given a chance to utilize variousprograms and facilities provided by the City Government. Also, AWS is expectedto provide training, business consulting services, and technical support usingthe AWS cloud to selected candidates, helping AI companies grow their businessand successfully enter the global market.
The solution created here in Incheon will belaunched across Korea via the AWS Marketplace, and at the same time, will havea chance to participate in sales and international public procurement on theglobal market.
▲ With this MOU, Incheon will work towardsbuilding an AI ecosystem tailored the city by actively utilizing AWS’ advancedtechnology and expertise in developing AI companies as well as innovativesolutions featuring future technology (quantum computing).
Second, Incheon plans tobuild a medical big data system in the Songdo International City area incooperation with AWS as well as existing hospitals and newly opened hospitalsin Incheon to collate and analyze data for better health care. Also, Incheonwill look to build a bio health-based data platform that can be used for moreprecise diagnoses of cancer and improved treatment performance of medicalfacilities.
Using these data systems, Incheon will create a medical andhealth big data convergence and analysis environment that can more effectivelymonitor the elderly and chronically ill patients with heart disease usingsolutions such as remote heart monitoring services in neighborhoods with pooraccess to medical facilities (e.g. old city center).
In doing so, the city will use data to provide customizedmedical and welfare services for the elderly, the medically vulnerable, andpatients in areas with poor medical coverage.
Third, Incheon will use its cutting-edge technology andenvironment to accelerate Incheon’s evolution as an intelligent smart city, andto push its projects aimed at regenerating the old city center.
Moving forward, Incheon will use 5G technology to improve data,artificial intelligence, and IoT environments capable of systematicallymonitoring, managing, and improving the actual conditions and operationalstatus of the city center.
By introducing a 5G-based digital twin system, Incheon willmanage facilities such as major venues, roads, ports, and bridges in the oldcity center as well as in the new urban centers in real-time, and apply IoTtechnology evenly throughout the city to improve safety, environment, andtraffic conditions.
Various operational status data including water/sewage qualitywill be monitored in different ways throughout the city, helping officialsidentify and verify problems in real-time.
Also, Incheon will make the collated data publicly available forprivate citizens and businesses to make use of information in terms of theenvironment and public welfare.
To that end, Incheon is preparing a 5G-based digital twinproject, which is part of the central government’s Korean Digital New Deal.
Fourth, Incheon will open the “Incheon AI Innovation Center”(tentative) in cooperation with AWS to build an AI ecosystem that is tailoredto Incheon’s environment to support specialized industries in the region thatuses AI technology and accelerate the city’s transition into an intelligentsmart city.
AWS is capable of processing up to 100 million times faster thanthe existing computing environment in Incheon, which can help the city meet therapidly increasing demand for AI in the region and to create a next-generationintelligent smart city environment. Also, AWS will help build a quantum computing(QC) environment that is drawing attention as the technology of choice forfuture computing environments.
With AWS, companies, universities, research institutes, andstart-ups in Incheon and the nearby region will be able to enjoy an environmentin which various intelligent smart cities and AI solutions can be verified andimplemented at a much faster rate.
Mayor Park Namchoon said, “Incheon is offering an opportunityfor AI convergence companies in Incheon to quickly cope with the uncertaintycaused by COVID-19 by cooperating with AWS, and to quickly enter the globalmarket by using AWS Regions located around the world. With the advancedtechnology of AWS, Incheon will build an AI ecosystem tailored to localconditions, accelerate intelligent smart urbanization, and quickly improve thewelfare and medical environment for our citizens.”
He added, “The Incheon AI Innovation Center (tentative), whichwe are expecting to open soon, will operate an AI cooperation program with AWSto provide an environment where we can access new technologies offered by AWSbefore other competitors. This will hopefully help create an intelligent smartcity in the Incheon area. AWS is expected to give our city a massive boost insecuring a global level of competitiveness by expanding the AI convergenceecosystem where AI convergence companies can commercialize new technologiessuch as AI/quantum computing.”