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KAIST Partners with WEF to Prepare for the 4th Industrial Revolution
KAIST President Sung-Chul Shin and the Head of the World Economic Forum Center for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, Murat Sonmez, made a commitment to build cooperation in an active manner for addressing the ramifications of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. The two signed an MOU to cooperate in research in related fields on October 13 after holding a roundtable discussion titled “The Future of Jobs and Inclusive Growth in Korea”. It is the first partnership that the WEF has sealed with an academic institution.The roundtable discussion brought together distinguished guests from politics, non-profit civic organizations, academia, and enterprises including Daejeon Mayor Seon-Taek Kwon, Doosan Group Vice Chairman Lee Hyun-Soon, and Korean Venture Business Association President Ahn Keon-Joon. During the news conference, President Shin said, “This event means a lot because it explores ways in which inclusive growth and job creation can be realized in Korea. To move forward in the new age of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, every country needs to adopt appropriate new policies suitable for their specific market environments. KAIST will contribute to this process for Korea as well as for the global community.” President Shin also said, “Korea has been a fast follower in previous industrial revolutions. Now, we have the momentum to seize the opportunities in the wake of this revolution. KAIST is dedicated to leading Korea into becoming a first mover in the Fourth Industrial Revolution by cooperating with the WEF.” “Two decades later, we will live with considerable number of robots around us. It is possible that our societies in the future will consist of Homo sapiens and Robo sapiens. We need to create new jobs for Homo sapiens to prepare for a society that we will have to coexist with a new industrial tribe. Industries need continuing education to retrain workers for the ever evolving industrial landscape of the future,” President Shin emphasized. Meanwhile, Sonmez pointed out that all stakeholders should participate in understanding the new industrial environment’s ramifications, saying “Societies, governments, public and private sectors, startups, and academia should co-design inclusive models through global efforts. Ethics and influences on the job market should also be taken into consideration.” Sonmez said nine factors such as blockchains, internet of things, artificial intelligence, machine learning, cross-border data blow, drones, 3D printing, autonomous driving, the environment, and precision medicine will take center stage in the Fourth Industrial Revolution, In particular, he said that blockchains, which are a cybersecurity technology for online financial transactions, will bring even bigger changes than the ‘World Wide Web’ has done over the past three decades. “To this end, we will have to work closely with major academic institutes. Through this partnership with KAIST, we will make the fruits of the new industrial environment benefit Koreans and Korean society,” Sonmez added.
Reform of Universities Key in the Wake of the 4th Industrial Revolution
(President Shin makes a keynote speech at the Times Higher Education Research Excellence Summit held in Taiwan on July 4.) KAIST President Sung-Chul Shin stressed that innovations in education, research, and technology commercialization of universities are critical for responding to the transformations that the Fourth Industrial Revolution will bring about. In his keynote speech at the Times Higher Education Research Excellence Summit held in Taiwan on July 4, he cited connectivity, superintelligence, and convergence in science and technology as three components the Fourth Industrial Revolution will pierce, saying the speed and breadth of the transformation will be beyond our imagination. He also presented megatrends in science and technology in the years to come and how KAIST is addressing the challenges and opportunities. “It is imperative to foster creative young talents fluent in convergence, collaboration, and communication skills in the new era. To this end, we need to focus on whole brain education by enhancing basic education in science and engineering plus humanities and social studies,” he stressed. He also presented a Non-Departmental Education Track, which KAIST plans to implement from next semester. The track, designed to prepare students for the new industrial era, will focus on whole brain education including entrepreneurship and leadership education during the undergraduate period. He also emphasized an effective new teaching methodology. “We need to develop various new teaching methods. The paradigm should shift from lecturer-centered to student-centered. KAIST is revising our curriculum to facilitate team-based, project-based learning and flipped learning,” he explained. President Shin also pointed out that the educational goals for the next generation should be to sustain the value of people’s own thoughtfulness, wisdom, emotion, and caring against the advent of a new tribe of AI, dubbed Robo Sapiens. “Those traits add undeniable educational value that we should continue to pursue even in the era of Robo Sapiens,” he added. As for research innovation, he emphasized inter- and multi-disciplinary collaborative research. “Especially, in addressing pressing global issues and big science, international collaboration will be very effective and crucial,” he said. At the summit, convergence research projects currently underway at KAIST using emerging technologies such as the smart mobile healthcare project, Dr, M; the humanoid robot, HUBO; and AI drone swarms drew lots of attention from the participants, even receiving proposals to join the projects as collaborators. In the new era, according to Shin, technology commercialization at universities will emerge as a hub of R&DB. Citing that KAIST has long been a draw for startups, he noted that KAIST has also set a high value on entrepreneurship education including social entrepreneurship and startups. He continued, “The Korean government is making every effort to harness the challenges and opportunities of the Fourth Industrial Revolution by creating a new economic growth engine. For the success of the government initiative, universities should also respond to make innovations commensurate with the changing needs and challenges. KAIST will take the lead in this new initiative for making a new future.”
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