Seoul, South Korea In a groundbreaking move aimed at enhancing public safety, promoting AI accessibility among the elderly, and addressing ethical concerns, the Seoul Digital Foundation has revealed an ambitious three-pronged plan to deploy artificial intelligence (AI) across various facets of the city’s services and facilities.
Enhancing safety with AI-powered surveillance
Under the safety banner, the Seoul Digital Foundation has announced a collaboration with Seoul Metro to develop an AI-based system designed to monitor and detect unusual behavior among subway passengers. This initiative comes in response to a series of incidents that have raised public concerns about safety on the subway, including a stabbing incident in August that left two passengers injured.
By 2025, the foundation aims to implement an AI-powered “image captioning” technology to convert surveillance camera footage into textual descriptions. These descriptions will be transmitted to subway officials in real-time, allowing immediate action when unusual behavior is detected.
The system goes beyond simple observation by “getting the full picture.” It can connect the dots between footage captured at different times. For example, if someone is seen on camera holding a knife and later conceals it in their pocket, the system will notify officials based on its analysis of previous footage, ensuring a comprehensive approach to passenger safety.
AI chatbot for elderly tech support
To make artificial intelligence more accessible to the elderly population, the Seoul Digital Foundation has also revealed plans to introduce a new chatbot system designed to answer digital technology-related questions. This system will leverage a large language model akin to ChatGPT.
A beta version of the chatbot model is slated for launch at the end of 2023, with further refinements based on user feedback. The foundation aims for an official launch of the chatbot system in the second half of 2024. This initiative is expected to bridge the digital knowledge gap among the elderly and promote greater digital inclusivity.
Addressing ethical concerns with AI guidelines
As technologies utilizing generative artificial intelligence, such as ChatGPT, continue to advance, the Seoul Digital Foundation recognizes the need to address ethical concerns that may arise in the future proactively. To safeguard against potential ethical issues, the foundation intends to develop AI ethical guidelines, focusing on users, sustainability, and risk prevention.
These guidelines are anticipated to serve as a framework for responsible AI development and deployment, ensuring that AI technologies are used for the benefit of society and adhere to the highest ethical standards.
A vision for Seoul’s future
Kang Yo-sik, CEO of the Seoul Digital Foundation, expressed the organization’s commitment to bringing about innovative changes that positively impact the daily lives of citizens. “We will continuously introduce various projects to support Seoul’s goal to become a ‘Global Top 5 City,'” he declared. The foundation’s multifaceted approach, encompassing safety, education, and ethics, underscores its dedication to driving positive transformation through the strategic application of AI.
The Seoul Digital Foundation’s recent announcements herald a new era for the South Korean capital, one in which AI technologies are harnessed to enhance safety, empower the elderly, and uphold ethical principles in the city’s ongoing development. With these initiatives in motion, Seoul is poised to demonstrate its commitment to innovation, inclusivity, and ethical responsibility on a global stage.