Dongwon Honorary Chmn. Kim Committed to Exploring AI’s ‘Sea of Data’
Honorary Chairman Kim Jae-chul of Dongwon Group discusses on AI with KAIST President Lee Kwang-young at a talk show at KAIST’s main campus in Daejeon on April 2.
Honorary Chairman Kim Jae-chul of Dongwon Group was once an old hand who had contributed most of his life as “a legendary captain,” specializing in exploring the offshore shipping industry around the world.
The honorary chairman now stresses the nurturing of “AI captains” who are capable of navigating the “sea of data.” “As the past was an era of navigating the oceans, now is a time in which AI makes a journey of the sea of data,” Kim said. He made the remarks during a talk on the future of AI with KAIST President Lee Kwang-young at its main campus in Daejeon on April 2.
Honorary Chairman Kim signed a deal promising to donate a combined 50 billion won out of his own pocket to KAIST over 10 years, saying the money will be used to nurture AI manpower.
KAIST named its AI graduate school as “Kim Jae-chul AI Graduate School” in his honor. KAIST plans to operate the globally recognized AI graduate school by securing a 40-member faculty by 2030.
He said, “It is more significant to accelerate a race to obtain international patents to secure an upper hand in a global AI era.”
Kim expressed hope that KAIST should spearhead technology development based on fast decision-making as Korea’s control tower of the AI industry. He called for reinforcing faculty and students in a speedy fashion as promised.
Honorary Chairman Kim Jae-chul of Dongwon Group and KAIST President Lee Kwang-young pose at a ceremony to sign a deal to promise to donate a combined 50 billion won out of his purse to KAIST over 10 years last Dec. 16. (Photos: KAIST)
Honorary Chairman Kim emphasized that Korea, with scarce resources, has grown thanks to gifted human resources. He urged KAIST to explore a path of being an AI global power, since securing manpower is more significant in the era of AI.
When he was navigating the world aboard deep-sea ships, he said he was not given due treatment in foreign countries since Korea was then a poor country.
From that time on, he recognized the significance of manpower development. Between 300 and 400 students have been nurtured under scholarships, some of whom are now serving as professors at KAIST and other universities.
Kim told the professors on hand at the talks that the advancement of AI would bring about ethics issues. He stressed a well-rounded education, encompassing ethics, altruism and personality on top of expertise technology and disciplinary studies.
President Lee posed the question: “How can an unswerving challenging spirit be nurtured like Chairman Kim’s?” In his answer, Kim cited Tokugawa Ieyasu’s quote, “Life is like unto a long journey with a heavy burden.”
He bets that if anyone undergoes hardships and other diverse experiences on his or her own, it will contribute to nurturing new capabilities, so he once encouraged his sons to work aboard deep-sea ships.
Honorary Chairman Kim cited French philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre’s quote, “Life is C (Choice) between B (Birth) and D (Death).” In the C category, there are Choice, Challenge and Cooperation as well as Complain and Corruption, and life will be determined on what he or she chooses, Kim said.
The talk was designed to take an in-depth look at the nation’s development of AI technologies in the era of the 4th Industrial Revolution and discuss ways of making the nation an AI powerhouse.