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South Korea President Yoon, Mark Zuckerberg Talk AI Alliance: Combat Fake News Ahead of Elections

Published February 29, 2024 5:17 PM
Samantha Dunn
Published February 29, 2024 5:17 PM
Key Takeaways
  • President Yoon’s comments indicate the possibility of AI collaboration with Meta.
  • Zuckerberg met with LG Electronics and Samsung leaders to discuss the potential of XR devices.
  • The visit by Meta’s CEO is the first visit to South Korea in ten years.

Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg and South Korea’s President Yoon Suk Yeol convened in Seoul to discuss potential cooperation.

The meeting was part of a broader conversation with tech leaders,  including representatives from LG and Samsung, that centered on the development of XR devices and the possibility of collaboration in future AI development.

The Battle Against Disinformation

During Zuckerberg’s tour of Asia, which included stops in Japan and a three-day visit to Seoul to meet leaders from Samsung and LG, the focus shifted to South Korea’s potential as a global leader in AI technology

The discussions between Zuckerberg and President Yoon are particularly timely, given the upcoming general elections in Korea and the U.S., where online disinformation and deepfake videos have already posed democratic challenges.

According to reports by Agence France-Presse, the talks  focused on the urgent need for responsible AI development and deployment. Yoon shared his personal encounter with the dark side of social media—a fake video of him still circulating online. Yoon asked the Meta chief to “pay special attention” to monitoring and preventing fake news on his platform.

The meeting, which was initiated by Meta, saw both leaders envisioning a future where AI can be leveraged to safeguard elections and ensure a trustworthy digital society.

“Korea is ready to provide the playing field where Meta can turn its imagination into reality,” Yoon was reported as saying.

South Korea’s AI Ambitions

“Yoon emphasised South Korean companies’ top place in the memory market for AI systems and asked Zuckerberg to forge close cooperations with them […] as well as the vision to create an AI digital ecosystem”, Sung Tae-yoon, Yoon’s chief of staff for policy, told reporters.

This vision aligns with Korea’s ambition to become an “outstanding platform” for applying Meta’s AI technologies, capitalizing on the country’s leading position in smart electronics, memory chips, and smart cars.

The discussions also touched on Meta’s ambitious plans to develop artificial general intelligence (AGI), signaling a new era of AI that aims to overcome current limitations. With Korean companies being integral to the global supply chain for AI semiconductors, the collaboration could accelerate Meta’s vision while bolstering Korea’s global economic and technological position.

Possible XR Partnership?

The Meta founder’s meeting with LG Electronics CEO Cho Joo-wan, and Samsung Electronics Chairman Lee Jae-yong involved discussions on XR and ways to cooperate with AI chips.

Zuckerberg previously met with Lee in South Korea in 2014 and visited Samsung Electronics’ research and development lab in the United States in 2022.

The CEO of Meta Platforms, further discussed Meta’s vision for artificial intelligence (AI) and extended reality (XR) with representatives from Korean startups in Seoul.

The meeting, held at Meta Korea’s office in southern Seoul on Wednesday, brought together leaders from three Korean AI startups — Upstage, FriendliAI, and MathPresso — and representatives from two XR startups, Devs United Games and Stoic Entertainment, The Korea Times reported.

As Zuckerberg’s Asia tour progresses, with India next on the agenda, the Seoul meeting represents the growing recognition of AI’s potential and challenges, and the trend in tech leaders moving to forge global partnerships to speed up AI development.

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