Google pledges $348,000 in Seoul National University to back AI research

2019.07.17 10:45:15 | 2019.07.17 10:45:43

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Korea’s top academic name Seoul National University has received a pledge of maximum $348,000 from Google to back its artificial intelligence research and development.

The two institutions will sign a memorandum of understanding on AI education and research Thursday, the school said.

John Lee, chief executive of Google Korea, and officials from Google Asia’s university cooperation team are expected to attend the signing ceremony.

Under the partnership, the U.S. tech giant will assist the university’s AI research, take part in doctoral research projects, design classes and offer student internships at Google. In addition to technical and consulting support, the company is expected to provide up to $348,000 in funding over the next two years.

The latest collaboration is anticipated to spur similar backing from Korean conglomerates like Samsung, SK and LG all competing for AI supremacy in fear of losing local talents to the American giant.

SNU President Oh Se-Jung이미지 확대

SNU President Oh Se-Jung

Talks with Google had first started in the university’s engineering department but were later elevated to the top administration level.

“This agreement is significant given the role of universities in the era of the 4th Industrial Revolution,” said a Seoul National University official.

With the signing of the MOU, the university plans to set up an AI committee and step up efforts to create an AI cluster near campus.

Founded in 1946, Seoul National University is a national research university widely considered the most prestigious university in South Korea. It topped Reuters’ ranking of Asia Pacific’s Most Innovative Universities in 2019. The Times Higher Education World University Rankings (2019) placed it as 63rd in the world and 9th in Asia.

By Kim Hee-rae and Kim Hyo-jin

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