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MOTIE lays out initial blueprint for K-design and AI convergence
  • Registration date2024-07-10
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Trade, Industry and Energy Minister Dukgeun Ahn held the AI Design Conference on July 9 at LG Science Park in Seoul with design companies and experts and announced the AI Design Diffusion Strategy.

Based on a shared understanding of the need to enhance across-the-board industrial competitiveness through design innovation, the AI Design Diffusion Strategy was established over a four-month process of discussions and opinion gathering. This process involved design working group committee members, relevant organizations, and AI and design companies. On May 8, the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (MOTIE) launched the Committee on New Industrial Policies for the AI Era, aiming to establish strategies for six major areas. The AI Design Diffusion Strategy is MOTIE’s second in its series of AI utilization strategies.

MOTIE’s execution of the AI Design Diffusion Strategy will center around four main initiatives: launching flagship projects; gaining competitive edge; creating new markets; and institutionalizing AI design systems and norms. By increasing the rate of design utilization to 60 percent (from the current 37 percent), the strategy aims to raise design firms’ AI adoption rate to 50 percent and nurture 10,000 AI designers and 500 innovative design firms.

The ministry will first roll out the AI Design Flagship Project across seven major areas. Currently, the AI utilization rate is low (5.5 percent), with the initial market primarily built around global design solution companies. This year, the Korea Institute of Design Promotion (KIDP) will lead the development of AI services in three major areas: trend analysis, design similarity search, and smaller Large Language Model (sLLM). By 2025, MOTIE intends to identify demands in four key areas with high AI design synergy prospects (consumer goods design, optimal design of engineering components, automated design of manufacturing process, and automation of digital generative design) and support the development of 20 AI design models over three years.

Secondly, aiming to secure AI design competitiveness (technology, company, data, and talent), the ministry will announce the AI design technology roadmap for the following five major areas by the end of this year and provide R&D assistance beginning in 2025: design concept, generative design, prototyping, design-production synchronization, and design knowledge and protection. For each of the country’s six major regions, a design creation lab and a company-catered support system will be established. The latter will focus on AI transition and nurturing AI design software companies. Moreover, MOTIE will seek measures for design funding and financial assistance.

Furthermore, through collaboration with design promotion institutions and overseas entities, a K-design big data hub will be set up around four areas: design archive, K-heritage design, color, materials, finish (CMF), and human data. The Industrial Skills Council will lead the development and distribution of AI design education programs, open five design-AI convergence major tracks, and run an online education program, “Design Ground,” for teaching AI design trends and design tool utilization.

Third, MOTIE will contribute to invigorating the AI design market by selecting and supporting 150 joint projects in market analysis, product design, design automation, and service prototype generation based on generative AI technology with a special focus on four major industrial sectors: manufacturing, nudge, engineering, and packaging. The ministry will also provide support for the establishment of a marketplace for user and supplier companies while extending comprehensive assistance to manufacturers via engineering big data platforms established at the Korea Institute of Industrial Technology (KITECH).

Fourth, MOTIE will establish a design rules system that aligns with the AI era. In the second half of this year, it will form a public-private joint body for dealing with obstacles to AI design diffusion, such as issues concerning intellectual property rights, data privacy, and ethics. This is in line with plans to preemptively amend industrial design laws and other regulations. Accordingly, MOTIE will seek cooperation with other countries and overseas design promotion institutions to make concerted efforts on AI design policies and norms.

During his visit to the Gen AI Studio located inside LG Science Park, Minister Ahn experienced firsthand some generative AI technologies and industrial applications of global solutions. He also exchanged views with industry insiders. Stating that he looks forward to seeing Korean design firms and designers at the forefront of AI utilization, the minister added that “The Government will ensure the smooth implementation of the strategy announced today so that K-design can utilize AI to scale new heights."