South Korean officials have unveiled plans for a new smart government built on distributed ledger technology (DLT), artificial intelligence (AI), big data, and internet of things (IoT). A release by the Ministry of Interior and Safety (MOIS) highlighted the benefits of these four areas in building a better economy and a more efficient government.
South Korea streamlining its governance system
The release follows a survey conducted by the Ministry of Public Information and Security (MIS). The survey collected data from over 52 projects in 37 industries and reads (as translated) –
“As a result of institutional demand survey, the field with the greatest number of tasks appeared to be the public affairs chatbot applying artificial intelligence and big data technology to administrative affairs, legal guidance, civil affairs consultation… [public safety can be increased] by combining intelligent information technology such as artificial intelligence, IoT, and CCTV in each social field such as national life, disaster, crime prevention and facilities.”
The four areas of DLT, AI, big data, and IoT are known as fourth industrial revolution technologies (4IR). Like other countries (such as Dubai and Estonia), South Korea is betting that the strength of a country in the new era will be decided on its application of 4IR technologies. South Korea has granted favorable tax incentives to companies in these areas, known as “New Growth Technologies”. However, South Korea still has a ban on Initial Coin Offerings. This is most likely due to the fact that its government, like China, wants to control the new industrial age, instead of letting it manifest by itself in a decentralized and libertarian manner.
Dubai ahead in the smart government race?
Dubai is one of the leading countries in terms of the application of 4IR technologies. It has already launched its own national cryptocurrency, EmCash, the first industrialized nation to do so (the release of the Petro in Venezuela is not comparable, given the collapse of the socialized nation). Government documents are being kept on a ledger which is leading to considerable savings and an initiative is in place to become the worlds first government powered entirely on DLT technology.
However, it is not quite a clear-cut affair in terms of who is furthest ahead. Estonia was the first country to use electronic voting in 2005 and the Estonian parliamentary elections took place online in 2007. Estonia is a DLT hub where many of the more innovative ICO projects have been incubated, such as Blockhive and Agrello. It heavily utilizes DLT in its smart government model.
Japan has taken a light touch regulatory approach to the cryptocurrency exchange industry, and the population is very amenable towards virtual currencies and technology in general. China leads the way in terms of smart city development. However much of the advancements taking place are being used to track and monitor the populace, indicating that the fourth industrial revolution could be taking a step in the wrong direction in the Chinese surveillance state.
Digital Nomad with an interest in Zen and Blockchain technology.
Law graduate with 3 years experience as a consultant in the capital markets industry and 4 years experience freelancing on UpWork as a Creative Writer.