​South Korea to create 'data exchange' for AI age

South Korea will begin drawing regulations to create a data exchange and data-free zone for intellectual property rights over data, in preparation for the spread of AI tech.

South Korea will create laws for a data exchange where people can buy and sell data for fair market prices, the country's IT ministry has said.

The Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning said it will make new regulations to oversee the creation of and support for a data exchange and data free-zones. The creation of these will allow better data protection and pricing, it said, and will prepare for the coming "intelligent information society" driven by the fourth industrial revolution and artificial intelligence (AI) technology.

"Each data saved on mobile or Internet of Things devices are small in themselves, but they become an AI-based big data service when put together," said Kwon Yong-hyun, head of planning for the ministry's intelligent information society task force. "There are strong opinions that it is unfair for only big data companies, who gather these data, to earn profits."

"Our goal is to make sure all data collected by humans and machines is paid for and exchanged fairly," he said.

Kwon said that more and more platform firms will use AI technology to collect data in the future, and that creating regulations and a market-driven data exchange was important to prevent monopolies.

The ministry will make the data exchange in an open platform format, and the data free-zone will be where people can freely gather unsorted data to create new data. No concrete date has been set on when the law will be drawn up or when the exchange will launch.

The government will also create regulations that allow individuals to better protect and monitor their data being siphoned by big data and cloud firms, tentatively called "K-MyData", though specifics were not disclosed.

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