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Expanding Corporate Use of Artificial Intelligence

Author Choi, Mincheol;Song, Danbee;Cho, Jaehan Date 2021.04.02 Issue No 105
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Despite interest in artificial intelligence (AI) as a transformative driver of economic growth, few Korean

companies use AI.

Companies currently using AI are increasing their AI investments and expenditures. Companies employ AI

in a wide range of functions and fields including automated operations, predictive analytics, product and

service development, and sales and inventory management.




Challenges to the application and use of AI exist in multiple, closely-connected domains. Challenges

include human capital scarcity, inadequate funding, the difficulty of acquiring technology, and both the

internal and external business environments confronting companies.

Major challenges in the technology acquisition and planning stages include: difficulty securing a skilled

workforce, difficulty obtaining funding, and a lack of in-house infrastructure.

Internally, the most serious and frequently-occurring problems are lack of organizational competence and

the high cost of investment in AI compared with a relatively low return on investment (ROI).

Externally, the main problems are market uncertainty and burdensome regulations concerning personal



Policy Proposals

Comprehensive and effective policy is needed to alleviate the many complicated challenges confronting

corporate uptake and use of AI.

To address the shortage of AI experts, an urgent and concerted effort is needed to cultivate and increase

the number of personnel that hold a Master of Science (MS) degree or higher, particularly in the fields

of software and model development.

Two things must be done to improve the internal corporate environment:

- Simplify and streamline funding procedures for corporate uptake and application of AI

- Increase funding for R&D projects and projects that utilize AI

Externally, broad reform is necessary to improve the operating environment beyond the corporate walls.

Companies must be able to attract more investment for AI and acquire critical technology and

infrastructure. Regulatory reform concerning personal information laws is also necessary.


*Survey by the Korea Institute for Industrial Economics and Trade (KIET).