April 03, 2006

South Korea Zooms Ahead in Domestic Robots, Internet

Interesting article in the New York Times on South Korea's widening technology lead in communications and robotics.

"South Korea, the world's most wired country, is rushing to turn what sounds like science fiction into everyday life. The government, which succeeded in getting broadband Internet into 72 percent of all households in the last half decade, has marshaled an army of scientists and business leaders to make robots full members of society."

The initiative aims to get a productive robot into every home between 2015 and 2020, while one scientist would like to hit that goal by 2010.

As for Internet connectivity, "Since January, Koreans have been able to watch television broadcasts on cellphones, free, thanks to government-subsidized technology. In April, South Korea will introduce the first nationwide superfast wireless Internet service, called WiBro, eventually making it possible for Koreans to remain online on the go ? at 10 megabits per second, faster than most conventional broadband connections."

This is all well ahead of Canada, which is considered to be one of the most wired western countries, and way ahead of the U.S. Japan, too, is much more wired, and "wirelessed" than North America, and has a culture that is more accepting of robots. It will be interesting to see how this technology lead continues to play out in the future.

The NYT article goes on to say that there have been negative ramifications in terms of privacy, however the government is also developing "IT Ethics" curriculum for schools to teach online manners and respect.

Posted by Paul at April 3, 2006 09:00 PM