66.8 F
Los Angeles
Friday, April 19, 2024

Meta CEO Zuckerberg discuss online disinformation, AI cooperation in South Korea

Must read

President Yoon Suk Yeol, right, shakes hands with Mark Zuckerberg, the chief executive of Meta, at the Yongsan presidential office in central Seoul on Thursday. [PRESIDENTIAL OFFICE]
President Yoon Suk Yeol, right, shakes hands with Mark Zuckerberg, the chief executive of Meta, at the Yongsan presidential office in central Seoul on Thursday. [PRESIDENTIAL OFFICE]

President Yoon Suk Yeol voiced concerns that spreading disinformation on social media poses a “serious problem that threatens liberal democracy” in a meeting with American tech mogul Mark Zuckerberg in Seoul on Thursday.

Yoon and Zuckerberg, the chief executive of Meta, shared their vision for creating an open AI digital ecosystem and ways to strengthen cooperation between Meta and Korean companies in their 30-minute meeting at the Yongsan presidential office, Sung Tae-yoon, director of national policy at the presidential office, said in a press briefing.

They further discussed the need for Meta, as a global platform, to “play an active role in creating a trustworthy digital society,” Sung added.

The meeting was held at Meta’s request.

Yoon shared his recent personal experience dealing with the spread of fake videos of him online, noting they are still circulating on social media today.

He told the Facebook founder that “big tech platform companies like Meta should pay special attention to responding to fake news.”

Zuckerberg was said to have replied that Meta is making active efforts to prevent election fraud.

Korea will hold its general elections on April 10, while the U.S. presidential election is slated for November, raising public concern over the spread of online disinformation, propaganda and deepfake videos.

Last Friday, the state-run Korea Communications Standards Commission blocked a viral doctored video of President Yoon apparently admitting involvement in corruption.

The presidential office stressed that the video was fabricated and called for a halt to the spread of the doctored video. However, it is still making its rounds on social media, including Facebook and Instagram, which are owned by Meta.

In his talks with Zuckerberg, Yoon also stressed that Korea could become an “outstanding platform” to apply Meta’s AI, said Sung, highlighting that the country has a “diverse portfolio” of smart electronics, wearable devices and smart cars, globally recognized for their top-notch technology and quality by consumers around the world.

Yoon further highlighted the global competitiveness of Korean companies, noting they “rank first and second in the world in the memory chips sector, which is essential for AI systems.”
Korea “hopes to cooperate with Meta, including nurturing research and development talent, to create a Metaverse ecosystem,” Yoon was quoted as saying.

Meta has also announced its vision to build its own artificial general intelligence (AGI).

“Recently, competition in the AI sector has intensified in the global market, and big tech is making every effort to secure AI semiconductors,” Yoon told Zuckerberg.

Yoon added that Korean industries are “ready to actively support what Meta has imagined and designed.”

Yoon elaborated that “great synergy” could be created if Meta cooperates with Korean companies known for their hardware, including developing extended reality (XR) headsets, which are emerging as an essential hardware platform for the Metaverse, according to a presidential official.

The president also promised to “actively support cooperation between companies from both countries at the government level,” referring to the fortified supply chain network system established by the Korean and U.S. governments.

Zuckerberg was said to have mentioned that Samsung is a foundry giant with a critical position in the global economy, an essential point of cooperation with the Korean conglomerate.

He is said to have mentioned that TSMC designs Meta’s semiconductors and expressed his desire to reduce dependence on the Taiwanese chip giant, according to the presidential official.

His reported comments come amid the intensifying tech rivalry between the United States and China over supply chains and suggest concerns over cross-strait relations.

The official said Yoon carefully reviewed potential areas of cooperation between Korean companies and Meta late into the night before this meeting.

Meta Platforms CEO Mark Zuckerberg, fifth from front row right, poses for a photo with Korean representatives of artificial intelligence (AI) and extended reality (XR) startups after a developers ’ roundtable held at the Meta Korea office in Gangnam District, southern Seoul, on Thursday. [YONHAP]
Meta Platforms CEO Mark Zuckerberg, fifth from front row right, poses for a photo with Korean representatives of artificial intelligence (AI) and extended reality (XR) startups after a developers ’ roundtable held at the Meta Korea office in Gangnam District, southern Seoul, on Thursday. [YONHAP]

 

After a visit to Japan earlier in the week, Zuckerberg arrived in Korea for a three-day visit on Tuesday, his first trip to the country in nearly 10 years.

On Wednesday, he met with LG Electronics CEO William Cho and Samsung Electronics Executive Chairman Lee Jae-yong to discuss AI and XR collaboration.

Zuckerberg, who last visited Seoul in 2014, departed the country on Thursday to head to India.

BY SARAH KIM [kim.sarah@joongang.co.kr]