The US State Department and South Korea’s Ministry of Science and Technology (MSIT) will strengthen ties in preparation for what is now being called the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR), writes Cointelegraph.

The statement, made at a press conference held in Seoul on June 22 will coordinate their IT policies and enhance cooperation on bilateral cybersecurity and privacy in the space, both countries recognizing that “data is a key resource” in the years to come.

The Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) is the fourth major industrial era since the initial Industrial Revolution of the 18th century. It is characterized by a fusion of technologies that is blurring the lines between the physical, digital, and biological spheres. It is marked by emerging technology breakthroughs in a number of fields, including robotics, artificial intelligence, the blockchain, nanotechnology, quantum computing and biotechnology, according to Wikipedia.

World Economic Forum (WEF) identifies the 4IR as a series of technological breakthroughs that:

“…will fundamentally alter the way we live, work and relate to one another… [across] the global polity, from the public and private sectors to academia and civil society.”

The countries will seek the support of some of the major players in the IT world, such as Microsoft and Samsung,  and plan to work alongside international organizations such as the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)

According to both the US and South Korean government, DLT will be a key element in order to work towards what they call “transparent and global internet governance” as it will provide a completely tamper-proof ledger of all transactions. Samsung also sees blockchain as fundamental in building a digital future and has made commitments with the South Korean government to build a social support blockchain by 2022 which will cover areas such as welfare, public safety, and transportation.

To this end, the South Korean government itself plans to invest KRW 230 billion by 2022 (USD 207 million) with ambitious plans, including the development of smart cities and factories.

The press conference also touched on improving the two country’s cross-border data exchange procedure, 5G mobile communications, and artificial intelligence (A1) and how to further incorporate it into blockchain based smart contracts.

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