South Korea trip reaffirms Canada’s global leadership in responsible AI

September 27, 2023

Vector Institute CEO and president Tony Gaffney and Vector Industry Director Warren Ali recently traveled to Seoul, South Korea. They were invited by Vector Gold sponsor KT who announced a new hyperscale AI model Mi:dm. The trip also served to reaffirm Canada’s global leadership in the responsible application of AI for driving impactful business outcomes.

60 years of diplomatic relations with the Republic of South Korea

During their eight-day stay, Gaffney and Ali engaged with several forward-thinking companies deeply committed to embracing safe AI. They also had the opportunity to meet with Ambassador Tamara Mawhinney of the Embassy of Canada to the Republic of Korea which recently marked 60 years of special diplomatic relations with the Republic of South Korea, as well as the Trade Commissioner Service. During these meetings, Gaffney and Ali highlighted Vector’s efforts to empower organizations to harness AI responsibly.


“I am very grateful to represent a world-leading AI Institute like Vector and engage with members of the South Korean business community, ensuring that Canada’s voice remains an integral part of the global conversation on AI advancement. Many thanks to the inspiring business leaders and AI practitioners I met while visiting Seoul.”

Tony Gaffney

President and CEO, Vector Institute

Vector CEO speaks at Mobile 360 Asia Pacific Conference

Vector Gold sponsor KT invited Gaffney to speak at the Mobile 360 Asia Pacific conference on September 7. The conference gathered tech leaders and government officials from across the Asia-Pacific region to deliberate on the path forward for crafting impactful digital nation strategies. “Bringing with me Vector’s leadership in the area of safe AI, I was deeply grateful for the meaningful discussions and the opportunity to connect with visionary leaders from diverse industries at the conference.”

Vector CEO and President speaking at the Mobile 360 Asia Pacific conference

During the presentation, Gaffney addressed several critical AI topics including: 

  • The rise of open-source models
  • Recognizing opportunities and managing risks
  • The paramount importance of AI trust and safety principles

He also offered a glimpse into the future of AI and highlighted how Vector, through cutting-edge research and collaborations with industry leaders, empowers organizations to harness AI responsibly

Following his presentation Gaffney had the opportunity to partake in a discussion on safe AI moderated by Soonmin Bae, the SVP Head of AI2XL Research Centre for the KT Corporation. Along with Juho Kim, Professor, KAIST School of Computing; Ellie Kang, CEO of Wecommit; and Srikrishna Komatineni, Google Cloud APAC; the panel discussed AI’s transformative journey while looking ahead to an unprecedented era of possibilities. They also addressed the challenges that come with this rapid-paced technological shift, and how the world can work towards safe AI. 

“It was an incredible event,” says Gaffney. “I’m grateful for the opportunity to bring Vector’s expertise to the global stage, ensuring that Canada’s voice remains an integral part of the global conversation on advancing AI for the good of our economies and society.” 

South Korean companies applying AI to business

Along with KT, Gaffney and Ali also met with many other South Korean companies that are applying AI including Hyundai Motor Group, HD Hyundai, Posco Holdings, Institute for Information & Communication Technology Promotion (IITP), and LG. “It’s clear that AI is central to the current and future success of these companies and Canada, especially Vector, is viewed as a trusted partner to achieve it,” says Ali. “Vector’s work with companies like these is helping to unlock the economic and competitive potential of this rapidly evolving field.” He and Gaffney also emphasized Vector’s commitment to promoting a responsible approach to AI, both at home in Canada and abroad. 

Tony Gaffney and Warren Ali explore the Myeongdong Night Market in Seoul, South Korea.

The trip wasn’t all business. Their first night in Seoul was highlighted by a visit to the vibrant Myeongdong Night Market where all manner of cheap and delicious Korean street food was on offer. They also visited the Gyeongbokgung Palace, witnessing the ceremonial Royal Guard inspection. 


“From making important business connections to experiencing some of Seoul’s cultural gems, it was an unforgettable trip, one that has left me optimistic about how we’re responsibly advancing AI around the world.”

Tony Gaffney

President and CEO, Vector Institute


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