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KT to make massive investments to become an AI company

Korean telecommunications company KT announced plans to invest 300 billion won ($257 million) over the next four years to become an artificial intelligence (AI) company, Korean press reported.

The Korean telco also said it aims to hire nearly 1,000 specialists in the AI field with the aim of creating new value propositions in line with the deployment of 5G networks in the country.

KT rolled out its AI-based service, called Giga Genie, in January of 2017. This AI service was initially offered in the form of a television set-top box. The company has been recently expanding the application of the AI-based service to speakers, apartments, hotels and cars. KT has already attracted over 2 million customers for this AI-based offering.

KT will focus on four areas to expand its AI focus: the global market, industries, offices and education.

In the industrial sector, the Korean telco plans to apply AI to factories, security and energy businesses, and customer centers. In factories, KT aims to boost productivity and prevent accidents with smart video platforms that combine AI with its intelligent video analysis technology, 5G communication networks and big data.

In the security business, KT will use AI for the selective recognition of people and things and the detection of unauthorized intrusions. In the energy sector, KT will work to increase buildings’ energy efficiency via an AI-based integrated energy management platform.

As part of the broader plan, KT said it will introduce AI-based hotel service in the Philippines next month to expand its solution in other Asian and Middle East countries.

KT also unveiled nearly 20 kinds of AI-related source technologies at a press conference, with which the company will develop a wide range of services that will lead the AI ecosystem.

The telco also said it is aiming to expand the number of devices equipped with its AI engine to 100 million by the end of 2025.

KT surpassed 1 million 5G subscribers as of September 21, according to Korean press reports.

The mobile network operator launched commercial 5G services in the country in early April. KT is the second largest carrier in the Asian country, with nearly 31% share of the mobile market.

KT aims to have its 5G commercial offering available in 85 major cities nationwide by the end of this year, covering the country’s key transportation routes, including two major highways, six airports, and the ground section of high-speed railways. The company plans to expand the coverage to subways, public offices and university hospitals.

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