KT Corp. partners with Korean university to establish AI research institute
South Korean telecom operator KT has signed an agreement with the country’s top science and technology university to establish a research institute for artificial intelligence (AI) and software development, local news agency Yonhap reported.
Under the terms of the agreement, KT will cooperate with the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) to build the research institute in the city of Daejeon. The new facility is expected to be fully established by the end of this year.
KT said the institute will house around 200 researchers from KAIST, faculty members and KT employees to develop future technologies, including an AI model that can recognize complex situations based on voice and video recognition, according to the report.
KT and KAIST will also carry out joint research to develop AI for industrial settings, as well as artificial intelligence applications for other areas including media, health care and robotics.
In September 2019, KT had announced plans to invest 300 billion won ($268 million) over the next four years to become an artificial intelligence (AI) company.
At that time, the Korean telco also said it expected 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 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 had also said that the firm 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 of end-March, KT had 4.4 million 5G subscribers, up 785,000 from the previous quarter and accounting for 30% of its total 14.4 million mobile subscribers.