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SK Telecom, SK C&C may team up on artificial intelligence

All News 15:00 January 04, 2017

SEOUL, Jan. 4 (Yonhap) -- SK Telecom Co. and SK C&C Co., both affiliates of SK Group, are likely to team up on developing computing systems that allow users to communicate with machines in natural conservation style, industry observers said Wednesday.

In September last year, SK Telecom, the nation's top mobile carrier, launched an advanced voice-recognition butler service that enables users to control home appliances and listen to music using voice commands.

The service, called NUGU, which means "who" in Korean, can increase its accuracy of voice recognition, using deep-learning technology, SK Telecom said.

SK Telecom, SK C&C may team up on artificial intelligence - 1

Using a cylinder-shape speaker that connects to smartphones, household appliances and other smart devices via a Wi-Fi network, the service allows a user to turn a device on and off, check calendars and select songs and albums.

So far, SK Telecom has sold about 30,000 units of the device.

SK C&C, an IT services affiliate, also unveiled its own artificial intelligence service called Aibril, which runs on IBM's Watson supercomputer system, last year.

Unlike SK Telecom, SK C&C's artificial intelligence services focus on the corporate sector, including banking, logistics, telecommunications and health care.

SK C&C will introduce its voice-recognition assistance service Wyth at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week.

The possibility of collaboration between SK Telecom and SK C&C on artificial intelligence is high as senior executives of the two affiliates know each company's strengths well, industry observers said.

An official at SK Telecom said, however, no plan has been set for a collaboration between the two firms.

SK Telecom and SK C&C have a different target for developing artificial intelligence services, but the two affiliates could produce synergy effects through mutual cooperation in the future, the official said.

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