BUSINESS

SK holdings C&C launches Korean version of IBM’s AI platform Watson

By Sohn Ji-young
  • Published : Sept 6, 2017 - 17:22
  • Updated : Sept 6, 2017 - 17:22
SK holdings C&C, the internet technology solutions unit of South Korea’s SK Group, on Wednesday officially launched Aibril, the Korean language version of IBM’s artificially intelligent cognitive data computing platform Watson.

Aibril, developed jointly by SK holdings C&C and IBM under an exclusive partnership, offers Watson’s AI computing capabilities in Korean.

Models introduce a smart chatbot developed based on SK holdings C&C’s AI-based cognitive computing platform Aibril during a launch event in Seoul, Wednesday. (SK C&C)
The Watson-based AI computing platform offers eight types of application programming interface, or API, based on which client companies can create diverse AI-powered services like smart chatbots and analyze big data that was previously difficult to interpret via machines.

The eight Watson-based API functions include the natural language classifier, conversation, language translator, retrieve and rank, document conversion, speech-to-text, text-to-speech and personality insights, which analyzes a given text data to extract insights about key traits and implied preferences.

The Korean APIs, which run on IBM’s cloud platform Bluemix, are hosted by SK holdings C&C’s local data center in Panggyo, Gyeonggi Province, according to the Korean IT service provider.

Clients can access the Aibril portal website, where they can select the specific APIs they would like to use to develop their AI-powered services, similar to arranging a set of blocks to build a system. Costs vary according to the API use volume and type, SK said.

“Our web-based interface has been designed to enable even those who are not program developers to build new AI-powered services based on Aibril,” Lee Mun-jin, head of Aibril development at SK Holdings C&C, said at a press conference Wednesday in Seoul to introduce the new AI platform.

SK holdings C&C expects Aibril to become useful in industries ranging from manufacturing to health care, finance, telecommunications and retail. In Korea, health care and finance are expected to draw the highest demand, the firm said.

In terms of applications, Aibril’s natural language classifiers and conversation API can be used to build a chatbot to handle customer inquiries as well as provide company employees with needed information.

Meanwhile, Aibril’s personality insights could be used to analyze public data to gain insights on consumer preferences, helping firms tailor their marketing strategies.

SK’s Aibril is expected to further add competition to the global race to develop AI-powered solutions marketed as a way to enhance workflow efficiency and build new automated services.

It is set for direct competition against other AI platforms trained in the Korean language, including Samsung SDS’ conversational AI platform Brity and LG CNS’ AI-powered big data processing and analysis platform DAP, short for Data Analytics & AI Platform.

By Sohn Ji-young
(jys@heraldcorp.com)