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KT to invest W300b on AI tech by 2023

Mobile carrier vows to evolve as AI company

 South Korean telecom giant KT said Wednesday it will spend 300 billion won ($256 million) on developing advanced artificial intelligence technology by 2023 to expand its high-tech business at home and overseas.

During a press briefing at its Seoul headquarters, KT introduced a four-year investment plan on promoting its AI businesses. It also pledged to hire more than 1,000 AI experts to support the initiative.

Using its 5G wireless network and other technological prowess, KT said it would expand the business application of smart speaker Giga Genie. The voice recognition device is now being used for providing AI-assisted services in hotels and cars.

“Giga Genie is very popular not only in Korea but also overseas,” KT Vice President Lee Pil-Jae told reporters.“We hereby announce our makeover as an AI company, so that we may serve as the foundation for Korea’s future.” 

KT officials showcase its Giga Genie AI-powered devices during a press event in Seoul. KT
KT officials showcase its Giga Genie AI-powered devices during a press event in Seoul. KT

Since its market release in 2017, Giga Genie has been popular here, with about 2 million people currently using the device for services like housing price search and home training.

KT said it plans to improve the smart speaker to provide better services at apartment complexes and hotel chains. Currently, 13 hotels are working with KT to provide AI-assisted customer service and 73 construction firms are seeking to build AI-powered apartments.

The company will expand the AI hotel service globally, starting with Cebu in the Philippines, next month, KT officials said. The company will also share its technology know-hows with Russia’s mobile network operator Mobile TeleSystems.