Samsung, Kakao and SKT join hands to jointly develop AI to tackle COVID-19 pandemic

Park Sae-jin Reporter() | Posted : December 22, 2020, 11:13 | Updated : December 22, 2020, 17:43

[Courtesy of Samsung Electronics]

SEOUL -- South Korea's tech giants -- Samsung Electronics, Kakao and SK Telecom -- have joined hands to form a consultative group that would cooperate to develop artificial intelligence designed to solve social problems and improve social safety. One of the main goals of the joint AI development project is to end the COVID-19 pandemic.

Samsung said in a statement uploaded onto its news blog on December 22 that the company, SK Telecom (SKT), the country's top mobile carrier, and Kakao, a web service giant, have formed an AI research and development consultative group involving each company's chief technology officers (CTOs) and AI specialists.

According to Samsung, the top tech specialists will jointly create an AI designed to end the pandemic. The AI will have the capability to diagnose people's exposure to a coronavirus by analyzing information about their surroundings in real-time. If people are found to be in a dangerous area, they will be guided to move to other areas and keep a social distance. Such AI algorithms can be applied to disastrous situations such as storms.

"This super-cooperation between three companies has a huge meaning as it is a project that can contribute to the growth of the domestic AI ecology by providing generic technology that can be utilized by various industries and scholars," Samsung Electronics' mobile division CEO Roh Tae-moon was quoted as saying.

Instead of creating a service based on the anti-pandemic AI, the three tech companies will produce a backend AI platform. Through the platform, an application programming interface (API) will be openly provided to public organizations so that apps and services based on the API can be developed by third parties.

Starting with the development of the anti-pandemic AI, the consultative group will continue their cooperation to solve social problems such as the aging society and bad air quality using AI technologies. Samsung said the R&D group is open to any information communication technology companies that wish to cooperate.
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