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Kakao Betting Heavily on Artificial Intelligence
Focusing on Cars and Homes
Kakao Betting Heavily on Artificial Intelligence
  • By Michael Herh
  • September 5, 2018, 15:27
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Kim Byung-hak, vice president in charge of AI lab division in Kakao, speaks at the developer conference on Sept. 4. 

Kakao Corp. announced on September 4 that it would invest heavily in artificial intelligence (AI) technology to infiltrate daily life space such as cars and houses, and to set up an AI ecosystem through drastic opening.

Kim Byung-hak, vice president of AI lab, said in a keynote speech at the developer conference held at COEX in Seoul, "I introduced AI for the long-term stable development of Kakao’s various services. We started investing heavily on AI as we believe that it is key to our survival.”

"In the first stage, we will apply AI technology to the interaction with users," said Kim. "As a result, we launched a platform called Kakao i and Kakao Mini."

He said that the AI ​​speaker Kakao Mini received about 200 million voice commands for the first six months after its release. These commands were used to train the AI engine on such key functions as voice recognition and dialog processing.

More than 300,000 voice commands are being input per day, and the failure rate of voice command recognition has dropped from 12% at the time of release to 5.9% now.

Kim said, "The space that Kakao wants to concentrate on through AI technology is cars and houses." He introduced cooperation with Hyundai Motor, GS E&C, and POSCO E&C.

Also, he said Kakao will open a developers’ site aroudn the end of this year, helping anyone develop content through Kakao i.

Kim said, "I am very interested in making 'Kakao i Inside' products by strategically cooperating with hardware companies."

He also said, "We sometimes consult with Samsung Electronics, but we have stopped talking with each other as there were some issues with Samsung in making a new Bixby.”

Shin Jung-hwan, chief technical officer (CTO) of Kakao

"The reason Kakao has achieved high growth is bold openness," said Shin Jeong-hwan, the company's chief technology officer (CTO). "We will double our efforts to grow together with the developer community."

"The two major technical buzzwords in recent years are AI and blockchain," he said. "We are paying attention to both of these because we think new technology can create new value."

"Changing the paradigm is a big crisis and an opportunity for companies like Kakao," said he. "Kakao grew at a time of change and it continues to strive to keep its DNA."