Number of AI speakers in Korea to hit 8 million

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Number of AI speakers in Korea to hit 8 million

The number of artificial intelligence (AI) speakers in Korea is expected to reach the 8 million mark in the new year as the devices gain popularity, a report by a local digital media lab said Sunday.

According to the findings by KT Group affiliate Nasmedia, some 40 percent of the country’s 20 million households will likely have an AI speaker in 2019. The numbers represent a sharp increase from just 1 million units supplied in 2017 and the nearly 3 million that have reached the market this year.

“The rise in demand comes from greater choice in terms of the products being offered, as well as more upgraded features that have made the AI speakers more attractive to ordinary consumers,” the 2019 digital media and marketing forecast report claimed.

It added that greater competition among manufacturers to secure the growing market is fueling the spread of such smart devices.

Korean companies - such as SK Telecom, KT, Naver and Kakao - have all rushed to release new AI speakers.

Nasmedia said that, in particular, there has been considerable competition in the area of children-related content and audio shopping services with companies vying with one another to “lock” customers into their ecosystem.

The speakers have been marketed as personal home assistants for adults and even as private tutors for small kids.

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