Samsung, SKT and Kakao to develop AI API that monitors Covid risk

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Samsung, SKT and Kakao to develop AI API that monitors Covid risk

Representatives from Samsung Electronics, SK Telecom and Kakao pose during an event celebrating the launch of a pandemic-related AI project at the telecom company's office in Pangyo, Gyeonggi, on Tuesday. [SK TELECOM]

Representatives from Samsung Electronics, SK Telecom and Kakao pose during an event celebrating the launch of a pandemic-related AI project at the telecom company's office in Pangyo, Gyeonggi, on Tuesday. [SK TELECOM]

 
Samsung Electronics, SK Telecom and Kakao will jointly develop an artificial intelligence (AI)-powered program that can analyze the degree of coronavirus-linked risk by region as the first project under their AI alliance, the three tech companies said Tuesday.
 
The joint data system, due to be released in the first half of next year, will be provided as an application programming interface (API) to allow public institutions and other developers to access and integrate it into their own products and services.

 
Compiling publicly available data about the movements of people before they were diagnosed with the virus, the software program could forecast the risk of exposure to infection.
 
“Other companies as well as the three partners can use the system or apply it to their services,” said a spokesperson at Kakao.
 
“For instance, if installed in a navigation system, it can alert the driver if their destination is a high-risk area,” the spokesperson said.
 
The alliance was established in March after a proposal from SK Telecom CEO Park Jung-ho.
 
At the 2020 CES held in January, the CEO emphasized the importance of cooperation among Korean tech companies to contain the spread of the pandemic.
 
A working-level meeting has been held every other week since then to discuss possible projects.

 
Starting with the pandemic issue, the alliance vowed to tackle a wide range of large-scale problems surrounding the ageing population and air pollution caused by fine dust.
 
LG Electronics, LG U+ and KT are also leading their own team to tackle similar issues, under the name “AI One Team.”

 
The partnership, launched earlier this year, also seeks to leverage the vast amount of telecommunications records and roaming data of LG U+ and KT and LG Electronics’ technologies to come up with a digital system designed to contain the spread of infectious diseases like the coronavirus.

 
Existing members include KAIST, Hyundai Heavy Industries Group, Hanyang University and the Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute.
 
BY PARK EUN-JEE   [park.eunjee@joongang.co.kr]
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