AI at the center of the tech campaign of telecommunications companies | YONHAP PRESS AGENCY

SEOUL, 07 Feb. (Yonhap) – South Korean mobile operators are developing services incorporating artificial intelligence (AI) technology to find new growth drivers.

Last week, telecommunications giant KT Corp. has partnered with Hyundai Home Shopping Network Corp. to establish an AI call center at Hyundai Home Shopping company headquarters in Seoul.

The service integrates speech recognition and text analysis allowing AI to help customers with simple questions or perform tedious tasks, like customer authentication.

KT has decided to develop this service employing AI to meet the increased demands in call centers in the context of the pandemic.

SK Telecom Co, the country’s largest mobile operator, also launched a cloud-based customer service that integrates an AI chatbot last October, in association with Amazon Web Services Inc.

The telecom operator is also planning to integrate AI into more of its services in order to personalize the user experience, announcing on Wednesday that it wants to launch AI-based subscription services by partnering with companies in the food and beverage, education, rental and travel industries.

“We are targeting 20 million subscribers and 600 billion won ($ 533.5 million) in sales by 2023,” Yoon Poong-young, CFO of SK Telecom, said on a conference call on fourth quarter results of the company.

The announcement came as the company’s tech arm, from Internet Protocol TVs to e-commerce, has grown significantly.

Last year, the operating profits of the tech subsidiaries of the telecom operator represented 24% of the total, up from 14% in 2019.

“SK Telecom sees its profitability improve thanks to the growth of its non-telecommunications units,” said Jang Min-jun, analyst at Kiwoom Securities. “The company will likely be reassessed once its subsidiaries go public.”

Its competitor LG Uplus Corp. is also working on AI, investing 1.3 billion won to establish an AI research center with subsidiaries of the LG conglomerate.

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