Kakao to Accelerate Its AI Platform Business

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Kakao is accelerating the development and commercialization of Artificial Intelligence(AI) platform, and is also increasing effort to support domestic AI research ecosystem.

Kakao announced on March 30th that it will establish a business unit dedicated to AI, which is deemed a key future growth area. The company will also develop its own AI platform and apply it to the Kakao service and smart devices.

In order to develop its own artificial intelligence technology and services, Kakao has newly established a Task Force (TF) dedicated to R&D based on technology related to speech recognition and artificial intelligence. The TF is integrated with the former search, recommendation and data connection development teams as the “AI division.”

The AI ​​division, headed by Kim Byung-hak, is an organization dedicated to the AI business, the next generation strategic division of Kakao. It will focus on business innovation based on AI technologies by developing Kakao AI platform and new services, advancing existing services, and establishing more partnerships.

Kakao plans to integrate its AI technology with diverse sectors of business, including Melon, top music streaming service in Korea, KakaoTalk, national messaging service, Daum, portal for search and news information. Doing so, Kakao expects to make innovative changes to user experience.  

Having launched mobile voice search service for the first time in Korea in 2010, Kakao plans to integrate its own AI technologies with the Kakao services based on its voice recognition and Natural Language Processing(NLP) technology. At the same time, it will strive to form a relevant ecosystem by providing its own AI platforms to its partners.

In the first half of this year, Kakao plans to complete the development of its own artificial intelligence platform and dedicated app, and to provide core services sequentially with interactive interface based artificial intelligence technology. In addition, by providing its own AI platform in the form of a software development kit (SDK) to its partners in the year, the company will expand its foundations and manufacture and distribute smart devices such as dedicated AI speakers that can be conveniently used in everyday life.

Kim Byeong-hak, director of the Kakao AI Division, said, “With more attention to AI technology, people have been asking for using KakaoTalk with voice, and there is a growing expectation that AI technology will enable the users to use services like Melon, navigation, taxi, and news more conveniently.” He further expressed with confidence, “Kakao, possessing strong Korean speech processing technology and lifestyle services connected to the whole nation, is the company that is most appropriate to make innovations on the AI ​​platform, by actively collaborating with partners with expertise in diverse fields.”

Meanwhile, Kakao, along with the full-scale artificial intelligence project, is actively engaged in industry-academia cooperation for the development and commercialization of artificial intelligence technology, which is still in its early stage in Korea. Kakao CEO Kim Bum-soo, Chairman of the company’s  AI technology subsidiary KakaoBrain, plans to support the open research ecosystem related to artificial intelligence through Kako Brain.

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JunSu is a junior at Carnegie Mellon University majoring in Electrical and Computer Engineering. He enjoys meeting people from all over the world and exploring the role of technology in people’s daily lives. You can reach him at: junsu.jang@techforkorea.com

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