South Korea's top mobile messenger operator Kakao Corp. said Tuesday that it will expand investment in an artificial intelligence (AI) sector in line with the company's effort to find a new growth engine.
"Kakao adopted AI to spearhead long term and stable growth in various services," Kim Byung-han, an executive official, said during an AI forum hosted by Kakao in Seoul. "The company's investment in AI is a matter of life or death."
In November 2017, the company launched an AI speaker named the Kakao Mini based on its AI platform, Kakao I, along with voice recognition and software that can understand natural language.
The Kakao Mini is equipped with four high-end microphones to accurately capture users' speech. As the device can connect to other speakers via Bluetooth, users are able to utilize features of the Kakao Mini through other premium audio systems as well.
"More than 200 million voice commands were made through Kakao Mini during the first six months of the launch and our AI engine used them to learn," Kim said.
The company aims to apply its AI technology to interactions between users and various machines, the manager said.
"Kakao is mostly focusing its AI technology on cars and houses," Kim said, citing the company current efforts with major builders and carmakers, such as Hyundai Motor Co., South Korea's largest automobile manufacturer by sales. (Yonhap)