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Korea Times

AI interpretation robot to help PyeongChang Olympics next year

'Human-like' robots will be able to emulate various facial expressions

PUBLISHED : Friday, 10 February, 2017, 11:46am
UPDATED : Friday, 10 February, 2017, 11:49am

By Lee Min-hyung

Hancom is set to unveil a new artificial intelligence (AI)-powered robot interpreter for use at the PyeongChang Winter Games next year, the office software company said Thursday.

The Seoul-based outfit has teamed up with a robot manufacturer, FutureRobot, to develop the state-of-the-art robot equipped with GenieTalk, Hancom’s interpretation software. FutureRobot, for its part, will manufacture human-like robots that can emulate various facial expressions, taking advantage of its big data-based knowhow.

“The AI robot will be used to guide foreign visitors at the Winter Games,” a Hancom spokeswoman said. “This will allow them to feel as if they are talking to a human being, as both firms focused on developing an emotionally interactive robot in terms of its service and appearance.”

The company hopes the robot will raise its global profile in the firm’s top-five target markets — South America, the Middle East, Russia, China and India.

GenieTalk offers translation services in 29 languages including English, Chinese, Spanish and French, the official said. “The new robot interpreter will be able to offer nine languages including those most frequently spoken by the time the Olympics begin next year.”

GenieTalk is designated as official software for the upcoming winter sporting event.

“We now hold source technologies to translate nine languages, but we will continue to expand the coverage,” the official said.

The software company said the move came as part of its group-wide strategy to secure core technologies for the Fourth Industrial Revolution when demand for convergence between robots and software will surge in such areas as AI and big data.

According to data by market researcher IDC, the global robot market will be worth US$188 billion (220 trillion won) by 2020, surging from US$91.5 billion as of the end of last year. Demand for software-converged robots is particularly surging in an era of data technology when big data serves as the building block for most businesses.

AI interpretation robot to help PyeongChang Olympics