By Min Yea-Ji and Yoon Sojung
Photos = Kim Sunjoo
Video = Min Yea-Ji
Pangyo-dong, Seongnam | Dec. 26, 2018
Korea.net in 2019 is highlighting startups leading innovative growth in various sectors of the Korean economy. I-Bricks, the fourth company featured in this series, analyzes big data, a major engine propelling innovative growth, and provides a customized curation service based on artificial intelligence (AI).
Tony Stark, the protagonist of the blockbuster superhero movie series "Iron Man," has the perfect personal assistant in Jarvis. The artificial intelligence (AI)-based secretary not only searches for and delivers simple information but also makes jokes that require a perfect understanding of the surrounding context.
In contrast to a few years ago, when such technology was considered something found only in the cinematic realm, an AI personal assistant no longer sounds new or strange.
So when will something like Jarvis appear in the real world?
To find the answer and learn more about such assistants and big data, Korea.net sat down with I-Bricks CEO Chae Jong Hyun. His startup specializes in AI-based langauge processing technology and has developed the brain of a "curating robot," a device that debuted in Korea late last year.
"If we limit the area of the robot's functions such as display curating or guidance in museum facilities, we can upgrade an AI assistant’s capacity," he said.
This is because more specific words and sentences will be used in conversation if the area of dialogue is defined, he added.
CuAi, AI robot curator
Last month, a robot curator made its seemingly unfitting debut at the National Museum of Korea in Seoul.
When a visitor approaches the robot and asks about an item on display, it shows the item's location on screen and guides the person to it.
This is Culture Curating Artificial Intelligence or CuAi, a robot that guides and provides professional docent service backed by a leading AI technology empowering natural language understanding. CuAi can deliver detailed information on display items, facilities and services thanks to knowledge learning and dialogue training in all areas related to the museum.
Chae said, "A knowledge base with more data is needed to enable chatbots to have a close conversation with humans."
"CuAi is a robot that evolves and trains itself by studying its previous conversations with humans, especially questions it failed to answer. After accumulating conversational knowledge, it grows smarter and mimics human dialogue, advancing its capability."
Easing driving, teaching Korean
In the film, Jarvis is portrayed merely as a voice, not a robot, something similar to I-Bricks' next project. The company is developing a connected car technology set for release at year's end in which an AI personal assistant converses with a driver to help driving and boost convenience.
I-Bricks is also working on an assistant that teaches the Korean language. Citing the growing popularity of learning Korean abroad, Chae said, "We will develop a new Korean-language learning app that teaches Korean and provides virtual reality (VR)-based content without the need to go to an educational institute."
I-Bricks is working on this project in collaboration with Hancom, a Korean software developer best known for Hangeul Office (family of office software and services). This project will reflect the influence of the Fourth Industrial Revolution as it requires leading next-generation technologies like AI, big data and VR.
"If a customer experiences innovation through our services and they change his or her life, that is true innovation," he said.
"We can call something 'AI technology' when it's something that provides a service similar to what humans provide and that they consider intelligent," he added. "It's our role to make such technology more human and provide it to customers.”