IBM Brings Watson to South Korea
IBM and SK Holdings C&C, a South Korean IT services company, plan to bring IBM's Watson cognitive services to South Korea. The strategic alliance, which includes training Watson to understand Korean, is designed to accelerate the adoption of cognitive computing throughout the region, giving South Korea-based developers a set of localized APIs and services to create their own applications and build new businesses.
SK Holdings C&C will run Watson and IBM Bluemix from its Pangyo Cloud Center, in support of universities, developers, and local businesses, across diverse industries, including banking, telecommunications, health, and government.
With the addition of Korean, IBM will increase the system's conversational languages to eight. The others are English, French, Italian, Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese, Japanese, and Arabic.
"Watson remains at the forefront of cognitive computing: advanced systems that learn at scale, understand with meaning, reason with purpose, and interact with humans in natural ways," said David Kenny, general manager of IBM Watson, in a statement. "The South Korean marketplace is moving quickly to embrace the disruptive opportunities from next-generation technology. Our strategic alliance with SK Holdings C&C will put cognitive services in the hands of more businesses and developers, allowing them to apply Watson within their organizations to help transform entire industries and professions.
"This alliance highlights SK's dedication to growing our artificial intelligence-based data services business, strengthening our Ai leadership position, as well as spurring innovation and Ai adoption across Korea," said Park Jung-ho, CEO, SK Holdings C&C.
IBM and SK Holdings C&C will help developers work with Watson's advanced conversational capabilities to help improve the mobile device experience and improve consumers' call center interactions. SK Holdings C&C will also explore ways to embed cognitive into new form factors such as robotics.
Additionally, the two companies will foster a strong developer community that is already eager to integrate cognitive computing into its business ideas. IBM and SK Holdings C&C intend to jointly nurture the growth of cognitive computing in the region by establishing a multi-million dollar fund to support education- and developer-focused initiatives.
Ongoing work by IBM Research has advanced the science powering the Watson platform, and enabled IBM to strengthen Watson's speech, vision, and text capabilities. The Watson platform is already being used by tens of thousands of developers globally.
The Watson technology could be embedded into tablets, smartphones, and smart devices, as well as robots. Korean language Watson services are expected to become available early next year.