Amid the explosive growth of the AI industry, South Korean mobile giant KT—formerly known as Korea Telecom—has asserted its position as a frontrunner in the sector, announcing its plan to invest $5.3 billion (7 trillion won) in AI service research and development over the next five years.

Aiming to eclipse the 1 trillion won ($764 million) mark in annual sales from AI businesses by 2025, KT seeks to secure future growth engines and strengthen its AI competitiveness.

At a press conference held at Novotel Ambassador Dongdaemun in Jung-gu, Seoul this week, KT disclosed its strategy for AI-driven robots, care, and education, along with AI contact centers and logistics business—all of which are customer-customized AI services.

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"KT is Korea's leading AI company, and we will establish ourselves as a customer-centered AI service provider by applying our experience, capabilities, infrastructure, and knowhow to the AI business," said Song Jae-ho, vice president of KT's AI/DX Convergence Business Division, according to an official report.

This vision includes the development of “super-giant AI technology” and new AI businesses, as well as substantial upgrades to its infrastructure. The company aims to bolster its AI technology capabilities and infrastructure to elevate the competitiveness of KT's AI business.

KT isn't alone in this race to dominate the AI industry. According to a recent report, the whole sector is projected to be worth a staggering $15.7 trillion by 2030, so there is no wonder as to why it has attracted investments from some of the most prominent players in the global business landscape.

Tech giants such as Amazon and Microsoft, along with Adobe and Zoom are making significant strides in AI development.

An AI for everything

In its robotics arm, KT is shifting focus to a service-centered approach instead of a hardware-centric one. KT's goal is to lead market growth as an “AI robot service provider,” with a core strength rooted in a unique “delivery system” and “robot platform.”

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KT plans to expand its AI robot product lineup to include outdoor delivery robot services, small logistics robots for factories and distribution centers, and agricultural delivery robots.

In the realm of AI care, KT intends to launch a telecare service using AI technology to manage chronic diseases in daily life. The service will feature an innovative “AI Food Tag” technology that simplifies the recording of dietary habits and nutritional content analysis through a single photograph.

Moreover, the company is set to launch the “Genie TV Care” service, which expands AI care services to the television, assisting vulnerable groups such as elderly individuals living alone.

International expansion is also on the horizon for KT. The company will partner with Singapore's top telecom company, Singtel, to introduce an AI transportation platform.

This collaborative effort is intended to cement Singapore's standing as the logistical hub of East Asia. Additionally, KT aims to commercialize AI care services in Vietnam, with a focus on cancer patients and chronic disease patients.

KT's education initiative will be boosted by its “AI Future Education Platform,” which aims to foster digital innovation in education. This platform enables automated task creation based on digital learning tools, providing customized learning guidance through AI. This platform is set to be introduced via public education this year, with plans to expand to other regional education offices to catalyze digital transformation in the education field.

This series of strategic moves by KT illustrates the company's commitment to the advancement of AI in various sectors. With a significant investment plan and a robust vision for the future, KT intends to secure a prominent place in the global AI landscape.

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