September 18, 2022

AI Care Service for the Elderly

Contributed by:

Dr. Hyeonmo Ku

Chief Executive Officer, KT Corporation

This Commissioner Insight was published in the 2022 State of Broadband Report,

According to Statistics Korea, Korea is expected to become a super-aged society by 2025. Twenty per cent of the population will be over 65 and 35.1 per cent of the elderlies are predicted to live alone. As the needs for Environmental, Social and Governance responsibility (ESG) is growing rapidly throughout current society, KT is stepping up to fulfil its social responsibility by launching AI Care service provided through KT’s AI voice recognition technology.

AI Care Service is built around the AI speaker, GiGA Genie, which operates over LTE network. Users receive the following services:

AI Care Service shows differentiated strengths. First, thanks to the 3 million subscribers of GiGA Genie and 6 200 customer service lines, KT acquires massive voice data. The data is used to improve the recognition rate of regional dialects. Second, KT provides bi-directional service by asking questions first and checking the responses. For example, after the speaker plays an announcement from the welfare service, the speaker will ask “Did you get the message?” The response is then recorded in the monitoring system for welfare services to check message delivery and the user’s status. In quantitative terms, the monitoring system showed that the share of negative speech by elderly living alone fell from 32.98 per cent to 8.91 per cent, social workers who visited 10 households each day can now select 2-3 households by checking the speaker usage status, and positive responses such as “thank you” has continuously increased from 9 per cent to 19 per cent within just four months of service launch. To meet the increasing demand and changing trends of AI care, KT plans to further develop the service in the following ways.

  1. Develop a speaker with camera and touch screen: Will be able to intuitively check the safety of the elderly with the camera, the screen menu will be configured with an easy-tooperate user interface (UI/UX) for the elderly to actively enjoy various services.
  2. Expansion of service target: The service was provided only to the elderlies selected by government agencies, but the service will be opened to general customers including the disabled and those who are living alone in need of protection.
  3. P-TTS voice synthesis technology and more: To provide stronger emotional care, P-TTS voice synthesis technology will be applied to use family member’s voices, add in emotional inflection and informal speech, and develop continuing the conversation rather than giving short answers.

AI Care Service takes care of the health and safety of the elderly and relieves the worries of those who are concerned about their well-being. KT will continue to seek ways to help society and will make sure it proceeds with stronger technology.

The ideas and opinions expressed in this insight are those of the authors; they do not necessarily reflect those of ITU and UNESCO or the Broadband Commission. The mention of specific companies, products or services does not imply that they are endorsed or recommended by ITU or UNESCO or Broadband Commission in preference to others of a similar nature that are not mentioned.