IBM Watson, Big Blue’s iconic AI-style supercomputing system, has made its way to the Korean Peninsula. Under an agreement with SK Holdings C&C Ltd., a South Korean IT services company, IBM will offer Watson’s cognitive computing capabilities for native applications in the country. SK Holdings C&C will be the preferred distributor for these services.
Part of the effort will involve teaching Watson Korean, so it can interact with applications and humans in the region’s native language. Watson is currently fluent in English, French, Italian, Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese, Japanese, and Arabic, making this the eighth language the system has picked up in as many years.
The language-learning effort will enable Watson to support local universities and businesses across a range of application areas, including banking, telecommunications, health and government. This is to be accomplished by providing “a set of localized APIs and services they can use to help create their own applications and build new businesses.”
As a result, the platform will be able to add cognitive capabilities to mobile device and call center interactions. Parts of the technology will be incorporated into smartphones, tablets, and eventually robots. The alliance between IBM and SK Holdings C&C will also be used to advance collaboration between Korean industry and academia in related areas of artificial intelligence.