From self-driving cars that pick you up at the door, to hologram phone calls and robot baristas, South Korean tech giants are placing their bets on Artificial Intelligence and 5G.
Samsung Electronics on Tuesday said the 5G mobile network and AI will lead the company into the future, becoming the backbone of smartphones, wearables, speakers, IoT and other smart technologies.
It pledged to conduct state-of-the-art research in its seven global AI centers across five countries.
Samsung currently holds the third largest number of AI-related patents behind Microsoft and IBM, according to IPLytics.
Local telecom firms, which launched the first 5G network in the world for mobile users in April, are also at the heart of developing AI solutions to make life smarter, faster and more convenient.
KT Corporation announced its plans to invest 258 million U.S. dollars over the next four years, to become an "AI company," and nurture one-thousand professionals in the field.
SK Telecom and platform giant Kakao also made a bold turn towards AI, striking up a swap share deal worth 257 million dollars to strengthen cooperation in developing related technology and content.
Working with small-and-medium-sized businesses and researchers in the country, these IT giants are aiming to help turn the country into an AI powerhouse as Korea is still considered around two years behind the U.S. and China when it comes to AI-related research and development.
The government said Tuesday that it will strengthen policies and restructure the science ministry to create an enabling environment.
Focusing on what it calls DNA - Data, Network and AI, the ministry will dedicate a new bureau to policies on AI, Big Data and nurturing digital professionals, separate from the ICT bureau.
It will also create a bureau for network security, and make other structural changes to encourage regulatory reform and innovation.
The government has earmarked one-point four billion dollars in next year's budget for data, networks and AI, an increase of 50 percent from this year.
Oh Soo-young, Arirang News.