KT to help businesses expand AI customer service calls

Asia's Tech News Daily

KT to help businesses expand AI customer service calls

A smartphone screen shows technology employing artificial intelligence (AI) developed by KT for automatically dealing with customer calls. Courtesy of KT

By Yi Whan-woo

KT, the country’s telecommunications operator, said Monday, it will help businesses expand customer service calls using artificial intelligence (AI).

According to the company, the so-called artificial intelligence contact center (AICC) market will grow by 3 trillion won ($2.5 billion), due to rapidly-growing demand to process phone calls with voice and communication technology using AI, and accordingly, raise the efficiency of customer services.

“The AICC sector has jumpstarted and we will create AI technology that can speak as if it was a human being,” KT CEO Koo Hyun-mo said during an online press conference.

The CEO said KT has the potential to take the initiative in the AICC market, noting it already has in place rich infrastructure and knowhow, such as a telecommunications network, data platform and AI-related research and development (R&D).

With more than 200 researchers involved, R&D for AICC has advanced to a level in which a machine can accurately understand and interpret Korean even in complex contexts.

KT says its AI can actively correspond with customers’ needs by asking questions if necessary.

The advanced technology was made possible by having Giga Genie, KT’s voice command-based AI assistant, use deep learning to familiarize itself with the conversations of more than 7,000 call center staff.

The company currently runs AI-assisted services on its customer call centers nationwide.

Each call center deals with more than 300 calls simultaneously. The AI system helped deal successfully with 70 percent of calls.

“We will soon create a business environment in which our AI technology will be featured at partner companies as well as public institutions,” Koo said.

Consultations are already underway with multiple private and public companies to adopt the services. Among them are Shinhan Life Insurance, Woori Bank and NH Investment and Securities.

The CEO promised to offer support for those who cannot afford AI-based customer call services, such as mom-and-pop stores and small and medium-sized enterprises.

The company accordingly introduced a service exclusively for mom-and-pop stores. The AI can answer customers’ calls, take orders and proceed with related services.

“You can see our technology is ready to serve customers 24 hours, seven days a week,” Koo said.

The AICC market has expanded 8.25 percent on average each year from 2010 to 2020. It was scaled at an estimated 11 trillion won as of 2020.

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