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South Korea

Marketing and sports data apps join fight against pandemic

The Japan Times

Devices designed for improving customer marketing and sports performance are now being used in the fight against COVID-19 as companies deploy their technologies to meet new needs during the pandemic. Hitachi-LG Data Storage originally developed its 3D LiDAR People Counter sensor for retail stores to track shoppers' movements and analyse data in order to improve sales and customer satisfaction. The company, a joint venture between Japan's Hitachi and South Korea's LG Electronics, has now paired the application with a heat detection and camera app that takes customers' temperatures and checks if they are wearing a mask with a facial detection system. The technology monitors the number of people and their movements to reduce congestion and it estimates wait times at cash registers, to help reduce infection risks. It can also determine whether or not a customer has stopped by a specific area such as a required hand sanitizer station.

Samsung launches new flagship Galaxy S21 range

Daily Mail - Science & tech

Samsung has unveiled its latest range of flagship smartphones, with three models ranging in price from £769 ($799) to £1,149 ($1,199). The S21 range from the South Korean tech giant features an entry-level model, the mid-range Plus, and the Ultra – which is the first S Series phone to be compatible with the Samsung's S-Pen stylus. The stand-out feature on all three devices is the upgraded rear camera system, which was heavily leaked ahead of today's announcement and features night and portrait mode as well as its 100x'space zoom'. Pre-orders of the handsets open today, and the phones will be available as of January 29. The Ultra also comes with S-pen compatibility, the first Galaxy device to do so.

What Buddhism can do for AI ethics

MIT Technology Review

The explosive growth of artificial intelligence has fostered hope that it will help us solve many of the world's most intractable problems. However, there's also much concern about the power of AI, and growing agreement that its use should be guided to avoid infringing upon our rights. Many groups have discussed and proposed ethical guidelines for how AI should be developed or deployed: IEEE, a global professional organization for engineers, has issued a 280-page document on the subject (to which I contributed), and the European Union has published its own framework. The AI Ethics Guidelines Global Inventory has compiled more than 160 such guidelines from around the world. Unfortunately, most of these guidelines are developed by groups or organizations concentrated in North America and Europe: a survey published by social scientist Anna Jobin and her colleagues found 21 in the US, 19 in the EU, 13 in the UK, four in Japan, and one each from the United Arab Emirates, India, Singapore, and South Korea.

SK Telecom launches 5G edge cloud service with AWS Wavelength


SK Telecom said on Thursday it has launched its 5G edge cloud service, called SKT 5GX Edge, embedded with Amazon Web Services (AWS) Wavelength in South Korea. The launch of the service will allow customers to build ultra-low latency mobile apps, the telco said, in areas such as machine learning, Internet of Things, gaming, and streaming. Use of the service will allow apps that are accessing the cloud to bypass the internet and regional websites, and quickly reach SK Telecom's data centre. The reduced step will allow customers to enjoy the full benefits offered by 5G network's low latency and bandwidth, the telco said. The first AWS Wavelength Zone has been launched in the city of Daejeon. It will expand to Seoul and other regions next year.

Chest X-Rays with Artificial Intelligence Catches More Lung Cancer


Lung cancer detection and radiologist performance can get a boost from an artificial intelligence (AI) algorithm that pinpoints previously un-detected cancers on chest X-rays. In a study published in the Dec. 10 Radiology: Cardiothoracic Imaging, investigators from Seoul National University Hospital outlined how a commercially available deep-learning algorithm outperformed four thoracic radiologists on both first and second reads. Overall, said the team led by Ju Gang Nam, M.D., the algorithm offered both higher sensitivity and higher specificity, and it improved providers' performance as a seconder reader, leading to significantly improved detection rates. But, to date, the team said, adoption of computer-aided detection with chest X-ray has been slow because many providers still have lingering questions about whether it can perform well enough in clinical practice. To answer that question, Nam's team used an enriched dataset of 50 normal chest X-rays, as well as 168 posteroanterior chest X-rays with lung cancers.

SoftBank sells controlling stake in Boston Dynamics to Hyundai

The Japan Times

SoftBank Group will sell an 80% stake in robotics firm Boston Dynamics to Hyundai, the trio said Friday, in a deal that values the U.S. company at $1.1 billion (¥114 billion). Boston Dynamics has drawn huge attention with viral videos of its humanoid and dog-like robots, whose uncanny movements and impressive tricks have helped stoke fears that androids could one day become a threat to humans. The engineering firm was founded in 1992 and bought in 2013 by Google, which sold the company on to SoftBank three years ago. The Japanese conglomerate will keep a 20% stake through one of its affiliates and will work with South Korea's Hyundai to "propel development and commercialization of advanced robots", the companies said. The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Hyundai Set to Buy Boston Dynamics for a Lofty $1.1 Billion


Update Friday 11 December: As per an official Hyundai press release, the South Korean company and SoftBank Group agreed today on the main terms of the transaction. Hyundai Motor "will acquire a controlling interest in Boston Dynamics in a deal that values the mobile robot firm at $1.1 billion," read the statement. The exact financial terms were not disclosed, but the deal will bring Hyundai Motor's mobility expertise into the world of robotics technologies. This move brings Hyundai Motors one step closer to its vision of transforming into a Smart Mobility Solution Provider. "We are delighted to have Boston Dynamics, a world leader in mobile robots, join the Hyundai team. This transaction will unite capabilities of Hyundai Motor Group and Boston Dynamics to spearhead innovation in future mobility," stated Euisun Chung, Chairman of Hyundai Motor.

Hyundai has bought robot maker Boston Dynamics from SoftBank in a $1.1 billion deal


Hyundai has agreed to buy an 80% stake in robot maker Boston Dynamics from SoftBank, the South Korean automaker said Friday. The deal values the robot firm at $1.1 billion, Hyundai said, suggesting it offered $880 million for the 80% stake. Boston Dynamics is best known for its robot dog, Spot, which went viral. Hyundai can leverage robot technology to expand automation at its unionized car factories, as well as design autonomous vehicles like self-driving cars, drones, and delivery robots, analysts said. Read more: The next big thing in classrooms: 'Zoom on wheels' robots are seeing a surge in demand The new stake comes after the newly promoted Hyundai Motor Group chairman, Euisun Chung, pledged to reduce reliance on traditional car manufacturing, saying car-making would only make up half of the company's future business.

Hyundai Motor to buy controlling stake in U.S. robot firm from SoftBank


SEOUL (Reuters) - Hyundai Motor Group and its chairman have agreed to buy a controlling stake in Boston Dynamics from SoftBank Group Corp in a deal that values the U.S.-based robot maker at $1.1 billion. The South Korean automaker group said on Friday the purchase would help it expand automation in its vehicle factories and design autonomous cars, drones and robots, as it seeks to turn itself from a manufacturer into a broader mobility service provider. Hyundai Motor Group said the deal, which involves a new share issue, would give the company and its chief a combined 80% stake in Boston Dynamics, while Softbank will retain 20%. Newly promoted Hyundai Motor Group Chairman Euisun Chung has pledged to reduce reliance on traditional car manufacturing. He has said robotics would account for 20% of the firm's future business, while car-making would account for 50% and urban air transport would make up the remaining 30%.

The Impact of Robotics on the Service Industry


You arrive at your fancy hotel and are greeted by a robot that promptly takes your luggage off your hands and carries it to your room for you, all while reciting cool things to do and places to eat in the city nearby. It sounds like something out of a sci-fi movie, but the reality is that this is not so far-fetched after all. It is already happening in places like South Korea, where it was recently announced by the Novotel Ambassador Seoul Dongdaemun Hotels and Residences that they're going to be using a robot helper to deliver luggage and room service to guests' rooms, using 3D mapping, 5G and artificial intelligence. It's becoming more and more common to see robots being used in place of humans – in warehouse production lines, at airports and train stations, and even cleaning homes. So how is robotics going to change the service industry?