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In Virus-Hit South Korea, AI Monitors Lonely Elders

By Associated Press

June 5, 2020

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South Korean telecommunications provider SK Telecom operates an experimental artificial intelligence (AI)-powered network of voice-enabled "smart" speakers to remotely monitor thousands of isolated seniors during the coronavirus pandemic.

The speakers feature the "Aria" AI component, and a lamp that turns blue when processing voice commands for news, music, and online searches.

The devices also can assess users' memory and cognitive functions with quizzes, which would be potentially helpful for advising treatments.

However, it is difficult for SK Telecom customers to use this information without clear legal guidelines for managing health data on private networks.

Seoul National University's Haksoo Ko said, "An appropriate control system needs to be baked into the process, to make decisions on data access based on necessity and sensitivity, and restrict access to information that isn't really needed."

From Associated Press
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