AI and real-time translation in Korea

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Speaking of Korean translation and AI, as we did in recent posts (see "Selected readings"), let us take a look at the latest developments in Korea:

New AI-based translation tools make their way into everyday life in Korea

AI equipped with natural language processing software, which allows it to interpret human language in various contexts, is gaining the most attraction among mainstream users among all AI services

Jung Yu-gyung, Hankyoreh (2024-04-23)

More and more, AI is becoming a part of daily life:

On Monday, SK Telecom unveiled its AI-based translation program “TransTalker,” which offers real-time interpretation for 13 languages, including Arabic, Russian, Vietnamese and Indonesian. Lotte began testing the translation service on Friday through its information desks on the first floor of Lotte Department Store's Avenuel Jamsil and on the first floor of Lotte World Mall. Both locations receive over a thousand visits from foreign tourists every day. Lotte has reported that the majority of users are surprised at the effectiveness and clarity of the interpretative service.

Users simply speak into a microphone installed onto a clear screen at the information desk. The AI interpretation service then translates the user’s question into Korean, which is displayed on a monitor on the other side for an employee. The Korean employee then replies in Korean, which is then interpreted back into the user’s native language on a screen. The program can interpret between English, Korean, Japanese, Mandarin, Arabic, Spanish, Vietnamese, Thai, Indonesian, Malaysian, French, German and Russian. 

The program is equipped with software designed for speech recognition, natural language processing, translation engines, and large language models (LLM). Lotte Department Store plans on increasing the number of locations that utilize the service.

Meanwhile, faculty in colleges and universities are worried that AI devices will make things so easy for students that they will not undertake the nitty gritty of writing and translating by themselves.


Selected readings

[Thanks to Don Keyser]


  1. David Marjanović said,

    April 24, 2024 @ 2:44 pm

    and large language models (LLM).

    Well, those are known to make stuff up, so I expect the occasional hilarious incident.

  2. Mitchell Toebben said,

    April 24, 2024 @ 2:51 pm

    Nobody expects the Spanglish Acquisition!

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