Naver hopes to leverage AI to create living environment intelligence

Naver’s biggest IT technology conference, DEVIEW, was held for the tenth time on October 16. DEVIEW 2017 is being held between October 16 and 17, with 41 sessions on the latest trends in AI, deep learning, big data, autonomous navigation, and robotics, with over 2,700 developers from home and abroad. DEVIEW, which started in 2006 as an event to share technology developed by Naver’s in-house development team, has been opening its doors to all developers since 2008 and has since grown into the largest development conference for sharing the latest IT technology trends and development know-how.

Over the past ten years, 19,900 people have participated, and 298 domestic and international companies and academics have shared their experience and knowledge through 364 sessions. This year, applications for the conference got closed in only 15 seconds, proving the high interest and enthusiasm of the participants.

Chang-Hyun Cho, CTO of Naver, gave the keynote speech, and said, “Naver has been trying to contribute to the revitalization of Korea’s technology ecosystem by sharing the latest technology trends and development know-how in various fields at DEVIEW for the past ten years. We will continue to do our best to share the outstanding technology and experience that connects the present and the future”.

At this year’s DEVIEW, Naver introduced AI-based technology and released platform search results that are beyond PCs and mobile phones, and life as a whole. The technologies announced at the event are extensions of “living environment intelligence”, which was revealed at last year’s DEVIEW. “Ambient intelligence” refers to technology in daily life recognizing and understanding people, circumstances, and environments, and naturally providing people with the necessary information. In order to realize living environment intelligence, it is necessary to use “recognition and understanding technology” that recognizes objects, feelings, situations, and spaces. This is supported by “prediction technology”, which anticipates responses to information activities and natural user experiences.

Chang-Hyun Song further explained, “Naver is studying technologies that deeply understand the environment surrounding the user, pay attention to the many possibilities that technology can create, and enhance the value of life”, and announced the research results of AI, search, robotics, and wearable computers.

At this year’s DEVIEW event, Naver introduced the technology applied to the AI platform, Clova, which is being developed jointly with Line, and the know-how required to build the platform. Also announced was the application of the artificial neural network translator, Papago, and research on AI being done in Naver Labs Europe (formerly Xerox Research Center Europe), such as deep learning and computer vision. Naver announced location intelligence based autonomous mobile robots, location-specific devices, mobility intelligence based power boards, electric carts, autonomous vehicle research, and vehicle info-tainment (AWAY) platform plans. In addition, the achievements of research on location and movement and the long-term industrial plan for various robotics services were also announced.

Following the announcement made at DEVIEW 2016, the upgraded version of self-driving indoor mapping robot, M1 was introduced, followed by AROUD (indoor autonomous service robot), AIRCART (electric cart), personal last-mile mobility (world’s first four-wheel balancing electric skateboard), AMBIDEX (a robotic arm co-developed with KOREATECH), Cheetah Robot (Co-developed with MIT), Jumping Robot (Collaboration with UIUC), Tusk Bot (a robot with wheels that climbs stairs), and TT Bot (object recognition and autonomous robot), among others. AROUND and AIRCART were applied by an offline bookstore in Busan (YES24).

Naver Labs, a research and development arm of Naver, has been developing various robot technologies in cooperation with various academic organizations such as MIT, UIUC, Seoul National University, and KOREATECH.

Naver Labs is the first non-automobile company in Korea to obtain provisional permission for driving autonomous vehicle for test purposes. Naver Labs plans to raise their current of Autonomous Driving Standard level (level 3) according to the U.S. Automotive Engineering Society to level 4, which is driving in a complicated urban environment. Currently, Naver’s autonomous vehicle is strengthening its lane-based self-locating research to enable autonomous navigation even in the shaded areas of the city. KAIST and industry-academia cooperation are also involved in the automatic and rapid extraction of road and sign information in large urban areas. In-vehicle info-tainment system, AWAY, which can naturally connect the necessary information in a car with entertainment content, will be released as an open platform in the beginning of next year.

Naver Labs has been pursuing research on space and movement, and presented the wearable device, AKI, which focuses on location positioning and understanding technology. AKI utilizes spatial information technology developed by Naver Labs’ own WPS data, which enables accurate location information to be confirmed even in an indoor space where GPS signal is weak. Machine learning can provide more accurate information to detect place, time, and situation. They plan to add technology and functions with the target of launching next January.

Chang-Hyun Song mentioned, “In order to strengthen technology based on AI, we plan to continue to innovate in the global market by collaborating with laboratories and universities, investing aggressively into R&D and hiring more talent”.

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This article, entitled “Naver hopes to leverage AI to create living environment intelligence”, was written in Korean by Yohan Son of Platum, edited by AllTechAsia.

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