Korean ​IBM Watson to launch in 2017

Following the historic Go match between Google's AI AlphaGo and a Korean champion in March, IBM will launch a Korean Watson counterpart in the country, slated for launch in 2017.

IBM will launch a Korean version of its AI platform Watson next year in cooperation with local IT service vendor SK C&C, the companies have announced.

SK announced Monday that it signed a cooperation agreement with Big Blue on May 4 and will together build an integrated system to market Watson in South Korea.

They will develop Korean data analysis solutions based on machine learning and natural language semantic analysis technology for Watson within this year, and will commercialise it sometime in the first half of 2017, SK said.

IBM and SK will also build a "Watson Cloud Platform" at the Korean company's datacentre in Pangyo -- the local version of Silicon Valley -- that IT developers and managers can access to make their own applications.

For example, an open market business can apply the Watson solution to its product search features to make a personalized contents recommendation solution.

The two firms will also create a venture fund for investments in Korean AI startups.

"We will strive to create a healthy AI ecosystem in Korea that will lead to creation of global services," a SK C&C spokesman said.

AI, machine learning, and deep learning have become the trend word in the Korean tech sphere since the historic Go match between Google DeepMind AI AlphaGo and a local champion in March.

Last month, Samsung launched a sonogram device with deep learning technology that can help doctors detect breast tumours.