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Actor Son Sook speaks with Naver’s Clova Care Call. (Nave)

Tech giant Naver said on Monday it had officially launched an artificial intelligence-powered call service for seniors living alone.

The service, Clova AI Contact Center Solution, is powered by the company’s Hyperclova artificial intelligence technology, which calls and checks users on their eating habits, sleeping habits and potential health issues.

The AI ​​adopted high-quality text-to-speech and voice-recognition engines to enable seamless conversation with users, as if they were talking to a friend, Naver said. The service provides physical and mental health care, he added.

Twenty local governments, including Haeundae-gu of Busan, Daegu, Incheon, Seoul, Goyang of Gyeonggi Province and Yeongdeok of North Gyeongsang Province have adopted Naver’s AI call service, citing its effect on the reduction of loneliness and social isolation in the elderly.

According to a survey conducted by Haeundae-gu, about 90% of senior users responded that they felt comforted after participating in the Clova Care Call beta service. Ninety-five percent said they would like to continue using the service.

Since the beta version, the system allowing local authorities to quickly check the health problems or other inconveniences mentioned by the respondents has been updated. Additionally, if a user doesn’t answer the call for two weeks in a row, the AI ​​automatically raises a red flag so authorities can come to the home or send in the police to check.

In the third quarter, Naver plans to continue upgrading the AI, allowing it to extract and remember key information, and use that information in future conversations. For example, he may ask a series of questions such as “How is your back pain?” or “Have you seen a doctor?” based on the last chat with a user who complained of back pain.

“We saw that local governments needed an AI-powered care call service to effectively support fast-growing single seniors. Together with authorities, the company will expand the service nationwide,” Naver Clova CEO Chung Suk-geun said in a statement. Currently, there are 226 local governments in the country.

Naver is due to present the Clova Care Call case study at the International Association of Gerontology and Geriatrics 2022 conference next month.

By Byun Hye-jin ([email protected])