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[Courtesy of Seocho-gu Office]

SEOUL — An artificial intelligence-powered care call service will be showcased in a southern district of Seoul to care for vulnerable single elderly people. The voice robot will call elderly people regularly to monitor their health and notify their human caregivers in case of an emergency.

The number of single-person households has grown rapidly in South Korea, with a population of around 52 million. Data released by the national statistics office in 2021 showed that 1.6 million are single households aged 65 or over. The proportion of elderly people living alone is gradually increasing from 16% in 2000 to 19.6% in 2021. 43% of people who died of a solitary death in 2019 were elderly people.

The Seocho District Office will demonstrate an AI care call service for the elderly starting in March 2022. “The care robot capable of engaging in verbal conversation will call elderly residents once per week,” a Seocho official told Aju Business Daily on March 14. that the robot will ask questions such as “Do you often go for walks?” If the senior says they usually stay home because of the cold, the robot will encourage them to exercise when the weather warms up. In the event of an emergency, the robot will notify a local community center. Seocho will provide the AI ​​call service to 50 single households aged 65 or over living alone in March.

In March 2020, Seoul deployed some 75,000 Internet of Things (IoT) sensors in the homes of single elderly people to detect temperature, humidity and movement in real time. According to the national statistics office, the population aged 65 or over is expected to increase from 16.5% in 2021 to 20.3% in 2023.

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