A sales clerk of GS Retail puts products inside the drawer of a delivery robot at the firm’s convenience store in Seoul. Photo courtesy of GS Retail

AI-powered kiosks to come to town this year

Currently, it seems that all the corporations and governments are competing to come up with more advanced products or services based on artificial intelligence.

Kiosks are no exceptions, as a South Korean telecom operator strives to debut kiosks that can communicate with people later this year.

KT, the country’s largest telecom company, announced on April 18 that it had signed a memorandum of understanding with Deep Brain AI, which specializes in visual AI technologies.

“Previous kiosks were designed to help people through conducting preset functions. But the new kiosks powered by our AI human will be able to communicate with people in real-time,” a KT official said.

“Going forward, our AI human will adapt to other platforms, including robots, mobile phones, and automobiles so as to offer non-face-to-face services around the clock.”

In fact, more and more corporations are adopting artificial intelligence.

GS Retail, the operator of the GS 25 convenience store, introduced robotic delivery services in late 2020, which are similar to Amazon Scout in the United States.

When the store receives orders from customers, its clerk is supposed to put the products in the drawers of the 1.3-meter-tall robot and type the destination information.

Then, the robot carries them to the customer, who can pick up the products after typing a preset pin code. The robot will let the customer know its arrival via the cell phone.

The country’s leading builder Samsung C&T and discount chain giant E-Mart have worked on similar technologies. Delivery app leader Baedal Minjok also joined the frenzy.

“A rising number of corporations are expected to adopt AI technologies to boost their business’s productivity. Latecomers are likely to suffer greatly,” Prof. Seo Yong-gu at Sookmyung Women’s University said.

“There are concerns about the brisk adoption of AI. But there is no denying that the related technology is changing the world, and many corporations keep a tab on the trend.”

Kevin Chung studied literature in Seoul. He is interested in various areas. He can be reached at or 82-2-6956-6698.