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SKT applies K-pop singer’s voice to smart speakers

Nov. 8, 2019 - 16:16 By Yeo Jun-suk

South Korea’s largest mobile carrier SK Telecom said Friday it has introduced upgraded functions for its smart speaker Nugu, including a voice assistant that sounds like a popular K-pop singer.

Titled “Nugu Celeb Alarm,” Nugu’s new voice command service is based on Irene, leader of girl group Red Velvet. This was achieved via a technology that converts written text into verbal speech, the company said.

For the service, SKT collaborated with S.M. Entertainment, one of the top entertainment companies here and the management agency of Red Velvet.

SKT smart speaker Nugu. SKT

“This service is the first outcome of our cooperation project with S.M. Entertainment,” said Lee Hyun-ah, who leads the company’s artificial intelligence business. “We will make further efforts to diversify AI services for our consumers.”

According to SKT, Nugu smart speaker users can also receive notifications on the performance schedules of S.M. Entertainment artists.

Nugu has also started to provide a mobile karaoke service, allowing users to search for songs and performances via SKT’s karaoke app Everysing.