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South Korea's Kakao supplies voice assist for Hyundai cars

AI provides info on weather and stock prices in upcoming Sonata

A button on the steering wheel activates the voice command. (Photo courtesy of Kakao)

SEOUL -- South Korea's Kakao will supply a voice assist system to top domestic automaker Hyundai Motor, the company known for its KakaoTalk chat app said Monday.

The voice assist program appears in the new version of Hyundai's mainstay Sonata sedan, set to debut shortly. It employs artificial intelligence to provide information such as weather, stock prices and sports scores. Users push a button on the steering wheel and ask a question.

The system is programmed to respond quickly to more than 10 standard questions. Air conditioning temperature and air flow direction also can be controlled with voice commands.

The voice assist represents the first concrete project to result from a technological tie-up formed by the two sides in 2017. Kakao, an information technology company, hopes this deal will boost its automotive operations.

Hyundai works with Chinese internet company Baidu on voice assist systems as well.

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