As AI technology is applied in various ways, natural language processing technology is also developing rapidly. Technology that automatically converts recorded files into text or translates text into different languages is an example of applying natural language processing and AI technology. By applying this technology, language barriers in the global market have been further reduced, as customers can receive responses in different languages when using chat consultation services at overseas shopping malls or airlines.
In this way, various tasks such as summarizing, classifying, and evaluating text are possible using AI. Among them, Brain Ventures has developed technology that infers the emotions and thoughts revealed in sentences rather than simply translating them. After being founded in 2020, the company quickly became a full member of the International Organization for Standardization of Artificial Intelligence, won the Minister of Science and ICT Award in 2021, and also won first place in the Excellent Collaboration Team category of the 2022 Shinhan Open Innovation Competition. So it is growing fast. Brain Ventures plans to accelerate its entry into the global market, starting with its headquarters in Pangyo, Korea, and completing the establishment of a U.S. branch office to enter the global market.
Brain Ventures has registered patents and papers related to AI data processing and is bringing innovations in data processing, such as automatic subjective answer grading service, automatic product review analysis service, and application of OCR technology to webtoon images. The following is an interview with Kim Wonhoi, CEO of Brain Ventures.
Q. Please introduce yourself.
My name is Kim Wonhoi, CEO of Brain Ventures, an AI solutions company based in Pangyo. Before starting the company, he earned a Ph.D. in linguistics and taught at universities. He started a venture company in 2020, anticipating that natural language processing technology would become active with the advent of the artificial intelligence era.
Q. Can you explain more about what led you to start a company after predicting that natural language processing technology would become popular?
When people hear the term natural language processing, they usually think of text translation capabilities. It has been predicted that as data from different languages accumulates, real-time machine interpretation will become possible.
Especially with the development of artificial intelligence technology, it was expected that language processing would be data-based. So the business environment has changed rapidly to keep pace. Recently, as I watched systems like Chat GPT being created, I finally confirmed that my predictions were correct.
Using AI natural language processing technology, it is becoming possible to translate all the world’s languages into Korean.
Q. Please introduce the AI solutions that Brain Ventures is proud of.
Since Brain Ventures is a developer of AI natural language processing technology, we have solutions related to language, which is unstructured data.
First of all, we have a multilingual translation model. This technology makes it possible to translate not only English but also various languages, such as French and Vietnamese, into other languages without restrictions, and it is a solution that incorporates AI.
We are also developing technologies related to object detection and image processing with excellent technology companies in the Chungcheongnam-do area. With these, we are developing small mobility solutions and solutions that enable autonomous driving through object detection technology.
Q. Various machine translation technologies are emerging in the global market. Can you tell us about Brain Ventures’ unique technology?
There are many large-scale translation tools in the market today. Brain Ventures aims at domain-specific translation. In other words, instead of translating large amounts of text on general topics, we provide translation solutions tailored to specific fields such as food, art, medicine, etc.
We also have the technology to translate foreign language audio in video lectures directly into Korean and output it as text. We use our company’s technology to provide unique services to niche markets.
We will overcome the limitations of technology by reflecting on cultures and hidden emotions in translation.
Q. People say that a human translator can better understand and express the author’s thoughts and feelings, but machine translation is difficult to do perfectly. How does Brain Ventures overcome this limitation?
It is difficult for a machine to match the best results of human translation 100%, and I think it will take a long time to develop the technology to that level. However, Brain Ventures has adopted a method of storing a database and dictionary of named entities related to human emotions and thoughts and having the AI guess the text based on the data.
In addition, Brain Ventures places great emphasis on localization. We believe that we can gradually overcome the limitations of technology by documenting common terms and abbreviations commonly used by English, French, and Vietnamese speakers and creating models optimized for each language.
Q. Brain Ventures has also established a branch office in the US. Please tell us how Brain Ventures will challenge the global market.
Before establishing the U.S. office, we worked with Russia’s Ashmanov Neural Networks, the largest artificial intelligence company in Russia, for eight months to develop natural language processing, sentence semantic analysis, and summarization technologies.
Based on this joint project, our company grew rapidly and eventually established an American corporation in Delaware, USA. We plan to set up another office in the Silicon Valley area. In addition, we plan to apply for a patent at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and finally register it by the end of this year.
Since the market related to artificial intelligence translation technology is the largest in North America, we plan to make our brand competitive in the United States and then enter the European and Asian markets.
Q. Korean webtoons have been translated and are rapidly becoming popular globally. Can you explain the special webtoon translation technology that only Brain Ventures has?
The most used language in the global market is English. Korean language services account for less than 10%. Brain Ventures has extensive Korean data and Korean language processing technology, which gives us a competitive advantage in the global market.
When Korean webtoons become popular worldwide, Brain Ventures will be the company that can best translate webtoons into foreign languages. We are always thinking about how to accurately express the emotions expressed in Korean webtoons in English and adapt them to the local culture. In the future, our goal is to create an artificial intelligence model that users can easily use.
Our company won first place in the 2022 “Shinhan Open Innovation” competition. Using this award as an opportunity, we began working with KT Story Image. When KT Story Image introduced Korean webtoons and web novels overseas, focusing on their IP, their content was translated using our technology.
Brainy Ventures’ technology helped webtoon and web novel creators break the language barrier, which was the biggest difficulty in entering overseas markets quickly and at a low cost.
Q. Are there any cases of providing services to foreign content companies entering Korea?
When works from Japan and the United States, the global powerhouses of animation and cartoons, enter Korea, we have a translation solution that can be applied based on our company’s Korean data.
So we are trying to seize opportunities for inbound business coming to Korea from overseas markets. I expect Brain Ventures to continue to grow by trying different things like this.
We must overcome management difficulties by going beyond the domestic market to the global market.
Q. The head office and Brain Ventures LAB are in the 2nd Pangyo Techno Valley. Are there any advantages of Pangyo Techno Valley in challenging the global market?
Our headquarter office is in a separate building called “Pangyo Metaverse Hub” and the lab is in a building called “Pangyo Innovation Lab”. So we have been able to hire talent from different IT companies here and there.
We also have the opportunity to collaborate or network with other companies in the Metaverse Hub. I think I have made good use of these opportunities to grow my business.
Q. What is the ultimate goal of Brain Ventures?
We plan to hold a special technology IPO in 2027. Using this as an opportunity, we will share some of the company’s capital with the founding team members who have worked hard together, and we plan to use some of the capital to support junior entrepreneurs and junior AI developers.
At present, small and medium-sized enterprises and venture companies in various industries are experiencing difficulties. I see many companies are looking overseas instead of trying to find breakthroughs only at home, and I hope they will grow in larger markets.
For inquiries and connections with Korean tech companies mentioned in this article, contact us at [email protected]. We’re here to facilitate valuable partnerships.
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