Seoul Pilots an AI Translation Service for Foreign Tourists

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    Seoul Subway is breaking through language barriers as it tests a real-time AI translation service that will enable seamless communication with foreign tourists.

    Translation services are available in 13 languages: English, Korean, Japanese, Chinese, Vietnamese, Malay, Thai, Arabic, Malay, Indonesian, Spanish, French, German, and Russian. Masu. Trial operation of the project began on December 4th at Myeong-dong Station on Line 4 of the Seoul subway in the South Korean capital.

    seamless communication

    According to Seoul Subway, the AI-powered translation service aims to facilitate seamless communication between foreign tourists visiting South Korea's capital and station staff. Translation services allow both parties to: communicate using each language while facing each other through a transparent OLED display.

    The system used incorporates a touch screen and wired and wireless microphones to enhance communication with visiting tourists. Efforts will also be made to improve the on-site response of station staff.

    If the pilot project is successful, Seoul will expand the service to five other stations popular with foreign tourists next year. These are Seoul Station, Itaewon Station, Gimpo International Airport Station, Gwanghwamun Station, and Hongik University Station.

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    quick information

    According to Seoul Subway, the see-through OLED display “provides route search functionality, detailed fare prices, as well as information about T-Lockers, Seoul Subway's goods storage services, and T-baggage storage facilities.”

    Baek Ho, CEO of Seoul Subway, said, “We hope that with the introduction of this system, foreigners of various nationalities visiting South Korea will be able to receive subway information easily and conveniently.''

    Seoul Subway was reported to have improved user satisfaction in an on-site test conducted for foreign tourists in November.The initiative supports Seoul's broader plans to become an international tourism hub, with approximately 30 million visitors According to Mayor Oh Se-hoon, by 2027.

    Further improvements

    Since the start of the pilot project, Seoul Subway has focused on areas that need attention. Improvements include the use of directional microphones and noise reduction techniques to improve speech recognition, especially for nouns such as station names.

    The city of Seoul is also looking forward to expanding the service to mobile devices to further improve convenience for tourists visiting Japan.

    “Also, by providing services that are linked to mobile devices such as mobile phones, we will further improve convenience and ease of use, and increase the satisfaction level of foreign tourists.” said Mr. Ho.

    Myeong-dong Station was chosen for the four-month experimental project because it is frequently used by foreign tourists. AI translation service is available at the entrance to the customer safety room.

    influx of tourists

    This initiative was estimated by the Korea Tourism Organization. 10 million visitors I will return to my home country by the end of December this year. Of these, 79% will be solo travelers.

    Despite the thriving tourism industry, there are complaints from foreign tourists regarding public transportation.

    of Korea Tourism Organization is committed to resolving complaints received through its Complaint Center. Some of the initiatives being implemented include easier navigation in the city, improved communication systems and enhanced easy ticketing systems.


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