In virus-hit South Korea, AI monitors lonely elders

About 3,200 mostly older South Koreans living alone are monitored by voice-enabled smart speakers to check on their welfare during the coronavirus shutdown. Use of web search terms indicating distress, or when the devices aren’t used for more than 24 hours, can trigger a call or visit from social workers in an effort to prevent the elderly from dying alone. The innovation is among the tools South Korean health authorities used, including sophisticated tracking apps for contact tracing, to help the country keep the pandemic in check. But they also have raised a number of privacy concerns.

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