Seoul leveraging AI to detect challenging behaviour of people with developmental disabilities

An AI-based behavioural analysis technology is currently being tried out in Seoul to detect and prevent challenging behaviours from people with developmental disabilities. 

SK Telecom (SKT), the telecommunications arm of one of South Korea’s biggest family-owned conglomerates SK Group, has tied up with the Seoul Metropolitan Government to launch the said trial at the Jongno Lifelong Education Center for the Developmentally Disabled. 

CCTV cameras equipped with vision AI technology from SKT have been installed at the centre to detect and analyse patterns of challenging behaviours, including kicking, punching, pushing and pulling, falling, hitting the head (self-harm), lying down, running, wandering, and jumping. 


According to the Seoul government, around 36,000 people with developmental disabilities are currently living in the city, accounting for nearly a tenth of its total disabled population. Commonly they are individuals with autism spectrum disorder, cerebral palsy, fetal alcohol spectrum disorders, Down syndrome, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. 

Oftentimes these people communicate their dissatisfaction through behaviours that can cause harm and burden to themselves and others. It remains a challenge to monitor them round-the-clock and record in detail how and when they will display such challenging behaviours. 

According to SKT, a care system that can analyse the causes of such behaviours and quickly respond to and provide assistance in such scenarios is imperative to a stress-free life for people with developmental disabilities and their families. 

This is why the Seoul government is promoting the application of SKT’s vision AI, whose data and outcomes are expected to guide the creation of a data-based social intervention plan and solutions. This fulfils one of the many goals of the national government’s Comprehensive Plan for Lifelong Care for People with Developmental Disabilities, which was first announced in 2018.

Later, SKT plans to expand the scope of its surveillance system to detect and respond in real time to challenging behaviours posed by children and the elderly.


SKT developed its vision AI technology with the Seoul National University Hospital in 2021. The same technology also runs its living lab for the early diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder in infants and young children established earlier in April.

SK Telecom has also collaborated with the Catholic Medical Center of the Catholic University of Korea to develop full-stack medical AI solutions, including an emergency response solution that utilises vision AI to prevent accidents in psychiatric wards.

Meanwhile, the South Korean government also used CCTV cameras last year to trial an AI-powered facial recognition system for tracking persons infected with COVID-19.

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This post originally appeared on TechToday.

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