AI chatbot - Naver Corp

Naver Corp generative AI chatbot targets users in South Korea

South Korean technology company Naver Corp. has announced the release of an artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot in the mold of ChatGPT but designed for Korean users.

Naver’s latest attempt at generative AI is an improvement from its HyperCLOVA X model and will be able to perform a wide range of functions, according to local reports.

The model will be able to generate text and provide summaries, relying on the company’s supercomputing and data analysis capabilities. A main feature of the chatbot is its proficiency in the Korean language and culture, which the company believes will be vital for attracting users to the product.

Since OpenAI launched ChatGPT in 2021, South Koreans have flocked to the platform in record numbers, finding innovative use cases for the service. Amid stiff competition from Google’s Bard (NASDAQ: GOOGL), OpenAI, and Anthropic, Naver is keen on pushing out a homegrown AI chatbot for Koreans.

Naver CEO Choi Soo-yeon revealed that the new AI chatbot is a culmination of the company’s extensive experiences in diverse sectors, including web searches, e-commerce, and booking. Choi said that over the last five years, Naver allocated 1 trillion won (US$754 billion) to AI research and development, saying the firm can compete with industry leaders.

“It was possible by our up-to-date technologies into which we’ve steadily invested 22 percent of our operating profit and quality data,” Choi said.

Alongside the chatbot, the South Korean-based firm hinted at the future release of a new AI tool named CUE to improve internet searches. The product, set to be released in a month, will offer users an intuitive experience while surfing the internet, but it remains unknown if Naver will charge a fee for the new service.

Naver says it will continue to explore the possibilities of rolling out new AI offerings for users, unveiling plans for a new data center in Sejong. According to Choi, the new data center will operate as the “brain center” for Naver’s AI ambitions and will house over 600,000 servers.

“Naver is ready to face the new change opened by generative AI,” Choi said. “We will support our sellers, creators and partners to encourage their diversity and grow further with our technology.”

Innovations in generative AI are at breakneck speeds

Over the last six months, generative AI has grown by leaps and bounds, with service providers rolling out new offerings for consumers. The offerings cut across text, music, photos, and videos generated by AI, with experts urging legacy industries and new fields like Web3 to brace for seismic changes.

IBM predicts that up to 40% of employees in the workforce will need new skills to avoid being replaced by generative AI. Other studies indicate that while entry roles will be the most affected, generative AI will largely be used to augment tasks in the workplace.

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