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A South Korean telco big has its personal A.I. chatbot — and says it is a ‘tremendous app’ model of ChatGPT

SK Telecom’s “A.” (pronounced “A dot”) synthetic intelligence chatbot has a personality that speaks to folks. The corporate has built-in its numerous service from music streaming to e-commerce into A. and is planning to launch it absolutely in 2023.

BARCELONA, Spain — SK Telecom, considered one of South Korea’s greatest carriers, is planning to completely launch its personal synthetic intelligence chatbot, however is taking a look at a really completely different product from ChatGPT, an govt engaged on the mission advised CNBC.

The corporate launched a beta model of “A.” — pronounced “A dot” — in South Korea in Could final 12 months. It’s based mostly on generative AI, the know-how behind OpenAI’s viral ChatGPT.

Eric Davis, vice chairman at SKT who’s main the work on A., stated that the corporate will launch a full model in South Korea this 12 months, including that this proposition could be very completely different from ChatGPT.

“It is such as you’re chatting with a good friend, the place you are fixing points that you just encounter in your every day life,” Davis advised CNBC on Wednesday on the Cellular World Congress in Barcelona, Spain.

Davis stated that SKT has been engaged on A. for a 12 months and a half. It’s is constructed in-house on the telecoms agency on so-called massive language fashions — AI skilled on large quantities of knowledge to have the ability to chat in pure language. It’s the identical know-how because the one behind ChatGPT.

However Davis is eager to place A. as a really completely different product from ChatGPT. That is as a result of SKT additionally owns numerous providers, starting from music streaming to e-commerce and cost apps, which it’s integrating into its chatbot.

“So, largely, the tremendous app is the tip image there. Obtain our app, and we’ll do principally every part you need us to do and extra,” Davis stated.

A “tremendous app” is an idea pioneered by Chinese language know-how giants, comparable to Tencent with its WeChat messaging service. The thought is that an individual solely wants one app, and that a number of third-party providers are accessible through that app. In China, WeChat can be utilized for every part from reserving holidays to funds.

Tremendous apps are well-liked in China and in components of Asia, however have not taken off in Europe and within the U.S.

What is a super app, and why haven't they gone global?

Davis, who beforehand labored on Apple’s voice assistant Siri, stated that the plan is to combine “much more third occasion providers” into the A. chatbot.

“ChatGPT is nice. You understand, it solutions your questions, or it gives a abstract. Nevertheless it would not do any issues we did in A., “Davis stated. “It would not join you with providers or out, it would not have any personalization, we make a acutely aware effort to study our customers.”

A. is presently solely accessible in Korean. Davis stated that SKT is within the early phases of exploring a world launch for the service.

“We have been speaking to folks in Europe, after all in Southeast Asia, native those that know the markets and know type of what is going on to promote. So we have been having talks, however once more, nothing’s actually finalized,” Davis stated.

SKT has appeared to diversify past its core telecommunications enterprise. It plans to launch a flying taxi service in 2025, and CNBC reported this week that the corporate’s AI chip spin-off Sapeon seeks a $400 million valuation.

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