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South Korea's Naver to offer ChatGPT-like AI services to Saudi, other govts

South Korea’s dominant internet giant to develop tailored versions of its latest ChatGPT-like AI models for countries reluctant towards US AI systems

By Web Desk
May 28, 2023
This picture shows the flag of South Korea. — AFP/File
This picture shows the flag of South Korea. — AFP/File

Naver, South Korea’s internet search engine, aims to offer its latest artificial intelligence model, similar to ChatGPT, to foreign governments that have raised concerns about US data controls.

Naver is eager to create regional AI applications for the Arab world's politically sensitive nations and for non-English speaking nations like Spain and Mexico, where governments are eager to have their own AI systems tailored to their political and cultural contexts, Financial Times reported.

“This will be a massive business as sovereign AI technology is becoming increasingly important for data protection,” said Sung Nako, a Naver executive in charge of developing hyperscale AI.

Hyperscale AI is linked to the organising of computing power and data in the cloud extensively to train and operate AI.

Recently, as a progressive step toward helping the country’s transition to the digital economy, Naver signed a preliminary agreement with Saudi Arabia where it agreed to provide IT services including AI tools.

“It is becoming like a new cold war as the US government now has the authority to look into data and information stored in American companies’ cloud systems,” Nako said, underlining hesitation from various countries to use US-based cloud and AI systems due to security concerns.

Furthermore, Nako shared the company's progress in developing AI saying: “We are about eight months behind OpenAI’s ChatGPT in terms of technology, but we are much better than ChatGPT in terms of Korean services.”

He continued: “We are clearly focusing on Korea and Japan for now, but we are also eyeing more overseas markets as localisation will be the key in the AI race.”.

South Korea is one of the few countries where Google’s search engine has failed to dominate.

The profitable business divisions of the Korean internet company include its LINE chatting and services app. It also manages entertainment platforms for webtoons and K-pop fandoms.

It has been leading South Korea's attempts to create an ecosystem for artificial intelligence, using the HyperClova AI model — which was created in 2021 — for a variety of services as of last year.

The Korean government is eager to promote technology as the nation's next growth engine because of its strength in semiconductors and well-developed IT infrastructure.

Previously, Naver has already collaborated with Samsung Electronics to build chips that are suited for AI.