South Korean internet company Naver has released a generative artificial intelligence tool to compete with OpenAI’s ChatGPT. Naver is South Korea’s biggest internet company, with many people calling it the Google of South Korea. The company says that it has a large language model, HyperClova X, which can improve search, marketing, and shopping experiences for users and advertisers.
On Thursday, 24th August 2023, Naver announced new applications, including Cue, which is its generative AI search engine, and chat app Clova X. According to Naver, Clova X is meant to increase work productivity by summarizing documents and running language translations. It is estimated to save up to 50% of the time spent on running language translation and summarizing documents.
Recently, there has been an AI boom led by ChatGPT. This has led to the generation of clones worldwide, such as Bard from Microsoft, Llama from Meta, Tongyi Qianwen from Alibaba, and Ernie Bot from Baidu.
According to Kim Yuwon, the CEO OF Naver Cloud: “ChatGPT is a very challenging competitor. I think it’s an honest confession that we worked hard to keep up with the various abilities of ChatGPT. We tried to improve our ability to understand and respond to the intentions of the user. Korean proficiency is HyperClova’s competitive edge, but we tried to improve various language capabilities such as English to match the level of global competitors.”
Naver’s Korea-listed shares went up by 6.03% immediately after the announcement. Despite its current global efforts, James Lim, a senior research analyst at Dalton Investments, said that Naver was still behind other global players. According to Lim, “There are global top-tier players, and how do you get to a large number of parameters? First, you have to make that much of an investment, and that’s where I think Naver might feel a little bit challenged because you’re going [against] the global leaders.”
Choi Soo-yeo, the CEO of Naver, said that in the last three to four years, they have invested more than $756.8 million towards the research and development of AI.
Developing an AI chip
Kim noted that AI investment has reached the level of full-fledged commercialization, and the firm needs an efficient, low-cost semiconductor chip to improve service quality. In his statement, Kim noted, “We’ve done the large language model artificial intelligence training, but to apply it to search and shopping, the cost for this service will increase tremendously. We came to the conclusion that it would be difficult to provide quality service to our users without reducing this cost.”
CEO Choi added that Naver expects to further refine and develop its generative AI Model. He added that they were excited about the potential that can be generated by AI-powered search, marketing, and shopping experiences for advertisers and users.
In his statement, Lim of Dalton Investments noted that: “Naver has already historically showed that they can utilize the AI technology to improve their services such as increasing the efficiency of their e-commerce recommendations, and I think that will accelerate with the adoption of their more newly developed AI technology.”