Kakao, the Korean tech giant, announced the successful development of its multimodal large language model (MLLM), named Honeybee. The announcement came during an AI strategy meeting hosted by the Ministry of Science and ICT, where Kakao’s CEO nominee, Chung Shin-a, shared that the company has completed the development of Honeybee. This move is part of Kakao’s strategic efforts to expand its influence in the artificial intelligence market.
Honeybee, identified as Kakao’s MLLM, stands out as a multimodal large language model that facilitates reasoning across various modalities, including text, images, video, audio, and coding.
The development aligns with the latest trends in the tech industry, particularly the pursuit of image-to-text technology, a domain actively explored by major tech firms worldwide.
Unlike conventional models limited to text comprehension, Honeybee integrates vision and image comprehension capabilities. Built upon the MLLM foundation, this innovation enables Honeybee to simultaneously understand both images and text, providing the capability to respond to inquiries related to mixed image and text content, as stated by Kakao.
Chung Shin-a, Kakao’s Chief Executive Officer nominee, shared insights during a government-private sector AI strategy meeting, revealing that Honeybee’s development is now complete. The project was led by Kakao’s AI research affiliate, Kakao Brain Corp.
Kakao has made the source code of Honeybee available on GitHub, an open-source platform. This gesture allows developers outside Kakao to utilize Honeybee’s capabilities in their own AI model research for broader advancements in artificial intelligence.
Chung shared insights into Honeybee, stating that the multimodal large language model (MLLM) operates like Google DeepMind’s Gemini and OpenAI’s GPT-4. These models, like Kakao’s Honeybee, belong to multimodal LLMs, showcasing massive multitask language understanding capabilities.
Built on an MLLM foundation, Honeybee stands out for its ability to comprehend both images and text simultaneously, aligning with the direction of advanced generative AI technologies like ChatGPT and Bard.
The top-level dialogue on artificial intelligence, orchestrated by the Ministry of Science and ICT, is a pivotal forum for discussions between government and private sector representatives. At the fifth meeting, key players from hyper-scale AI companies and diverse sectors participated, emphasizing policies, investments, and public-private collaboration to enhance national AI competitiveness.
Naver Corp. CEO Choi Soo-yeon and LG AI Research Chief Bae Kyung-hoon presented their contributions to the initiative of integrating AI into daily life. A diverse range of participants, from beauty and home appliances to manufacturing, communication, and startups, showcased their efforts in the AI space, underlining the multifaceted impact of AI across industries.
The source code released by Kakao, while not a large language model (LLM) itself, functions as a module that can enhance other large language models, transforming them into multimodal LLMs.
Kakao Brain sees potential applications for Honeybee as an innovative educational tool, engaging users through simultaneous input of images and text queries. The company expresses working on research and development efforts to refine and expand the capabilities of Honeybee as a versatile AI model.
Discussing the latest AI trends, the Institute of Information & Communications Technology Planning & Evaluation highlighted the widespread integration of AI technology into daily life and various devices, as evidenced by the 2024 edition of CES.
The ICT ministry underscored AI-based innovation as a breakthrough solution for economic and social challenges. The global AI landscape continues to evolve, with companies like Kakao actively participating in the collaborative effort to shape the future of artificial intelligence.
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