SK Telecom, the major South Korean telecommunications provider, has partnered with Deutsche Telekom, a global telecoms company. The collaboration aims to jointly develop a Large Language Model (LLM) tailored for the telecommunications sector, focusing on advancing artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities.
The new partnership is significant for SK Telecom as it initiated the Global Telco AI Alliance in July. This alliance brought together four global telecom giants, including Deutsche Telekom, E& Corp., and Singapore Telecommunications Ltd., united with a common goal.
SK Telecom and Deutsche Telekom plan to develop a telecommunications-specialized multilingual LLM, which will support Korean, German, and English. The collaboration also involves partnering with AI companies such as Anthropic PBC and Meta Platforms Inc.
In a joint announcement, SK Telecom and Deutsche Telekom shared that they have signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) to create a specialized LLM designed to empower global telecommunication companies (telcos) with efficient and rapid development of generative AI models.
The event at the SK Seorin Building saw the participation of key executives from both SK Telecom and Deutsche Telekom, including Ryu Young-sang, CEO of SKT, Chung Suk-geun, Chief AI Global Officer of SKT, Tim Höttges, CEO of Deutsche Telekom, Claudia Nemat, Board Member Technology and Innovation of Deutsche Telekom, and Jonathan Abrahamson, Chief Product and Digital Officer of Deutsche Telekom.
The exceptional capabilities of LLM render it ideally suited for deployment in AI-driven call centers and other customer service functions. It represents a tangible outcome of the Global Telco AI Alliance.
The telecom-specific LLM offers a heightened comprehension of areas related to telecom services and a deeper understanding of customer intentions when compared to general-purpose LLMs.
The impending design of this LLM aims to empower global telecom companies to adapt and innovate, offering generative AI services tailored to specific regional contexts. The new venture is expected to be unveiled in the first quarter 2023. SK Telecom and Deutsche Telekom plan to leverage this technology to enhance their presence in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East.
“AI shows impressive potential to significantly enhance human problem-solving capabilities. To maximize its use, especially in customer service, we need to adapt existing large language models and train them with our unique data. This will elevate our generative AI tools,” Claudia Nemat, Member of the Board of Management for Technology and Innovation at Deutsche Telekom, stated in the announcement.
Ryu Young-sang, CEO of SKT, further shared his views on the partnership. “By combining the strengths and capabilities of the two companies in AI technology, platform and infrastructure, we expect to empower enterprises in many different industries to deliver new and higher value to their customers,” he added.
SK Telecom plans to expand in AI-related activities and investments over the next five years. The company’s target involves reaching an annual revenue of over 25 trillion won (approximately $18.5 billion) by 2028.
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