SK Telecom invests $100M in Anthropic to develop a LLM for telcos

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SK Telecom (SKT) has announced a $100 million investment in Anthropic to develop a large language model (LLM) customised for telecommunications companies.

Anthropic is a renowned AI safety and research firm based in San Francisco. SKT’s venture capital firm, SK Telecom Venture Capital, has previously invested in Anthropic.

The deepening collaboration between SKT and Anthropic aims to create a groundbreaking advancement in AI for telcos. The partnership has set its sights on building a multilingual LLM capable of supporting various languages, including Korean, English, German, Japanese, Arabic, and Spanish.

Dario Amodei, Co-Founder and CEO of Anthropic, said:

“SKT has incredible ambitions to use AI to transform the telco industry. We’re excited to combine our AI expertise with SKT’s industry knowledge to build a LLM that is customised for telcos.

We see industry-specific LLMs as having high potential to create safer and more reliable deployments of AI technology.”

Leveraging SKT’s extensive expertise in the telecommunications industry and Anthropic’s cutting-edge AI technology – including their AI model Claude 2, which was announced last month – the companies plan to customise the model to cater to the unique needs of telcos.

Specifically, the customisation will involve refining Claude to align with telco-specific use cases such as customer service, marketing, sales, and interactive consumer applications. The industry customisation efforts will be overseen by Jared Kaplan, Co-Founder and Chief Science Officer of Anthropic.

The collaborative endeavour between SKT and Anthropic will also extend to the Telco AI Platform, an ongoing project initiated by the recently-formed Global Telco AI Alliance which consists of SKT, Deutsche Telekom, e& and Singtel:

The Telco AI Platform aims to alleviate the burden on telcos by eliminating the necessity to create their own LLMs, which traditionally consumes a significant amount of time and resources. Global Telco AI Alliance members will be empowered to swiftly develop and provide AI services and applications tailored to their respective markets and customer bases.

Ryu Young-sang, CEO of SKT, commented:

“With our strategic investment in Anthropic, a global leading AI technology company, we will be working closely with Anthropic to promote AI innovation.

By combining our Korean language-based LLM with Anthropic’s strong AI capabilities, we expect to create synergy and gain leadership in the AI ecosystem together with our global telco partners.”

The SKT-Anthropic collaboration represents a significant step toward the convergence of AI and telecommunications, promising enhanced efficiency, innovation, and customer-centric solutions in the global telco arena.

In June, SKT also held a meeting at its Silicon Valley headquarters with the CEOs from four other AI partners – CMES, MakinaRocks, Scatter Lab, and FriendliAI – to discuss business cooperation and secure its position as a telco leader in the adoption of artificial intelligence.

(Image Credit: kiquebg from Pixabay)

See also: Capgemini highlights telcos’ generative AI interest

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