March 4, 2024
ChatGPT, Bard, Claude. The world’s hottest and profitable chatbots are educated on knowledge scraped from huge swaths of the web, mirroring the cultural and linguistic dominance of the English language and Western views. This has raised alarms concerning the lack of variety in synthetic intelligence. There’s additionally the concern that the expertise will stay the province of a handful of American corporations.

In South Korea, a technological powerhouse, corporations are profiting from the expertise’s malleability to form AI programs from the bottom as much as tackle native wants. Some have educated AI fashions with units of knowledge wealthy in Korean language and tradition. South Korean corporations say they’re constructing AI for Thai, Vietnamese and Malaysian audiences. Others are eyeing clients in Brazil, Saudi Arabia and the Philippines, and in industries like drugs and pharmacy.

Elevate Your Tech Prowess with Excessive-Worth Ability Programs

Providing Faculty Course Web site
Northwestern College Kellogg Put up Graduate Certificates in Product Administration Go to
Indian College of Enterprise ISB Skilled Certificates in Product Administration Go to
IIM Lucknow IIML Government Programme in FinTech, Banking & Utilized Threat Administration Go to

This has fueled hopes that AI can turn into extra numerous, work in additional languages, be custom-made to extra cultures and be developed by extra nations.

“The extra competitors is on the market, the extra programs are going to be sturdy: socially acceptable, safer, extra moral,” stated Byong-Tak Zhang, a pc science professor at Seoul Nationwide College.

Whereas there are some distinguished non-American AI corporations, reminiscent of France’s Mistral, the current upheaval at OpenAI, the maker of ChatGPT, has highlighted how concentrated the trade stays.

The rising AI panorama in South Korea is likely one of the best and numerous on the planet, stated Yong Lim, a professor of legislation at Seoul Nationwide College who leads its AI Coverage Initiative. The nation’s export-driven financial system has inspired new ventures to hunt methods to tailor AI programs to particular corporations or nations.

Uncover the tales of your curiosity

South Korea is nicely positioned to construct AI expertise, builders say, given it has one of many world’s most wired populations to generate huge quantities of knowledge to coach AI programs. Its tech giants have the assets to speculate closely in analysis. The federal government has additionally been encouraging: It has supplied corporations with cash and knowledge that might be used to coach massive language fashions, the expertise that powers AI chatbots. Few different nations have the mix of capital and expertise required to develop a big language mannequin that may energy a chatbot, consultants say. They estimate that it prices $100 million to $200 million to construct a foundational mannequin, the expertise that serves as the idea for AI chatbots.

South Korea remains to be months behind the U.S. within the AI race and should by no means totally catch up, because the main chatbots proceed to enhance with extra assets and knowledge.

However South Korean corporations consider they’ll compete. As a substitute of going after the worldwide market like their U.S. rivals, corporations like Naver and LG have tried to focus on their AI fashions to particular industries, cultures or languages as an alternative of pulling from your complete web.

“The localized technique is an inexpensive technique for them,” stated Sukwoong Choi, a professor of data programs on the College at Albany. “U.S. corporations are targeted on general-purpose instruments. South Korean AI corporations can goal a particular space.”

Exterior the U.S., AI prowess seems restricted in attain. In China, Baidu’s reply to ChatGPT, known as Ernie, and Huawei’s massive language mannequin have proven some success at residence, however they’re removed from dominating the worldwide market. Governments and corporations in different nations like Canada, Britain, India and Israel have additionally stated they’re growing their very own AI programs, although none has but to launch a system that can be utilized by the general public.

A few 12 months earlier than ChatGPT was launched, Naver, which operates South Korea’s most generally used search engine, introduced that it had efficiently created a big language mannequin. However the chatbot based mostly on that mannequin, Clova X, was launched solely this September, almost a 12 months after ChatGPT’s debut.

Nako Sung, an government at Naver who has led the corporate’s generative AI challenge, stated the timing of ChatGPT’s launch stunned him.

“Up till that time, we had been taking a conservative method to AI companies and simply cautiously exploring the probabilities,” Sung stated. “Then we realized that the timeline had been accelerated loads,” he added. “We determined we needed to transfer instantly.”

Now, Naver runs an AI mannequin constructed for Korean language audio system from the bottom up utilizing public knowledge from the South Korean authorities and from its search engine, which has scraped the nation’s web since 1999.

Clova X acknowledges Korean idioms and the newest slang — language that U.S.-made chatbots like Bard, ChatGPT and Claude typically battle to grasp. Naver’s chatbot can be built-in into the search engine, letting individuals use the instrument to buy and journey.

Exterior its residence market, the corporate is exploring enterprise alternatives with the Saudi Arabian authorities. Japan might be one other potential buyer, consultants stated, since Line, a messaging service owned by Naver, is used broadly there.

LG has additionally created its personal generative AI mannequin, the kind of synthetic intelligence able to creating authentic content material based mostly on inputs, known as Exaone. Since its creation in 2021, LG has labored with publishers, analysis facilities, pharmaceutical corporations and medical corporations to tailor its system to their knowledge units and supply them entry to its AI system.

The corporate is focusing on companies and researchers as an alternative of the final consumer, stated Kyunghoon Bae, the director of LG AI Analysis. Its subsidiaries have additionally begun utilizing its personal AI chatbots. One of many chatbots, constructed to research chemistry analysis and chemical equations, has been utilized by researchers constructing new supplies for batteries, chemical substances and drugs.

“Relatively than letting one of the best one or two AI programs dominate, it’s necessary to have an array of fashions particular to a website, language or tradition,” stated Honglak Lee, the chief scientist of LG’s AI analysis arm.

One other South Korean behemoth, Samsung, final month introduced Samsung Gauss, a generative AI mannequin getting used internally to compose emails, summarize paperwork and translate textual content. The corporate plans to combine it into its cell phones and good residence home equipment.

Different main corporations have additionally stated they’re growing their very own massive language fashions, making South Korea one of many few nations with so many corporations constructing AI programs. KT, a South Korean telecommunications agency, has stated it’s working with a Thai counterpart, Jasmine Group, on a big language mannequin specialised within the Thai language. Kakao, which makes an eponymous tremendous app for chats, has stated it’s growing generative AI for Korean, English, Japanese, Vietnamese and Malaysian.

Nonetheless, the US’ dominance in AI seems safe for now. It stays to be seen how carefully nations can catch up.

“The market is convulsing; it’s very tough to foretell what’s going to occur,” Lim stated. “It’s the Wild West, in a way.”