Naver Launches Its Own Generative AI

Korea’s Naver unveiled its own generative artificial intelligence program HyperCLOVA X on Thursday, which in theory competes with OpenAI’s Chat GPT, Google’s PaLM2 and Meta’s Llama.  

Naver point out that HyperCLOVA X is tailored for Korean language and culture by tapping into the internet portal’s vast database. To do that it “studied” 6,500 times more Korean-language data than ChatGPT 3.5.

“We are confident that Naver’s carefully thought-out strategy will also work in the age of AI,” Naver CEO Choi Soo-yeon said. 

The procedure is the same in that CLOVA X spiders the internet in microseconds in response to a prompt. For instance, asked where the best places to visit on Jeju Island with your child are, CLOVA X will cobble together a readable paragraph or two and add recommendations for things like car rentals. It freely taps into other apps such as food delivery app Baedal Minjok and mobility platform Socar. It is currently at the beta or test stage. 

Naver’s mainstay search engine will also employ HyperCLOVA X for a search service named “Cue.” Cue not only answers users’ searches but finds other related information while checking by comparing the answers a pre-trained language model offers with those it finds in real-time searches. 

Naver CEO Choi Soo-yeon presents generative AI program HyperCLOVA X in Seoul on Thursday.

A Naver staffer said the company sought to address the “hallucination” phenomenon observed in other generative AI, which sometimes fabricate confident answers that are completely false, for reasons that are not yet completely understood. 

“After incorporating our technology, the phenomenon of hallucination decreased by 72 percent,” the staffer claimed.

Naver also plans to use CLOVA X in its B2B business. “Project Connect X” will provide document search and production and programs coding for companies. 

Naver has managed to maintain its lead over Google and other search engines in Korea but lags behind global rivals when it comes to AI. But now the mainstay search engine business is threatened by generative AI.

Choi said the new AI program is “learning everything users are doing on Naver. Its strength is in learning the latest data which are updated every day.” 

Rival Kakao hopes to unveil its own generative AI program later this year for use in B2C operations, while LG has launched an AI program using 45 million theses and copyrighted tech materials for use by professional groups. SK Telecom and KT are also developing their own.

But due to the widespread use of ChatGPT and Google Bard already offering Korean-language services, the domestic players face an uphill struggle.

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