Line Plus Corp. Chief Executive Shin Joong-ho
South Korea`s top online portal operator Naver Corp. will devote resources on artificial intelligence (AI) services as its future growth driver following portal and messenger services.
The company formed a new team dubbed “J” after Jarvis, the AI assistant in the movie Iron Man, last November under the order of the company’s founder and board chairman Lee Hae-jin.
Lee in October announced that Naver aims to challenge global technology titans Google and Facebook in the field of AI applications and robotics.
Line Plus Corp. Chief Executive Shin Joong-ho, who pioneered the company’s messenger service business at a global scale, spearheads the new development team. Shin has often been mentioned as a potential next leader of Naver. The team is already 150-strong, recruited mostly from Naver and LINE. The team’s first AI product is hands-free speaker akin to Amazon’s Echo that acts as the smart hub at home through voice command. The product is scheduled to come out in April this year.
During Naver technology conference in October, the company showcased its digital assistant dubbed AMICA. The team is working on an AMICA-based AI system that is able to understand the intention of users, interacting with them everywhere, including at home and outside. This interface system will be capable of multiple tasking. For instance, if the user asks for best music to listen to drive to work, the system will understand it is morning rush hour to seek on its own the fastest possible route at the same time. “The key to artificial intelligence depends on how many data you have and Naver has rich data from search and portal services, and this will serve to unlock Naver’s unlimited potential,” the company said.
By Oh Chan-jong
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