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Anthropic Receives $100 Million Boost From SK Telecom to Advance Telco-Specific AI

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Leading South Korean mobile carrier, SK Telecom (SKT), announced on Sunday a strategic investment of $100 million into Anthropic, a cutting-edge artificial intelligence startup. This substantial infusion of funds comes on the heels of a massive $450 million Series C funding round that Anthropic secured just three months ago, with SKT having participated via its venture capital division, SK Telecom Venture Capital (SKTVC). Additionally, renowned Germany-based software enterprise, SAP, has also marked its stake in Anthropic just last month.

A Collaborative Endeavor in Generative AI

With this investment, SKT signals its definitive entry into the intensely competitive generative AI arena. Both entities have unveiled ambitious plans to collaboratively design a multilingual large language model (LLM) tailored specifically for international telecommunications corporations. Providing strategic direction to this partnership, Jared Kaplan, co-founder and chief science officer of Anthropic, is slated to oversee the customization and the subsequent product trajectory.

Anthropic’s CEO, Dario Amodei, expressed his enthusiasm about the joint venture stating, “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 customized for telcos.”

The forthcoming LLM, a brainchild of SKT and Anthropic's partnership, promises to empower four pivotal members of the Global Telco AI Alliance, namely Deutsche Telekom, e&, and Singtel, to present AI solutions that resonate with their unique user base across different markets. This innovative LLM will extend support for an array of languages including English, Korean, German, Japanese, Arabic, and Spanish.

Anthropic’s AI System: Claude

Established in 2021, Anthropic has been trailblazing the AI domain with its groundbreaking system known as Claude. Drawing parallels with OpenAI's Chat GPT, Claude empowers businesses with a suite of functionalities, ranging from generating precise answers and executing workflows to facilitating natural conversations. Its latest offering, Claude Instant 1.2, boasts of assimilating the prowess of its successor, Claude 2, marking the evolution of their second-generation AI chatbot.

Within the telecommunications sector, Claude is anticipated to revolutionize several verticals. SKT foresees its potential applications spanning industry-centric customer service, dynamic consumer interactions, and even sales and marketing strategies.

Emphasizing the transformative potential of the collaboration, SKT’s CEO, Ryu Young-sang, remarked, “Combining our Korean language-based LLM with Anthropic’s strong AI capabilities, we expect to create synergy and gain leadership in the AI ecosystem with our global telco partners.”

SKT's robust investment in Anthropic underscores the telecommunications industry's ever-increasing reliance on AI-driven solutions. As the two giants synergize their respective expertise, the global telco landscape awaits unparalleled innovations tailored for diverse linguistic and regional markets.

Alex McFarland is a tech writer who covers the latest developments in artificial intelligence. He has worked with AI startups and publications across the globe.