SEOUL, Oct. 24 (Korea Bizwire) – The founder of Naver Corp. said Monday the nation’s biggest Internet portal will accelerate its investment in high-tech startups, signaling the need to increase spending on artificial intelligence.
Lee Hae-jin, who is also the chairman of the board at Naver, made the remarks at a conference with developers.
“From now on, a fight for technology is the key” as computing technologies, including artificial intelligence and data analysis, are on the verge of being applied to people’s real lives, Lee said.
The remarks by Lee hinted that Naver may focus on investing in artificial intelligence startups at home and abroad, joining the race with global technology titans, such as Google and Facebook, in fielding artificial intelligence-powered products.
During the conference, Naver unveiled its new digital assistant service named AMICA.
Naver’s chief technology officer, Song Chang-hyun, said the personal assistant service eventually aims to “understand the intention” of users, interacting with them everywhere, including in the bedroom and out in the streets.
Song said the service is being installed in a package of mobile chips produced by Samsung Electronics Co. for the Internet of Things.
AMICA is being developed for a number of smartphone apps for food delivery and accommodation, Song said.
Naver also plans to launch an independent company tasked with developing self-driving, robots and artificial intelligence, company officials said.
Headed by Song, the new company will be established early next year.
On Sept. 30, Naver and its mobile messaging affiliate, Line Corp., announced a plan to invest 100 million euros (US$108.6 million) in a French venture fund set up by France’s former South Korean-born minister, Fleur Pellerin.
The fund will invest in European technology startups in the fields of artificial intelligence, big data and online services, Naver said.