Naver and Kakao “Concerned to encroach on Big Tech AI”…Request for Government Support


Naver and Kakao, Korea’s leading IT (information technology) companies, expressed a sense of crisis due to the shock of artificial intelligence (AI) technology generated from overseas, and asked for continued support from the government.

Baek Sang-yup, CEO of Kakao Enterprise, said at the 3rd Strategic Dialogue hosted by the Ministry of Science and ICT at the Kakao Pangyo Azit in Seongnam, Gyeonggi Province, “If we practice AI development, we will be encroached by global companies that widen the gap at a rapid pace.”

CEO Baek said, “We will do as if global companies are supporting us at first, but in the end, we will raise prices and not be able to keep up anymore,” stressing, “AI is not a visible product unlike semiconductors and displays, but we need continuous government support as it can determine our country’s future.”

Naver Cloud CEO Kim Yoo-won also expressed a similar sense of crisis to CEO Baek.

CEO Kim said, “In the past, there was a gap between Korean and English searches in the search engine, but in AI, the gap is narrowing a lot.”

“We are currently focusing on Korean language development, but the technology gap will narrow further in the future,” he said. “Before that, it is an important step to create innovative services that are a little bolder and actually helpful in daily life.”

He also introduced the joint development of AI semiconductors with Samsung Electronics and added, “I think a prototype will come out this year and we are looking forward to a product with quite good performance next year.”

“There is a possibility in areas that support numerous practical tasks that general-purpose AI models cannot solve one by one and provide a better AI experience by combining general-purpose models,” said Lee Se-young, CEO of Rooken Technologies, who developed the automatic sentence generation service.

Lee Jong-ho, Minister of Science and ICT, agreed, “As global big-tech companies are releasing ultra-large AI services such as ChatGPT and investing on a very large scale, we should also gather public-private capabilities to increase our national response.”

He said, “Based on industry and academic suggestions, we will announce the policy direction of the super-large AI industry this month with related ministries.”

Koh Hak-soo, chairman of the Personal Information Protection Committee, said, “We will soon announce the direction of our systematic policy while forming an informal TF to respond to personal information-related issues related to AI.”

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