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Global telco AI alliance signs joint venture to establish multilingual telco LLM

SK Telecom, Deutsche Telekom, e&, Singtel and SoftBank Corp., the founding parties of the Global Telco AI Alliance (GTAA), today signed a Joint Venture agreement at TM Forum’s DTW24-Ignite. This follows the announcement by the GTAA at MWC Barcelona 2024 to establish a Joint Venture and marks the founding parties’ commitment to co-develop and launch multilingual Large Language Models (Telco LLM) specifically tailored to the needs of telecommunications companies through the JV.

As announced earlier this year, the JV will see equal investments from the founding parties to support its initial working capital requirements to develop the Telco LLM that will aim to help telcos improve their customer interactions via digital assistants and other innovative AI solutions. The JV will look at deploying innovative AI applications tailored to the needs of the founding parties in their respective markets, enabling them to reach a global customer base of approximately 1.3 billion across 50 countries. The Telco LLM will be multilingual including; Korean, English, German, Arabic, and Bahasa among other languages. The launch of the JV is subject to customary regulatory approvals.

The second Global Telco AI Roundtable (GTAR) was also held at DTW24, reaffirming the GTAA’s dedication to driving innovation and collaboration in the telecoms industry. The GTAR highlighted the key progress achieved by the GTAA, as well as the AI governance systems and AI use cases reshaping the telecom landscape.

GTAR’s opening speech was delivered by SKT’s CEO Ryu Young-sang, who emphasized on the transformative potential of AI in the telecom industry. CEO Ryu highlighted that the Global Telco AI Alliance is well positioned to be an active player in the global AI ecosystem as businesses worldwide are keen to reshape their business strategies through AI. He added that, through the Telco LLM JV new business opportunities will be created, and enhanced levels of customer experiences will be achieved. Ryu stressed that while heading towards this goal, the Alliance needs to proactively address the social and environmental responsibilities associated with AI by establishing an effective AI governance framework.

The opening address was followed by a panel discussion, which featured the participation of Suk-geun Chung, Chief AI Global Officer, SKT; Harrison Lung, Group Chief Strategy Officer, e&; William Woo, Group Chief Information Officer and Group Chief Digital Officer, Singtel; and Jan Hofmann, Top Program Lead for Artificial Intelligence, Deutsche Telekom. The panelists shared updates on GTAA’s progress and outlined plans aimed at using AI in the future to address industry challenges and unlock new opportunities. The panelists also shared their perspective on AI governance and founding parties’ individual efforts to ensure Responsible AI practices.

Founding parties showcased potential applications of an LLM for telco, focusing on contact center and infrastructure use cases. They demonstrated how a fine-tuned LLM can enhance contact center operations by generating real-time reference answers for agents during calls and automatically handling post-call tasks. They also illustrated the model’s ability to provide answers to infrastructure operators’ questions, streamlining their workflows.

CT Bureau

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