SK Telecom creates $45 mn fund for AI innovation with partners

SK Telecom 5G and Self-Driving VehicleSK Telecom has established a joint $45 million fund to deliver innovative artificial intelligence (AI) solutions in association with Hyundai Motor and Hanwha.

The AI fund targets the most promising sectors of commercial AI applications and infrastructure, specifically emerging AI-based technologies including autonomous vehicles, household robots, manufacturing, drones, and hardware.

The AI fund will invest in startups specialized in artificial intelligence, smart mobility and fintech in Europe, Israel and the United States over the next 36 months.

SK Telecom has played a leading role in the AI business in Korea by launching the nation’s first AI service NUGU and extending the AI capability to its automotive navigation system application T-map. It has developed smart mobility capabilities and conducted demonstration of a 5G connected car last year.

Hyundai Motor opened the CRADLE, an innovation hub, in Silicon Valley to seek opportunities for investment in future technology, analysis of new business and technology model and collaboration with new partners.

Element AI will take part in the fund as a leading AI advisor. It has nearly 60 researchers specialized in AI with a global network of collaboration for AI research.

“Infusing robotics with artificial intelligence capabilities is the future of industrialization,” said Element AI CEO Jean-François Gagne.

Ryu Young-Sang, head of Strategy and Planning Division at SK Telecom, said SK Telecom launched NUGU, the first AI speaker service in Korea.