SK Telecom and Deutsche Telekom to Develop Telco-Specific Language Model for Customer Service

SK Telecom (SKT) and Deutsche Telekom have announced their joint efforts to develop an industry-specific Language Model (LLM) tailor-made for digital assistants in the realm of customer service.
LLM development by SK Telecom and Deutsche TelekomThis initiative aims to streamline the deployment of generative AI models within the telecoms sector, enabling companies to efficiently and promptly integrate these advanced AI tools into their customer service operations.

This venture signifies the commencement of the “Global Telco AI Alliance,” a collaborative effort involving Deutsche Telekom, e&, Singtel, and SK Telecom. The alliance, which was initially unveiled in the summer, is poised to revolutionize the telecommunications industry by harnessing the power of artificial intelligence.

Claudia Nemat, Member of the Board of Management for Technology and Innovation at Deutsche Telekom, emphasized the remarkable potential of AI in enhancing human problem-solving capabilities. She explained, “To maximize its use, especially in customer service, we need to adapt existing large language models and train them with our unique data. This will elevate our generative AI tools.”

SK Telecom and Deutsche Telekom are planning to join forces with leading AI companies such as Anthropic (Claude 2) and Meta (LLaMa2) to co-create a multilingual Large Language Model (LLM) tailored to the specific needs of telcos, covering languages like German, English, Korean, and more. The first version of this telco-specific LLM is set to be unveiled in the first quarter of 2024.

Ryu Young-sang, CEO of SKT, spoke about the global potential of their partnership with Deutsche Telekom, saying, “By combining the strengths and capabilities of the two companies in AI technology, platform, and infrastructure, we expect to empower enterprises in many different industries to deliver new and higher value to their customers.”

This collaboration has reached a significant milestone as the two telecommunications giants have officially signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) for their joint development project in Seoul.

Advantages of Telco-Specific LLMs

A telco-specific LLM offers a superior understanding of customer inquiries related to telecom services when compared to general AI models. This makes it a perfect fit for use in customer service, where it excels in comprehending, summarizing, and responding to specific concerns.

The objective is to support telecommunications companies across Europe, Asia, and the Middle East in creating their own digital assistants powered by generative AI. This innovative model is designed to expedite the development of digital assistants that seamlessly integrate into their unique environments.

Ask Magenta: Revolutionizing Customer Service

One of the immediate beneficiaries of this development is Telekom Deutschland’s Ask Magenta service bot. Since its introduction in 2016, Ask Magenta has been a pivotal digital assistant for customers, addressing over 380 different concerns related to services, moving, new offers, billing inquiries, and technical issues. Moreover, it has been available as “Ask Magenta Voice” since autumn 2023 on the mobile phone hotline, allowing customers to freely express their concerns in natural language.

In the past year, Ask Magenta facilitated over four million customer interactions, efficiently addressing more than a third of concerns instantly. In other instances, human advisors seamlessly take over, providing a continuity of service.

In a recognition of its excellence, Ask Magenta has earned the title of one of the best digital assistants in the telecommunications industry for the fourth consecutive year according to the annual analysis by COMPUTER BILD and Statista, reaffirming its commitment to delivering exceptional customer service.