[Pangyo Tech] NAVER and Seoul National University Jointly Establish Hyperscale-AI Research Center

NAVER’s office building in Pangyo-si, Gyeonggi-do, South Korea. | Picture provided by NAVER

NAVER and Seoul National University(SNU) signed an agreement on Monday morning, May 10th to jointly conduct “Hyperscale AI” research. The virtually held agreement event was participated by NAVER’s COO In-hyuk Choi, Director of Artificial Intelligence Institute of Seoul National University(AIIS) Byong-tak Zhang and other officials.

The latest paradigm in AI study will be jointly conducted at SNU-NAVER Hyperscale AI Center(co-directors: SNU professor Byeong-gon Chun and director of NAVER AI LAB Jung-woo Ha). The Hyperscale AI refers to an AI model, which studied various learning data and produces a flexible response to a given circumstance by using lots of parameters.

Both institutions aim to upgrade a hyperscale Korean language model and be a global leader in AI field by jointly developing a Hyperscale AI, which can understand languages, images and sounds at the same time. The institutions are poised to ramp up cooperation for research and education in the long-term perspective. Around 100 AI researchers from both sides will participate in the joint project. Tens of billions of wons will be invested for various purposes including boosting research and relevant infrastructures for the coming three years.

This much of close and large-scale business-research collaboration rarely happens in South Korea. While other collaborations so far have been designed for individual projects, the joint research project will make a single research center for researchers of the both sides to closely work together. NAVER agreed to promote internship and collaboration programs for SNU students to nurture future AI experts. NAVER’s researchers will teach graduate students of SNU as adjunct professors and researchers of SNU will work with NAVER for AI research.

NAVER will share its super-computing infrastructures and data with the joint research center to boost the collaboration. The company introduced a super-computer for the first time in South Korea on October last year to design a hyperscale language model. The collaborative research data will be shared twice or more in a year through various means including technology-sharing workshops.

COO In-hyuk Choi of NAVER said “I am excited to see a strong synergy for research which will be made by researchers of NAVER and SNU based on new business-research collaboration model” and added “The joint AI research center will integrate NAVER’s infrastructure and data and research capabilities of both sides. The collaboration will make us outrun other global competitors and lead hyperscale AI research field of the world”.

Byong-tak Zhang of AIIS research institute said “Innovative research in AI field requires infrastructure and talents” adding “I expect AI talents of both sides and NAVER’s great infrastructure will produce globally competitive AI”.

Pangyo Technovalley is an innovation hub for global companies comparable to the Silicon Valley in the US, Zhongguancun in China, and STATION F in France. It is an Asia tech hub with 1,259 IT, BT, CT, and NT companies that possess innovative products and technologies. Located just south of the metropolitan area, it provides the best environment for Korean companies to do business with great transportation access and infrastructure.

Various high-tech companies are located in Pangyo Technovalley, and it is occupied by 64,000 full-time employees, many in their 20-30s. In terms of industry, the companies are engaged in information technology, contents technology, biotechnology, and nanotechnology.

With the support of innovative companies with global capabilities such as Kakao, Naver, AhnLab, Krafton, NCSoft, Nexon, and Hancom, companies in Pangyo Technovalley recorded 107 trillion won in sales last year. Investment and infrastructure growth in Pangyo is expected to continue, with the Metaverse hub entering Pangyo this year.

Source: Pangyo Techno Valley Official Newsroom

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