“A” of SK Telecom. (pronounced “A dot”) artificial intelligence chatbots have the characteristics of talking to people. The company has integrated services ranging from music streaming to e-commerce into A., with a full rollout planned for 2023.

SK Telecom, one of South Korea’s largest mobile operators, said on Friday it upgraded its chatbot and added a feature powered by Microsoft Cloud and the technology behind OpenAI ChatGPT.

The company launched a beta version of “A”. —pronounced “A dot” —launched in South Korea last May, and has been enhancing the product’s capabilities ahead of its general launch.

SKT has added a feature called “Chat T” to A. The feature is powered by the technology behind ChatGPT, based on Microsoft’s Azure OpenAI cloud computing service. Users can prompt the chatbot for answers, just like with ChatGPT.

The South Korean telecom giant has also added a chat room feature to A., allowing users to hold conversations with AI characters.

“Through these conversations, users can share information about their daily lives as if they were talking with close friends,” SKT said in a press release.

SKT is trying to position A. as a different proposition from ChatGPT. A. There are many cartoon avatars available for user interaction. SKT said it has brought more AI agents called “A.friends” to the product, equipped with conversational AI technology that “enables emotional and human-like conversations.”

“Through conversations with ‘A.friend,’ users can get consultation and advice on various topics,” SKT said.

SKT, known primarily as a mobile network, has been keen to diversify into new areas. The company plans to launch a flying taxi service in 2025, and CNBC reported in February that its artificial intelligence chip spin-off Sapeon was seeking a $400 million valuation in a new funding round.


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