Naver to Invest Nearly Half-Billion Dollars on AI and Self-Driving Technology
SEOUL, Nov. 22 (Yonhap) -- Naver Corp., the operator of South Korea's dominant Internet portal, said Tuesday it will invest 500 billion won (US$425.4 million) over the next five years to help develop technologies in artificial intelligence and self-driving cars.
Naver, which also owns the operator of popular mobile messaging app Line, will also step up its drive to expand the subscriber base of Line beyond the Asian markets.
The plans were announced by Naver CEO Kim Sang-heon at a conference in Seoul with Naver's ad clients and owners of small and medium-sized businesses.
Of the total investment plan, 100 billion won will be spent to help entrepreneurs launch small and medium-sized businesses and create digital content, Naver said.
The remaining 400 billion won will be earmarked to develop technologies and services for people to easily use artificial intelligence and self-driving vehicle systems, Naver said.
Naver Vice President Han Seong-sook, who is set to replace Kim as CEO next March, said the company will make efforts to convert artificial intelligence and self-driving technologies into a part of ordinary life.
"Our aim is to bring state-of-the-art technologies, including artificial intelligence using voice commands, into our ordinary life and allow everybody to easily use them," Han said.