Line launched its first AI assistant Clova at Mobile World Congress this week, stating that the tool will be core to its plans to become the biggest AI platform in Asia Pacific.
“AI is our most important project at Line, and represents a paradigm shift as dramatic as the rise of the smartphone a decade ago,” said Line Corp CEO Takeshi Idezawa. “The Clova platform allows Line’s existing services to interconnect, moving users post-touch, post-display, and even post-Smart-Portal, into a new future. We are aiming to make Clova Asia’s leading cloud AI platform.”
However, it is a competitive space in Asia as companies such as Chinese search giant Baidu are also ploughing money into technology such as AI and AR.
The Clova virtual assistant is a collaboration between Line and Naver Corporation, Korea’s leading search portal. The partnership uses Line’s messenger service alongside Naver’s search services. The content from both business will also be shared within the assistant and the data from each of the businesses user base will be used to power the AI.
Line argues that its strength as a messenger portal in Asia, as well as having content around news, music, weather and translations, it’s created a wealth of data about each market it is in, creating an AI platform that’s localised in terms of language and functionality. Key markets for Line are Japan, Korea, Indonesia, Thailand and Taiwan.
The company is also launching physical products into Japan and Korea that use the Clova system, including a smart speaker and a smart display.
Line has been vocal about its move to AI-powered services over the past year, most significantly putting out a call to the industry for people to build chatbots on its messenger app.