SK Telecom to invest $100m in Anthropic amid telco industry generative AI push

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SK Telecom (SKT) has announced plans to invest $100 million in the AI firm Anthropic, with the aim of creating a joint AI platform and multilingual large language model (LLM) centered on telecommunications.

The companies will collaborate on the creation of a new AI model tailor-made for the telco industry, which will be shared with choice companies within the market.

Both will also work to fine-tune Anthropic’s Claude chatbot to improve its sector-specific knowledge and performance, for deployment as a chatbot in sales, marketing, and customer services.

To better suit the needs of its wide customer base, the firms will create the LLM in the Korean and English languages, as well as Arabic, German, Japanese, and Spanish.

“With our strategic investment in Anthropic, a global leading AI technology company, we will be working closely with Anthropic to promote AI innovation,” said Ryu Young-sang, CEO at SKT. 

“By combining our Korean language-based LLM with Anthropic’s strong AI capabilities, we expect to create synergy and gain leadership in the AI ecosystem together with our global telco partners.”

SKT is the largest telecom operator in Korea. In May, it made an earlier investment in Anthropic for an undisclosed sum.

The firm is also one of four members of the recently-formed Global Telco AI Alliance. The group intends to boost the telco sector using generative AI, and also includes Deutsche Telekom, e&, and Singtel.


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The multilingual LLM being developed by SKT and Anthropic will be delivered through the platform being developed by the Global Telco AI Alliance. Here its multilingual abilities could be put to use catering to the customers of each respective firm in their first languages.

“SKT has incredible ambitions to use AI to transform the telco industry,” said Dario Amodei, co-founder and CEO at Anthropic.

“We’re excited to combine our AI expertise with SKT’s industry knowledge to build an LLM that is customized for telcos. We see industry-specific LLMs as having high potential to create safer and more reliable deployments of AI technology.” 

Anthropic was founded by former members of OpenAI, the company behind ChatGPT. It bills itself as an AI “safety and research company”, and has emphasized its focus on safety to distinguish itself from competitors.

Claude, the firm’s answer to the likes of Bard and ChatGPT, is described by Anthropic as a safety-focused chatbot that is less likely to produce harmful results than those of its competitors. 

It’s capable of processing up to 100,000 tokens per prompt, compared to up to 32,000 tokens for OpenAI’s GPT-4 or 1,000 for Bard, meaning it can parse huge tracts of text or an entire book if necessary.

Google invested $300 million in Anthropic in February, with Google Cloud entering into an agreement with the firm as Anthropic’s preferred cloud provider.

The move was compared to Microsoft’s $10 billion OpenAI investment, which has proved a landmark moment in the firm’s push to implement AI throughout its product offering.

Since then the firm has led an additional $450 million through an additional funding round, with investors including Spark Capital, Zoom, and Salesforce Ventures.

Anthropic is also a founder-member of the Frontier Model Forum, which also includes Google, OpenAI, and Microsoft. The group aims to work in conjunction with public and private organizations, as well as academics, to steer the development of safe and ethical AI.

Rory Bathgate
Features and Multimedia Editor

Rory Bathgate is Features and Multimedia Editor at ITPro, overseeing all in-depth content and case studies. He can also be found co-hosting the ITPro Podcast with Jane McCallion, swapping a keyboard for a microphone to discuss the latest learnings with thought leaders from across the tech sector.

In his free time, Rory enjoys photography, video editing, and good science fiction. After graduating from the University of Kent with a BA in English and American Literature, Rory undertook an MA in Eighteenth-Century Studies at King’s College London. He joined ITPro in 2022 as a graduate, following four years in student journalism. You can contact Rory at or on LinkedIn.