Global Telco AI Alliance: Pioneering Telecom-specific AI Chatbots

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Last year, a remarkable partnership was born between telecommunications titans SKT, Deutsche Telekom, e&, and Singtel. They formed the Global Telco AI Alliance (GTAA), with the ambitious aim of exploring fresh avenues for AI interfaces within the telco domain. The alliance has been further bolstered with Japan’s Softbank joining the fold, and they’re amped up to kick things up a notch. The consortium has announced its intent to institute a joint-venture, focusing on the moulding of large language models (LLMs) custom-built for the telecommunications industry.

The consortium has grand plans for the artefact LLMs. The roll-out strategy places Korean, English, German, Arabic, and Japanese dialects at the vanguard, with further languages joining the ranks in the future. Ryu Young-sang, CEO of SKT, elucidated, “We as telcos need to develop tailored LLM for the telco industry to make telco operations more efficient, which is a low-hanging fruit. Our ultimate goal is to discover new business models by redefining relationships with customers. The Global Telco AI Alliance brings synergy to its members by allowing them to achieve more by working as a team.”

The necessity for a specialized telco LLMs was expounded during an SKT press meet, notably the first one to be held for the western press at the Mobile World Congress (MWC). The argument put forth was that the general-purpose models, like ChatGPT, don’t quite hit the mark for telecom-specific tasks. Land a case in point, a customer’s inquiry to a ChatGPT fueled chatbot about service cancellation would only trigger concise, instructional responses. This scenario is far from ideal for a telco firm, as it misses a prime opportunity for customer retention.

This is where a telecom-crafted AI chatbot comes into play. It would approach the issue much like a contact centre agent would, undertaking a dialogue about the customer’s concerns, and presenting suitable service alternatives to retain the customer. To put it simply, this partnership centred on formulating a LLM unique to telecom, fed by subscriber data from all the members, could revolutionize customer service experiences in the telco segment.

Yuen Kuan Moon, Group Chief Executive Officer, Singtel, commented, “This multi-lingual LLM tailored for telcos will greatly expand chatbot capabilities with relevant responses to customers’ technical queries, freeing up service agents to deal with more complex customer issues.”

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