SK Networks Establishes Artificial Intelligence Lab in Silicon Valley

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DateApr 27, 2024

With the construction of PhnyX Lab, a cutting-edge artificial intelligence (AI) development lab located in the heart of Silicon Valley, California, SK Networks, a conglomerate that has a deep foothold in a variety of industries, has launched on a journey that will alter the company. This effort represents a substantial shift for the South Korean corporation toward operations that are centered on artificial intelligence.

PhnyX Lab was officially inaugurated on April 23 at the Rosewood Sandhill Hotel, a hub that symbolizes the innovative spirit of Silicon Valley. Under the leadership of Hojeong Lee, CEO of SK Networks, PhnyX Lab has a mission to democratize AI technology and lead what they call the ‘Civilization of Humanity.’ This new venture aims to integrate and expand SK Networks’ AI capabilities globally.

The AI development lab, staffed by a highly qualified team including researchers from Stanford University and graduates with master’s and bachelor’s degrees, is poised to spearhead several ambitious AI projects. The team’s primary goal is to develop AI-driven products and solutions that can be integrated across SK Networks and its subsidiaries. Their efforts will focus on AI technology development, service verification, market testing, and incorporating globally advanced technologies into their processes.

President and COO Sunghwan Choi, who was present at the launch, emphasized the strategic importance of PhnyX Lab, highlighting its potential to enhance SK Networks‘ competitive edge in the global AI landscape. According to Choi, the lab is not just a research facility but a launchpad for developing business models and strategies that leverage AI to solve real-world problems. He also mentioned plans to use PhnyX Lab to strengthen SK Networks’ foothold in the U.S. market and facilitate the AI development of various partner companies.

Expanding AI Portfolio

SK Networks’ shift towards AI is not new. In recent years, the company has been aggressively investing in technologies and startups that align with its vision for an AI-driven future.

Notable AI investments include Humane, an AI-based device startup, Sabanto, a company specializing in unmanned tractor automation, and, a smart farming startup. Last year, SK Networks expanded its AI portfolio by acquiring Encore, a leading data management solutions provider. Additionally, earlier this year, the company invested in Upstage, a significant player in the private Large Language Models (LLM) market.

These strategic moves are part of a broader plan to triple operating profits by 2026, integrating AI into major ventures like SK Magic, Encore, and Walkerhill. This ambitious goal was announced at the Annual General Meeting for Institutional Investors held last February.

During his recent business trip to the U.S., President Choi also engaged in strategic meetings with top AI technology firms and discussed potential business and investment collaborations. These meetings are expected to pave the way for future partnerships and innovations.

With the launch of PhnyX Lab, SK Networks is reinforcing its commitment to leading the charge in AI development, aiming to create a more interconnected and intelligent global business ecosystem. The company’s strategic pivot to AI would reflect a broader trend of traditional industries embracing digital transformation to stay competitive in an increasingly technology-driven world.

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