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Line introduces cloud AI virtual assistant

Tyrone Stewart

Line, the Japanese subsidiary of the Korean internet search company Naver, has unveiled its first cloud AI at Mobile World Congress.

The AI named ‘Clova’, which is short for ‘Cloud Virtual Assistant’, can recognise voices, faces, actions, and more, because its interface ‘is like a human’s senses’. This interface is powered by its ‘brain’ – which uses the interfaces attributes to optimise content and services.

“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 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.”

The first Clova-integrated products are scheduled to be released in Japan and Korea this summer. These will be the Clova app and a smart speaker called ‘Wave’. Wave will work much like an Amazon Echo or a Google Home device and enable people in Asia to call up a range of information – such as weather and news – and control lighting or other aspects of their homes.

Line says that following Clova’s release in Korea and Japan, it will expand to more of its territories and also to the rest of the world.