SK Telecom (SKT) injected $10 million into US-based generative AI (genAI) search engine start-up Perplexity, with an eye to improving its personal assistant services.

As part of the deal, SKT will provide local language data to fine-tune Perplexity’s large language model and improve search results in Korean.

The pair signed a strategic partnership at MWC Barcelona 2024 to bring Perplexity’s AI search engine into SK Telecom’s A. personal assistant.

In a statement, SKT noted Perplexity also agreed to invest in Global AI Platform Co (GAP Co), a company the operator established in Silicon Valley in 2023 to develop AI search services.

SKT plans to launch a subscription-based search service called Perplexity Pro, which will initially be free for a year.

The operator has a portfolio of 13 AI-related investments and has taken a number of steps to reposition itself as an AI company.

It invested in Anthropic in August 2023.