KDDI forged a capital and business alliance with AI start-up Elyza, with the aim of launching a generative AI (GenAI) platform using the newcomer’s large language models (LLMs).

In a statement the operator explained Elyza, launched by professors at the University of Tokyo, will become a consolidated subsidiary of KDDI by 1 April, with the operator owning a 43 per cent stake and KDDI Digital Divergence holding a 10 per cent interest.

Its latest LLM was released last week and is claimed to have 70 billion parameters, the highest in Japan.

The partnership will combine Elyza’s LLM research and development capabilities in Japan with KDDI Group’s computing infrastructure, network resources and other assets to accelerate the use of GenAI, the statement noted.

KDDI explained the venture is developing three types of service it plans to introduce to companies and local governments in the coming months: a Japanese-language general-purpose LLM using an open model; domain-specific LLM; and digital transformation support and AI SaaS using GenAI.

Elyza has conducted research and development on LLMs since 2019 and started developing a general-purpose LLM since the appearance of ChatGPT in 2022. It released LLMs with 7 billion parameters and 13 billion parameters in a form that can be used commercially.