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NEC Unveils New Business Strategy Focused on Advancing and Broadening Generative AI

NEC Corporation is set to launch an enhanced version of its lightweight large language model (LLM) in spring 2024, aiming to create an optimal environment for the use of generative artificial intelligence (AI) tailored to individual customer businesses. This development is expected to significantly broaden the scope of operations transformation across various industries, including healthcare, finance, local governments, and manufacturing. NEC plans to focus on developing specialized models to drive business transformation, promoting generative AI adoption from individual companies to entire industries through managed application programming interface (API) services.

The enhanced LLM has doubled its high-quality training data, outperforming top-class LLMs in Japan and abroad in a comparative evaluation of Japanese dialogue skills. It can handle up to 300,000 Japanese characters, enabling its use for diverse operations involving extensive document volumes, such as internal and external business manuals.

NEC is also working on a “new architecture” to create AI models by flexibly combining models based on input data and tasks. The goal is to establish a scalable foundation model that can expand the number of parameters and extend functionality. This model can be scalable from small to large without performance degradation, allowing flexible integration with various AI models, including specialized ones for legal or medical purposes, and models from other companies and partners. Its small size and low power consumption make it suitable for installation in edge devices. Additionally, by combining NEC’s image recognition, audio processing, and sensing technologies, the LLMs can process a variety of real-world events with high accuracy and autonomy.



NEC Launches New AI Business Strategy with the Enhancement and Expansion of Generative AI
NEC Launches New AI Business Strategy with the Enhancement and Expansion of Generative AI

In parallel, NEC has initiated the development of a large-scale model with 100 billion parameters, surpassing the conventional 13 billion parameters. These efforts aim to achieve sales of approximately 50 billion yen over the next three years from NEC’s generative AI-related business.

Generative AI development and use have accelerated rapidly, with companies and public institutions examining business reforms using various language models. While demand for such reforms is expected to increase, challenges remain, including the need for prompt engineering to instruct AI accurately, security aspects such as information leakage and vulnerability, and business data coordination during implementation and operation.

Since the launch of the NEC Generative AI Service in July 2023, NEC has utilized the NEC Inzai Data Center to provide a low-latency and secure LLM environment. The company has built and provided customer-specific “individual company models” and “business-specific models” ahead of the industry using NEC-developed LLM, accumulating valuable know-how. NEC plans to leverage this expertise to offer LLM consisting of a scalable foundation model and an optimal environment for using generative AI according to customer business needs.

### Generative AI Business Strategy

1. **Three-Stage Development:** The generative AI business will be developed in three stages through managed API services, including building industry- and business-specific models targeting individual companies, incorporating these models into business packages and solutions, and developing business packages and solutions through partnerships with companies.

2. **Strengthening Structure:** NEC is strengthening the structure of technology development and sales activities. The company has established the NEC Generative AI Hub and the Digital Trust Promotion Management Department. “Ambassadors” have been appointed to promote the generative AI business from the corporate sales department, providing customers in various industries with optimal generative AI solutions.

3. **Partner Collaboration:** NEC is collaborating with partners to provide secure and reliable LLM. The LLM Risk Assessment Project, in collaboration with Robust Intelligence, aims to provide industry- and business-specific models that have been risk-assessed according to global standards.

As NEC continues to pioneer new AI innovations, the company will consult with customers to enhance value, expand services and functions, and provide safe and secure generative AI services and solutions for addressing customer challenges.

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