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  • Yoon Su-hyeon

[Feature] AskUp For Anything

No.163 / Apr 17, 2023

With the rise of Chat Generative Pre-Trained Transformer (ChatGPT), many technology companies have attempted to launch human-like Artificial Intelligence (AI) chatbots to catch up. While big boys such as Microsoft are participating in this game with their new search engine Bing, a Korean start-up company has thrown down the gauntlet. On March 5, the up-and-coming AI company Upstage released its newest chatbot service AskUp to the public. AskUp was initially developed for the internal use of the company. Afterward, however, it expanded to mobile messengers such as KakaoTalk and Line with the paradigm shift in the AI ecosystem.

Along with the chatbot service based on their interwork with ChatGPT, which answers whatever you ask for, the company is eagerly promoting another function of their service called Optimal Character Recognition (OCR) technology. OCR is the electronic or mechanical conversion of images of typed, handwritten, or printed text into machine-encoded text, whether from a scanned document, photo of a document, scene photo, or from subtitle text superimposed on an image. With this, users can translate, research, or even make documents out of the pictures they send on their messenger. It is almost as if the AI itself has human eyes attached to it.

With rising expectations for the OCR service and its specialized Korean communication skills, it has already gained over 350 thousand subscribers through Kakao Talk within only 18 days of launching as of March 23. To celebrate this, Upstage has updated its search engine to serve newly updated information, unlike ChatGPT, which only provides information that existed before 2021. Upstage plans to apply the company’s various technologies to its service, such as “Seargest (recommendation + search)” technology. Through this, the function of recommending necessary content during past conversations is applied. For example, if users ask questions like “Where was the place that I had barbecue dinner last fall?” it will answer after searching up previous conversations.

Furthermore, Upstage unveiled the business version of AskUp to the global community on March 20. It introduced a service aimed at increasing work efficiency and satisfaction of companies by optimizing them according to the business environment. AskUp Biz consists of three types: AskUp Doc, which can read various documents and obtain information with Chat AI; AskUp Web, which can provide homepage information to visitors through Chat AI; and AskUp Slack, a work tool. Accordingly, it has drawn keen attention.

“AskUp is a service that shows the possibility of communication and collaboration between AI and humans”, said Kim Sung-hoon, CEO of Upstage. “We will take the lead in popularizing AI by lowering the hurdles of using it in our daily lives.”


By Yoon Su-hyeon, AG Cub Reporter

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