Grab co-founder Tan Hooi Ling revealed that the firm plans to invest US$150 million into artificial intelligence research over the next year, according to The Straits Times (ST).
This will beef up its ‘superapp’ services that include food delivery, digital payments, and digital lifestyle content, with improvements to its existing fraud prevention and natural language processing (NLP) technology.
In an interview with Bloomberg TV at the Sooner Than You Think tech conference in Singapore, she said that the ride-hailing company has previously invested US$100 million in the technology.
They are working with Microsoft to deliver better NLP and making their ride-hailing, food delivery, and digital payments “even more tailored and accessible to users in the various markets”.
She was quoted saying that the firm wants to “go from AI-powered to AI everywhere”, noting that successful tech companies have built “great platforms that are very localised to the problem they’re trying to solve”.
For Grab, “localised languages in South-east Asia are very undeserved”, she shared.
But Ms Tan emphasised that Grab remains committed to meeting customers’ most immediate needs and “won’t just build AI for the sake of AI”.
Grab is “very much on track” to match or exceed forecasts of US$2 billion in revenue for the year, she concluded.
The ride-hailing giant has recently announced its plans to invest US$500 million in Vietnam over the next five years.
The firm is definitely making plenty of headway to strengthen its hold in the region as rival Gojek continues to play catch-up.
Featured Image Credit: Grab