Telecom giant Nippon Telegraph and Telephone will launch a business-use generative artificial intelligence platform in March, in an effort to catch up with foreign rivals in the fast-expanding market.

The AI platform has higher Japanese language processing capabilities than ChatGPT, a widely used AI chatbot developed by U.S.-based OpenAI, NTT said earlier in the month.

The new AI model, called tsuzumi, named after a Japanese hand drum used in traditional events, can read documents containing charts and diagrams.

NTT said it aims for annual sales of over ¥100 billion ($670 million) in this AI platform business by 2027.

"The market size will grow bigger and bigger as many companies compete with each other," NTT President Akira Shimada said during a news conference in early November.

Among Japanese tech companies, NEC rolled out a generative AI platform for corporate customers in July, while Hitachi started a new service in June to help companies introduce generative AI.

SoftBank set up in March a subsidiary to develop Japanese language generative AI platforms.

NTT's AI model has shown solid performance in trial demonstrations, such as unifying data in electronic health records and summarizing the content of conversations at call centers, the company said.