AI developments in Japan

artificial-intelligence intelligent-manufacturing
Counsellor for Science, Technology and Innovation
Teppo Turkki
+81 80 4149 1958
teppo.turkki@businessfinland.fi
Japan, like Finland, compared to USA and China has been seen as a bit latecomer in AI. One reason is that Japan has for decades been a top hardware-oriented industrial country which is producing mainly material objects. But today Japanese government is moving rapidly towards AI.

In Japan the focus areas are eg. machine learning, cognitive computing and neural networks. And as a matter in fact AI has been already a basis for many Japanese technologies: high-quality data obtained in the industrial sites has long been collected and utilized to improve the productivity, which characterizes strong potential. Japanese autoindustry is using intelligence not only for powering self-driving cars but also to change the industrial production. In game industry and popular culture intelligent data has been used for years. In one of the Japan’s strong area like in robotics AI and machine learning are fundamental for the non-industrial robots and humanoids. Robotics is one of the domains in which we can expect major future developments because Japan has world’s biggest industrial robot makers and industry. AI has also strong role in creating new businesses. Japan is also focusing on health-care in finding personal medicine and new treatments.

Japanese government established an "Artificial Intelligence Technology Strategy Council" in 2016 and  "Artificial Intelligence Technology Strategy" was formulated in March 2017, which focuses on promoting AI development and developing phases and priorities for industrialization including productivity, healthcare, and mobility. In June 2018 Japanese government decided that AI will also become an official part of Japans' integrated innovation strategy. Japan will work to increase young researchers in the AI field and funds to AI fields. Another element of the strategy is to unify data formats and standards throughout various industries to enhance the ability to utilize big data techniques in Japan. The AI development is progressing with the cooperation of industry, government and academia.

The cooperative relationship between Japan and Finland on AI will create strengths for both countries.