Japan’s Artificial Intelligence Technology Strategy

Jun 13, 2020 | Srivats Shankar

Japan’s Strategic Council for Artificial Intelligence Technology prepares a report on the country’s technology strategy

Japan’s Strategic Council for Artificial Intelligence Technology has prepared a report on the country’s technology strategy for AI.

The report discusses the current state of technology, what the government plans to do to promote AI, provides an industrial roadmap, approaches to research and development, and follow-up of different strategies. The report acknowledges that the current state of AI in Japan falls short of the discourse in the United States and China. Accordingly, it recommends that in order to leverage the high volumes of data developed as a result of the growth of information technology, the state should encourage the growth of the internet of things and the local industrial growth or monozukuri. They highlight the needs to invest in researchers and engineers who specialize in the field.

In order to promote the growth of AI the report highlights different mechanisms that need to be developed. First, different ministries of the government should engage in “public-private dialogue” to further the growth of AI with the establishment of a “Strategic Council” that would serve as a “controlled power” to facilitate discourse between different ministries and private entities, particularly five state agencies that relate to national research and development that fall within the ambit of the following ministries – Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications; Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology; and Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.

It would rely on research develop through the Center for Information and Neural Networks, Universal Communication Research Institute, RIKEN Center for Advanced Intelligence Project, and the Artificial Intelligence Research Center.

The report appears to have a focus on industrialization and provides a roadmap on how the development of AI can improve this area. The development of new services and products to resolve “social issues” takes the center. The priority as defined by the report is to address social issues, stimulate and economic ripple effect, and setup expectations for the technology. The roadmap envisions utilizing AI in different sectors in order to facilitate growth in public use. In order to mobilize the technology, the report recommends maximizing its implementation in specified areas like Health Care, mobility, information security, research and development, and environmental maintenance among others.

It provides a clear overview, including phases through which the development of the technology is likely to see in order to reach long-term goals that could benefit society. Many of the specific sectors identified also contain specific timelines to achieve particular goals – for example, mobility envisions that by the year 2030 the growth of a framework to achieve near zero accident rate can be a reality.

Among the different guidelines we have seen, the Japanese discourse is not really specific but lays down clear technical guidelines for how to reach a particular goal in the long run through application and specificity.

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Artificial General Intelligence

/ˌɑːtɪfɪʃl ˈdʒɛn(ə)r(ə)l ɪnˈtelɪɡəns/

Artificial Intelligence

/ˌɑːtɪfɪʃl ɪnˈtelɪɡəns/

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