SoftBank chief wants AI on Japanese school agenda - Mobile World Live

SoftBank chief wants AI on Japanese school agenda

17 DEC 2019

Masayoshi Son, chairman and CEO of SoftBank, maintained a recent focus on AI, arguing Japanese authorities must prioritise education in the subject to address what he believes is a loss of leadership to China and the US.

Specifically, Son said AI should be a compulsory subject for Japanese students seeking to enter higher education, arguing they would not voluntarily select the topic without such a requirement, Reuters reported.

During a government conference, Son said Japan “may be losing the future”, the news agency stated, citing concerns about growing disparity in the number of patents relating to AI filed by companies in the US, China and Japan, along with GDP-related worries.

To bridge the gap, the nation must prioritise development of the technology for use in connected vehicles and healthcare, areas Reuters noted SoftBank’s Vision Fund already invests in.

However, Son appeared less concerned about the advantage already claimed by the US, with the news agency reporting he was keen to make full use of an existing close relationship with the country to help rebuild Japan’s leading position in tech development.

Son’s comments follow a move by SoftBank earlier this month to collaborate on the creation of an AI research institute with The University of Tokyo, which the company stated would bring “top-level” researchers from domestic and international universities together to conduct “fundamental research” into the technology.



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