The government plans to set up new hubs for artificial intelligence (AI) applications by 2018 through collaboration among the government, industry, and academia. This project will employ AI and robots in the development stage in production machinery, nursing care equipment, and so forth to gauge how they can be applied for practical use.
The promotion of the “information technology revolution,” which aims at enhancing productivity through AI and the Internet of Things (IoT), is the pillar of the government’s growth strategy. The government plans to make the new hubs the “tactical teams” for Japan’s AI research with tens of billions of yen of funding.
One of the new hubs will be located in Kashiwa City, Chiba Prefecture, on land owned by the University of Tokyo. It will be called the “Kashiwa Hub,” which will be a research facility focused on practical applications.
The National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) facility of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry in the Tokyo Waterfront City (Rinkai Fukutoshin) will be expanded to create the “Rinkai Hub” for experimentation on robots and other devices equipped with AI.
The Kashiwa Hub will create the basic models of AI for manufacturing, life support, and other purposes based on commissions from companies. These basic models will be brought to the Rinkai Hub’s model factories, houses, nursing care units, and other facilities for testing and improvement.
The accumulation of data will help improve the precision of AI for use in the development of products and services. Major companies and new businesses will be invited to participate in these projects.