The government announced the details of multi-ministry measures regarding artificial intelligence (AI) to be included in the second 2016 supplementary budget. AI will be introduced into agricultural operations to help support the next generation of farmers in farming communities that have specialized knowledge and production techniques. The shipbuilding industry will automate welding operations using AI. AI is expected to help improve productivity and overcome labor shortages in industries where production currently depends on aging workers.
AI is creating positive changes in Japan’s financial and information-communication sectors. It is hoped that the introduction of AI technology in other areas will accelerate the country’s economic growth. The supplementary budget plan that provides funds for the recently formulated economic measures will be submitted to the fall Diet session. Some of the measures will be included in the draft budget request for FY 2017 to follow up on the program.
In order to merge AI technology with Japan’s traditional craftsmanship, the government will establish a center for industry, academia and government to coordinate research and development of AI, as well as its introduction into society. The core institution will be built in Kashiwa City, Chiba Prefecture. Robot research will be concentrated in the Tokyo waterfront area, near the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology. (Abridged)
Main points of AI-related measures
- Analyze know-how and techniques of veteran farmers using AI, and establish a system in which a novice farmer can learn farming in a short period of time.
- Improve productivity of shipbuilding industry by supporting technological innovations such as auto-welding robots.
- Actively incorporate most advanced technology into civil engineering surveys and design and development of new medicine.
- Encourage new types of business by creating an environment where AI-related information accumulated by government agencies can be accessed nationwide.
- Promote merging of AI technology and Japanese craftsmanship by creating a center for cooperative research and application among industry, academia, and government.