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Japan's Government Does Not Fear AI

by Ed Lauder
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Japan's Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, told an audience at CeBIT that his government is not affraid of AI and that it can actually lead to Japan's growth.

Artificial intelligence is still a relatively unknown entity. People aren't sure whether to embrace it or be afraid of the new technology. However, governments across the world are leaning towards the former. The British government recently announced their plans to invest £17 million into the development of AI. France recently announced their plan, called France IA, to help them become a world leader in the field. The European Commission is looking at the possibility of developing an AI-on-demand platform. Now, the Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, informed the audience at the CeBIT technology trade show in Hannover that they are not scared of AI, and that it could lead to growth in Japan.

"Machines equipped with AI, or machines that are essentially robots no longer perform only narrow … functions … the machines of tomorrow will be tasked with solving … (a) multitude of challenges," Abe told an audience at the CeBIT technology trade show in Hannover, Germany, on Sunday (via CNBC).

"Japan has no fear of AI. Machines will snatch away jobs? Such worries are not known to Japan. Japan aims to be the very first to prove that growth is possible through innovation, even when a population declines," the Prime Minister said. Japan's already one of the world leaders in robotics, therefore, their foray into AI was to be expected. Fujitsu's already developing a deep learning supercomputer for the Japanese research institute RIKEN, specifically to look into AI technologies.

Germany's Chancellor, Angela Merkel, also had a few words to say at CeBIT about artificial intelligence, yet she placed more emphasis upon education and the importance of making sure that the next generation is properly prepared for the digital future. "It is our obligation to explain to our citizens that the state is offering them the options of making use of digital potentials that we will empower them to do that," Merkel said. "The task for us is to push digitisation and move it forward and to explain to our people what value add is in all of that."


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