Microsoft-backed OpenAI Expands, Opens Tokyo Office

OpenAI expands into Asia, offering a new version of GPT-4 optimized for Japanese business users

Ben Wodecki, Jr. Editor

April 18, 2024

2 Min Read
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OpenAI is expanding into Asia as the Microsoft-backed maker of ChatGPT announced the opening of a new office in Tokyo, Japan.

Former AWS executive Tadao Nagasaki will lead the company’s Asia effort as president of OpenAI Japan. Nagasaki was previously president of AWS Japan.

To meet the demands of its new location, OpenAI announced the release of a custom GPT-4 model optimized for the Japanese language. This custom version generates Japanese text up to three times faster than GPT-4 Turbo, OpenAI’s most powerful large language model.

Speak, a Japanese-based English learning app is among the early users, with OpenAI suggesting it generates nearly three times faster tutor explanations.

Local users will get early access to the model, which will get a wider launch via the OpenAI API in the coming months.

Credit: OpenAI

OpenAI chose Japan as its first Asian home “for its global leadership in technology, culture of service and a community that embraces innovation.”

“We’re excited to be in Japan which has a rich history of people and technology coming together to do more,” said Sam Altman, OpenAI’s CEO. “We believe AI will accelerate work by empowering people to be more creative and productive, while also delivering broad value to current and new industries that have yet to be imagined.”

Related:OpenAI Teases New Voice Engine, Stops Short of Full Release

OpenAI is headquartered in San Francisco and already has offices in Dublin and London.

OpenAI said its expansion into Asia brings the company closer to local users, including the likes of Daikin, Rakuten and Toyota Connected who are already using ChatGPT Enterprise.

“Growing our presence across the world allows us to learn from a wide range of diverse perspectives, which is critical to our mission of ensuring artificial general intelligence benefits all of humanity,” the company said.

Strategic partner Microsoft announced its own research lab in Tokyo last week as part of a $2.9 billion investment to boost Japan's cloud and AI infrastructure.

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ChatGPT / Generative AI

About the Author(s)

Ben Wodecki

Jr. Editor

Ben Wodecki is the Jr. Editor of AI Business, covering a wide range of AI content. Ben joined the team in March 2021 as assistant editor and was promoted to Jr. Editor. He has written for The New Statesman, Intellectual Property Magazine, and The Telegraph India, among others. He holds an MSc in Digital Journalism from Middlesex University.

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