SoftBank boss calls for AI to be taught in Japanese schools

Telegraph 17 Dec 2019 03:37

The head of Japanese technology conglomerate SoftBank has called for artificial intelligence (AI) to become a mandatory subject in Japan to help the country keep up with American and Chinese technology.

Masayoshi Son, who oversees SoftBank’s $100bn (£76bn) Vision Fund, which has backed a series of AI companies along with businesses including Uber and WeWork, told government employees and scientists on Tuesday that he wants to help Japan compete with other countries.

“Japan has lost the past, but it may be losing the future,” Mr Son said on Tuesday.

The investor told the Moonshot conference that AI should be included in college entrance exams to encourage students to study the subject, Bloomberg reported.

“If we can achieve this, the result will be amazing,” he said.

Japan was listed as ninth in the world for AI usage and development in a recent ranking of countries produced by media company Tortoise. The same ranking saw the UK listed in third place behind the US and China.

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