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Artificial intelligence (AI) in Japan - statistics and facts

Artificial intelligence (AI) is a technology that is becoming more and more important for developed economies. This development is reflected by global AI software revenues, which are expected to increase strongly in the coming years. In Japan, as well, artificial intelligence is seen by many as key to future developments. The Japanese government considers AI one of the central elements that will contribute to “Society 5.0”, a vision of society in which the physical space and cyberspace are increasingly interconnected. The anticipation surrounding AI has led to increased research activities both among institutions and private enterprises. The number of AI-related patent applications recorded by the Japan Patent Office has grown strongly since 2014, leading up to what has been called Japan’s third AI boom.

Artificial intelligence and the economy

Among the leading companies based on the number of AI-related patent applications are many of Japan’s major technology corporations, such as Nippon Telegraph and Telephone (NTT), Fujitsu, Hitachi, Canon, or Fanuc. Many of the companies engaging in related research are active in the automotive, robotics, and electronics industries, where artificial intelligence is expected to contribute significantly to applicable areas such as autonomous driving or industrial automation. Artificial intelligence also plays a vital role in smart devices and smart home technology, which are supposed to make people’s daily lives easier and to enhance the energy efficiency of products. As one of Japan’s leading companies, Toyota has garnered attention with its “Woven City” project, a smart city prototype where new technologies, such as AI, can be implemented for research purposes.

Attitudes of citizens

As is the case with many new technologies, people have different attitudes toward the changes those new technologies will bring with them. Since artificial intelligence is expected to perform many tasks that hitherto have been performed by humans, one major concern of citizens is related to the question of its effect on employment in Japan. One important factor to consider in this regard is the future demographic development, as the population is expected to age even further and to shrink significantly in the coming decades. While a clear majority of Japanese managers at listed companies state that implementing AI is necessary to maintain Japan’s international competitiveness and to secure the labor force, a decrease of employment remains one of the most common concerns with regard to the utilization of artificial intelligence among general survey respondents.

Interesting statistics

In the following 5 chapters, you will quickly find the 28 most important statistics relating to "Artificial intelligence (AI) in Japan".


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