Government to fund generative AI developments in Japan

Japan's government is setting aside funds to support local development of generative artificial intelligence software.

Competition in the field is intensifying and the government says it wants to advance the technology in Japan to match rivals like ChatGPT in the US.

Japanese Industry Minister Saito Ken said "Japan's government will speed up the development capabilities for artificial intelligence so that the nation can continue to innovate into the future."

Specifically, the industry ministry will provide 8.4 billion yen, or more than 56 million dollars, to help fund AI initiatives at seven organizations in the country. These include start-up companies and a university.

The ministry says the recipients will be provided with six-months free access to the cloud services of US technology giant Google.

This will be funded by the ministry to access the massive amounts of data needed to train generative AI systems known as large language models.

Organizations receiving the government cash aim to develop large language models that support Japanese.

Such AI technology will have various industrial applications, including use in fully automated driving.