SoftBank explains AI plans to shareholders

Telecom giant SoftBank is spending big on artificial intelligence as part of an ambitious push into the fast-evolving sector.

On Thursday, the president and CEO has shared some of the specifics of the Japanese firm's plans with shareholders.

Miyakawa Junichi said that Softbank and Microsoft are jointly working on an AI system to automate call centers.

He said the firm is also investing heavily in data centers, which provide the vast computational power needed to develop and operate generative AI.

SoftBank plans to build one such data center in an LCD panel factory in Osaka Prefecture. The company has an agreement to buy the plant from a subsidiary of Sharp.

Miyakawa said it usually takes 5 to 6 years to build a data center, but the Osaka plant will expedite the process. He said: " With the new data center, we can start operations early. We can support the fast-growing needs of an AI data center."

He also said the company is spending a huge amount of money on a computing platform for generative AI.