Japan’s SoftBank to Develop Own Generative AI Platform

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
Masayoshi Son, Softbank Group Corp. chairman and CEO, is seen speaking in an image from a general shareholders meeting streamed online on June 21.

Major mobile network provider Softbank Corp. is set to develop the company’s own generative artificial intelligence platform, with an eye on offering services to corporate clients.

The company will invest about ¥20 billion in a supercomputer that is crucial for processing the information that a generative AI platform requires. The machine will use microchips made by U.S.-based Nvidia Corp., known for making high-performance semiconductors that are used for many generative AI programs. The two companies have been collaborating in several areas including telecommunications. Once completed, the supercomputer is expected to have the highest level of information processing capabilities in Japan.

Softbank has already introduced generative AI at its call centers to assist their customer support services. The company aims to make the platform a new source of revenue by providing other companies with AI services that have a higher level of accuracy.

At a general shareholders meeting on June 20, SoftBank President and Chief Executive Officer Junichi Miyakawa announced that the company would accelerate efforts to develop its own generative AI, saying “Given the recent advancement and growth of AI, I believe we should actively work on the technology.”

Softbank’s parent company Softbank Group Corp. also has been strengthening relevant AI businesses. “I hope that the entire group will lead the AI revolution.” said Chairman and CEO Masayoshi Son at a general shareholders meeting on June 21.