Nvidia Corp plans to help build an artificial intelligence (AI) tech-related ecosystem in Japan to meet demand in a country eager to gain an edge in this emerging technology.
The US company will seek to partner with Japanese research organizations, companies and start-ups to build factories for AI, Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang (黃仁勳) said yesterday during opening remarks in a meeting with Japanese Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Yasutoshi Nishimura.
The company is to set up an AI research laboratory, and invest in local start-ups and educate the public on using AI, Huang said.
Photo: Ann Wang, Reuters
Huang earlier this week met with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and promised to do his best to prioritize Japan, local news reports said.
Tokyo is trying to regain tech leadership by leveraging its expertise in materials science and chipmaking tools, and by supplying billions of dollars in subsidies to ramp up local production of cutting-edge semiconductors. However, it has largely missed out on the lion’s share of profits related to generative AI so far. Huang said that Japan could build its own AI ecosystem.
“Japan has all of the technical expertise, the industrial capability to create your own artificial intelligence right here in Japan,” Huang told Nishimura, adding that the East Asian nation has decades of expertise in megatronics, manufacturing and robotics.
Japan can build its own AI infrastructure, harnessing Japanese data to create its own AI, he said.
Nvidia supplies chips to Japanese companies, including Softbank Corp, NEC Corp, Nippon Telegraph & Telephone Corp’s mobile and data services arms, as well as Sakura Internet Inc and Mitsui & Co, Huang said.
“For Japan to develop its own generative AI, we need Nvidia’s GPUs [graphics processing units]. We cannot do it without collaborating,” Nishimura said. “I’d like to see Japan lead the world in innovation through deepened partnership with Nvidia.”
Separately, Singapore plans to triple its pool of AI experts, including machine-learning scientists and engineers, to 15,000, as part of its national AI strategy, Singaporean Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong (黃循財) said on Monday.
The Southeast Asian nation of 5.45 million, which is home to the Asian headquarters of global tech giants, such as Google owner Alphabet Inc and Microsoft Corp, said it would also work to boost its available high-performance computing resources by securing access through partnerships with chipmakers and cloud service providers.
Nvidia revenue for the quarter that ended in October included US$2.7 billion that originated from Singapore, trailing only the US, China and Taiwan, a company filing to the US Securities and Exchange Commission showed.
Singapore also pledged under its AI strategy to increase government incentives for the sector, including by backing accelerator programs for AI start-ups and encouraging companies to set up AI “centers of excellence,” ramp up local AI training programs and operate a supply of GPUs to be available to the country’s researchers.
Additional reporting by Reuters
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