On the Future of Artificial Intelligence as a Business Game Changer

Photo_CH Yu and Nobuyuki Idei_resized

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been trending since August, with interest in the hot topic spiking even higher following a release from MEXT (Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology) announcing the allocation of 10 billion Japanese yen to build a research center dedicated to Artificial Intelligence. Despite the trend toward broader applications – Nikkei Big Data just recently published a special 100-page feature titled Everything You Wanted to Know about AI – Artificial Intelligence in Japan remains almost exclusively the purview of robot R&D.

At a special occasion held on September 25 at Academy Hills in Tokyo, Chih-Han Yu, CEO and co-founder of Appier, and Nobuyuki Idei (出井伸之), former chairman of Sony Group and current CEO of Quantum Leap, came together to discuss at length The Future of Artificial Intelligence as a Cutting-edge Technology for Businesses.

During the forward-looking discussion, the two CEOs delved into how AI and Big Data are changing the way we do business, especially in the areas of advertising and marketing.

Yu said the implications for AI are far-reaching, and that AI will soon help businesses make smarter decisions, personalize information, and decide on a course of action through real-time intelligent analysis of feedback. Elaborating further, Yu described how AI’s built-in learning mechanism would allow for continuous self-improvement, leading businesses straight to the best solution every time.

Applying AI to the mainstream business model won’t happen overnight, but as Yu pointed out, Appier has already harnessed the power of AI to create highly accurate prediction models that help marketers gain insight into cross-screen user behaviors, giving them the inside information they need to achieve their business goals.

Yu takes pride in his accomplishments in robotics. He has researched and developed several prototypes in projects at Stanford and Harvard, including four-legged robots and transformers. He was also on the Stanford University team that developed the winner of the 2005 DARPA Grand Challenge. The self-driving vehicle has since gone on to gain worldwide fame as the Google Self-Driving Car.

Idei has been credited with making SONY a household name in the 1990s, and overseeing SONY Group’s greatest period of growth. He has also been a leading figure in the development of Japan’s IT strategy, laying the foundation of Japan’s Information Technology Basic Law.