SoftBank Launches New AI Research Lab to Develop Japanese Language Models

SoftBank Corp., one of Japan’s leading technology companies, has announced the launch of a new subsidiary company dedicated to the research and development of homegrown large language models (LLMs) specialized for the Japanese language. The new company, named SB Intuitions Corp. (“SB Intuitions”), will also develop, market and provide generative AI services based on Japanese LLMs to customers in various industries.

LLMs are advanced AI systems that can process and generate natural language texts, such as GPT-3 and BERT. They have been used for various applications, such as chatbots, text summarization, content creation, and natural language understanding. However, most of the existing LLMs are based on English or other languages, and there is a lack of LLMs that can handle the unique characteristics and nuances of the Japanese language.

SB Intuitions aims to fill this gap by developing LLMs that are tailored to the needs of Japan-based customers and can handle the complex grammar, vocabulary, and cultural aspects of the Japanese language. SB Intuitions will leverage SoftBank’s extensive data resources, computing platform, and business network to create high-quality and secure LLMs and generative AI services.

According to Hironobu Tamba, the president of SB Intuitions, the company’s vision is to “create a world where anyone can easily use generative AI that understands Japanese.” He added that “by developing LLMs specialized for Japanese, we can provide more value and convenience to our customers and society.”

SB Intuitions is part of SoftBank’s broader strategy to promote the utilization of AI and realize its corporate philosophy of “Information Revolution — Happiness for everyone.” SoftBank has been investing in various AI initiatives, such as its Vision Fund, which backs AI startups around the world; its partnership with OpenAI, a leading AI research organization; and its own AI division, which develops AI solutions for SoftBank’s businesses.

SB Intuitions was first established as a preparatory company on March 27, 2023, and changed its name to SB Intuitions on August 1, 2023. The company has a paid-in capital of JPY 150 million and is 100% owned by SoftBank Corp.

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