Softbank, Univ. of Tokyo to set up AI tech research lab next spring

By: Makoto Gonokami

Under their plan to establish the “Beyond AI Institute,” the university will develop AI technologies with top-level Japanese and foreign researchers while SoftBank will provide about 20 billion yen ($184 million) over the next 10 years and business opportunities to earn more returns for further research and development activities, they said.

SoftBank Group Corp., the parent firm of the mobile phone service provider, has been known to be eager to invest in AI-related tech startups, such as Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and U.S. ride-hailing service operator Uber Technologies Inc., with its nearly $100 billion Vision Fund.

“We would like to combine fundamental research and business by providing funds,” SoftBank Group Chairman and CEO Masayoshi Son said at a press conference in Tokyo.

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