OpenAI Bids for Japan Business as It Opens Tokyo Office 

Journalists are silhouetted at OpenAI’s press conference about the opening of its first Asia office in Tokyo, Japan April 15, 2024. (Reuters)
Journalists are silhouetted at OpenAI’s press conference about the opening of its first Asia office in Tokyo, Japan April 15, 2024. (Reuters)
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OpenAI Bids for Japan Business as It Opens Tokyo Office 

Journalists are silhouetted at OpenAI’s press conference about the opening of its first Asia office in Tokyo, Japan April 15, 2024. (Reuters)
Journalists are silhouetted at OpenAI’s press conference about the opening of its first Asia office in Tokyo, Japan April 15, 2024. (Reuters)

Microsoft backed artificial intelligence startup OpenAI made a pitch for business in Japan on Monday as it opened its first Asia office in Tokyo.

"This is just the first step in what I hope will be a long-term partnership with the people of Japan, government leaders, businesses and research institutions," OpenAI CEO Sam Altman said in a video message.

The startup, which has caused excitement among consumers since the launch of its ChatGPT generative AI chatbot in late 2022, is looking to grow new sources of revenue globally.

Altman and Chief Operating Officer Brad Lightcap have hosted hundreds of Fortune 500 company executives in the United States and Britain this month to pitch for business, Reuters has reported.

Last year Altman said he was considering a Japan location after meeting Prime Minister Fumio Kishida. The startup has also opened offices in London and Dublin.

Japan hopes to take advantage of AI as it looks to compete with an increasingly assertive China, accelerate the shift to digital services and alleviate deepening labor shortages.

"We have a backlog of demand," Lightcap told reporters in Tokyo, adding that "we expect a meaningful contribution from Japan over time," without providing details.

OpenAI said it has a custom model optimized for the Japanese language and that Tadao Nagasaki, who was president of Amazon Web Services in Japan, is heading the Japan business.

While the country is seen as a laggard in the technology, local companies including telcos SoftBank and NTT are investing in large language models.

OpenAI's customers in Japan include automaker Toyota Motor, manufacturer Daikin Industries and local government.

Microsoft said last week it would invest $2.9 billion over two years in cloud and AI infrastructure in Japan, part of a wave of investment globally by US tech giants.



Report: AI Can Help Shipping Industry Cut Down Emissions

Artificial Intelligence words are seen in this illustration taken March 31, 2023. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration
Artificial Intelligence words are seen in this illustration taken March 31, 2023. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration
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Report: AI Can Help Shipping Industry Cut Down Emissions

Artificial Intelligence words are seen in this illustration taken March 31, 2023. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration
Artificial Intelligence words are seen in this illustration taken March 31, 2023. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

The global commercial shipping industry could cut down its carbon emissions by 47 million tons per year by deploying artificial intelligence for sea navigation, a study by autonomous shipping startup Orca AI showed on Tuesday.
The use of the technology could reduce the need for maneuvers and route deviation from close encounters with high-risk marine targets such as vessels, buoys and sea mammals by alerting the crew in real time, according to the report.
WHY IT IS IMPORTANT
Shipping, responsible for moving about 90% of global trade, contributes nearly 3% to the world's carbon dioxide emissions. This share is anticipated to rise in the coming years unless stricter pollution control measures are implemented.
The International Maritime Organization aims to cut emissions by 20% by 2030, a target under threat from the ongoing Red Sea crisis.
KEY QUOTE
"In the short term, it can lead to fewer crew members on the bridge, while those who are on the bridge will have a reduced workload and more attention to tackle complex navigational tasks, optimizing the voyage and reducing fuel and emissions," Orca AI CEO Yarden Gross told Reuters.
"In the long term, it will open the door to fully autonomous shipping."
CONTEXT
Global carbon dioxide shipping emissions reached an estimated 858 million tons in 2022, a marginal rise from the previous year, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.
An average of 2,976 marine incidents are reported per year, Orca AI's study showed.
BY THE NUMBERS
The reduction in route deviations could help ships shave off 38.2 million nautical miles per year from their travel, saving an average of $100,000 in fuel costs per vessel, according to Orca AI's report.
AI could also lower close encounters by 33% in open waters, it said.