Japan eyes AI adoption as OpenAI CEO visits PM Kishida, talks domestic expansion

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan will consider government adoption of artificial intelligence technology such as OpenAI’s ChatGPT chatbot if privacy and cybersecurity concerns are resolved, Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno said on Monday.

The comments by Matsuno, a government spokesperson, came shortly before OpenAI CEO Sam Altman met Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida during a visit to Japan, during which Altman said his company was “looking into opening an office.”

“We hope to … build something great for the Japanese people and make better models for the Japanese language and Japanese culture,” Altman told reporters after meeting Kishida.

Asked about Italy’s temporary ban on ChatGPT — developed by OpenAI-backed Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O) — Matsuno said at a regular press conference that Japan is aware of other countries’ actions.

Matsuno said Japan will continue to evaluate the possibilities of introducing AI to reduce the workload of government employees after assessing how to respond to concerns such as data breaches.

In the wake of Italy’s restrictions on ChatGPT, which have inspired other European countries to consider such measures, OpenAI last week introduced measures to address the Italian regulator’s privacy-breaching concerns.

in blog post Titled “Our Approach to AI Security,” the San Francisco-based company said last week that it was developing “precise policies against behavior that presents a real risk to people.”

Altman, CEO of OpenAI, said he told Japan’s Kishida about “the positive aspects of this technology and how to mitigate the negative aspects” at a meeting on Monday in Tokyo.

Additional reporting by Kantaro Komiya and Satoshi Sugiyama; Editing by Christopher Cushing and Kenneth Maxwell

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