Tim Cook’s latest stop for his Asia tour is in Japan. Apart from riding the bullet train to travel around the country, Apple’s CEO did an interview to share some interesting things about the company’s plans for its Japan-based R&D center.
Speaking with Nikkei Asian Review, Cook revealed that Apple’s R&D facility in Yokohama, which is close to Japan’s capital city Tokyo and is expected to be completed this December, will serve as the core of the tech giant’s “deep engineering.” Steve Jobs’ successor admitted that he is remaining mum about what this is all about, but he did say that Apple is capitalizing on AI in cooperation with Japanese companies.
Cook shared that they plan to make the most out of AI by crafting technologies that would be very useful, such as increasing battery life of certain products or recommending songs to Apple Music users. He added that AI could also be useful in remembering where someone parked his or her car.
According to AppleInsider, although what Cook mentioned are tasks that are mostly available to the tech giant’s platforms, such as Siri, there is still room for improvement. The Apple-centric news site also stated that Cook is simply suggesting that they are pushing the Yokohama-based R&D center to take AI research to new directions.
In his interview, he maintained that the focus of Apple’s R&D center in Japan is “very different” from the center they plan to construct in China. This is despite the ambiguity in how Japan fares in AI technology at the moment as there is no trace that the country is invested in deep learning from analyzed data, as per MacRumors.
Nevertheless, it is important to note that Japan recently opened its Center for Advanced Integrated Intelligence Research in Tokyo with the goal of developing AI systems to solve issues using “Big Data.” The institution is reportedly receiving state funding next year.
Apple’s partnership with Japanese companies have so far reaped good benefits for the tech giant. For example, its endeavor involving Sony’s FeliCa for its iPhones has been very successful throughout the country. Its partnership with Nintendo is also expected to bring “Super Mario Run” to the iPhones before 2016 ends.
At the moment, Apple is working to make its iPads quite relevant in the health care sector that focuses on Japan’s elderly through its partnership with IBM and Japan Post Holdings. Cook said that Japan is the best country to try this technology out, since its population is rapidly aging.