Sony AI Division Established, Deemed Critical to Enhance Value of Gaming & Sensor Businesses


Sony announced yesterday the foundation of a brand new internal division dedicated to the development of AI-based technologies.

Sony AI will be headed by Hiroaki Kitano, Corporate Executive of Sony Corporation as well as president and CEO of Sony Computer Science Laboratories, while Peter Stone is leading the American office. The press release mentions the launch of three flagship projects at first in gaming, imaging and sensing, and gastronomy. Sony believes the first two areas will get their values further enhance by the adoption of AI technologies in the coming years.

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Sony's Purpose is to "Fill the world with emotion, through the power of creativity and technology." Recognizing that AI will play a vital role in the fulfillment of this Purpose, Sony AI is being established with the mission to "unleash human imagination and creativity with AI.

Sony AI will combine world class fundamental research and development with Sony's unique technical assets, especially in Imaging & Sensing Solutions, Robotics and Entertainment (Games, Music and Movies), driving transformation across all existing business domains and contributing to the creation of new business domains. In addition, one of the long-term goals is to contribute to the resolution of shared global issues extending beyond Sony's business domains.

Sony AI will drive the research and development of AI in both physical and virtual space through multiple world-class flagship projects as well as other explorative research projects, including AI ethics.

Initially, it will launch three flagship projects in the areas of gaming, imaging & sensing, and gastronomy. The adoption of new AI technologies developed through these flagship projects will be critical to further enhancing the value of Sony's gaming and sensor businesses in coming years. This research will be pursued in close collaboration with the relevant Sony Group business units.

In order to drive these projects and achieve truly innovative research, Sony is eager to work with top global AI talent with an aim to attract world-class AI researchers and engineers. Sony believes that extraordinary innovation requires diversity of both talent and approaches, and this will be reflected in the composition and operation. Recognizing the power and influence of AI technologies, Sony AI will contribute to society through the development of AI that is fair, transparent, and accountable.

Gamers in particular will easily recognize the importance of such an investment. Truth to be told, while graphics, physics and sound have massively improved over recent years, the AI at the very base of non-player characters (NPCs) didn't get the same enhancements. Hopefully that will change with the next generation of hardware, which is also set to deliver a significant CPU performance leap from the AMD Jaguar-derived PlayStation 4 and Xbox One to the AMD Zen 2-based PlayStation 5 and Project Scarlett (next Xbox).

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