Japan’s AI Strategy: The 5.0 Society

Japan gets serious about Artificial Intelligence: Welcome to the Japanese 5.0 Society!


The Japan 5.0 Society should be a human-centric AI society, meaning that AI should serve to augment human capability and creativity (dignity), should create new values by diverse people (diversity & inclusion), and should help to sustain the world in terms of climate change, depleted resources etc. (sustainability). [See slide 1]

Slide 1: Basic Idea of AI Strategy of Japan


Japan 5.0 Society is a 5-point-plan to catapult society into the cyber century. Interestingly enough, the first key point is rather humane, or: humans as a resource for development. Without training people to use AI efficiently, or without adjusting AI efficiently to human needs, there can be no societal harmony between man and machines.

The second key point of Japan’s AI strategy is social change. The population must be prepared for AI in all social systems such as education, transportation, medicine, ways of productions, etc.

The third key point is the collection of data, its examination and transparency.

The fourth key point is about cosmetics: the attraction of AI talent and investment through building AI infrastructures.

The fifth and last key point or pillar of Japan’s AI strategy is the legal and ethical framework of AI. Because this framework still does not exist, or does only in part exist, Japan is implementing working groups to espouse on the so-called ‘AI social principles’. [See slide 2]

Slide 2: Japan 5.0 Society


So what are those so-called ‘AI social principles’? Here’s a list of likely candidates:

Artificial Intelligence first and foremost must be human-centric. I should not only substitute but also enhance human labor, ability, and creativity. It’s the idea of an augmented or empowered society through machines. Next are education and literacy and privacy. The population needs to be broadly educated about AI and also about everyone’s individual rights to privacy in an increasingly BIG BROTHER world [the dangers of total surveillance]. This is followed by the need for state security against malicious cyber attacks and espionage. The last two principles are self-explanatory: fair competition, accountability, transparency, and innovation. AI in all its forms of application should be transparent in order to allow competition and not to create AI monopolies. AI should help humans to innovate, not force them to restrict themselves. An emphasize is put on cross-national and international initiatives. Japan wants to play in the global First league of AI, together with the United States and China and the European Union. [See slide 3]

Slide 3: AI Social Principles

Source: Takuya Hirai, Minister of State for Science and Technology Policy, Artificial Intelligence - International Research and Applications: 1st Japanese-German-French DWIH Symposium, Nov. 11-12, 2018, Toranomon Hills, Tokyo

Takuya Hirai, Minister of State for Science and Technology Policy (Nov 21, 2018)