A panel of experts has called for all university and technical college students in Japan to be given beginner-level education on artificial intelligence.
The proposal is part of a package of AI-related ideas presented by the panel at the day’s meeting of the government’s innovation promotion council, headed by Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga.
The proposals, released Friday, are expected to be reflected in a comprehensive innovation policy package, which will be drawn up around June, and an AI strategy, to be formulated by summer.
In Japan, some 500,000 people graduate from universities and technical colleges every year. The panel called for having all university and technical college students take beginner-level programs on math, data science and AI, and letting half acquire the skills to apply AI to their own fields of study.
It also asked the government to provide working adults with opportunities to learn such AI skills.
Aiming to beef up research and development on AI, the panel proposed the establishment of a related cooperation network with universities and other research organizations. The government was urged to strengthen its support for AI and other researchers.
With regards to areas where AI should be actively used, the panel cited the health, medical and nursing care sectors; agriculture; disaster resilience and preparedness; transport infrastructure and logistics; and regional revitalization.
The panel specifically hopes AI will be used to reduce the burden on workers in the medical and nursing care sectors, beef up safety of infrastructure at a low cost and promote so-called smart cities.
At Friday’s meeting, the government council decided seven principles that researchers and others should take into account in establishing an AI society with humans at its center, including respect for fundamental human rights, privacy protection and the creation of an environment to ensure fair competition.