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Business sector to combine employee growth and problem solving

In my view, AI specialists are a very easy-to-understand talent model for the purpose of breaking out of such a situation. If more people come to know, through practical issues, that individuals who have seen the value generated by data are playing active roles in various areas, it can lead to convincing more people to take a new step and think, “Maybe our company can also do it.”

Saito: That’s for sure. If you have the person’s track record, indicating their involvement in such and such projects, their general skills are clear to you.

Koizumi: I agree with you. That’s why we at METI aim to create a new trend by promoting this project.

And, this is something I have a good understanding of because I was formerly in the private sector, but the problem of the personnel department and operational divisions in Japanese companies is deep rooted (laughs).

Orimo: The key is if there is a place where individuals are evaluated for what they can do and play an active role. This is one of the fundamental issues of the Japanese companies.

Japanese-style approach

Koizumi: In AI Quest, participants not only acquire the knowledge of AI, but also the kind of wisdom that can only be gained by a group of participants who have been involved in actual projects, working and learning together through trial and error. People who have had such an experience must have learned something through the process, whatever the results may be.

About 200 people participated in AI Quest carried out by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry from October to February.

By the way, in terms of the Japanese-style approach, high expectations are placed on AI in the manufacturing, infrastructural maintenance and service industries. I think this is one of Japan’s characteristics. It’s exactly the viewpoint of “Connected Industries.” (This concept aims to create added value and solve a variety of social problems through the connectedness of various data.)

Saito: I think so too. In such companies, individuals who have seen the value generated by data are expected to play an important role in the designing of business strategies. However, in terms of the job description perspective, which Orimo pointed out earlier, the ability of individuals who design themes or operate projects are obscure and difficult to be appreciated, compared to the ability of individuals in purely technical jobs. Promoting digital transformation is not just the issue of hiring large numbers of engineers.

In that sense, the dividing line between developing AI specialists and problem solving is becoming increasingly vague. Taking up challenges in front of you is the personnel development in the age of AI.

Koizumi: The project in fiscal 2019 was a feasibility study effort. We plan to develop it further in this fiscal year based on the achievements and issues of the project.

I hope the project will receive continued attention from the public.


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