Sony establishes A.I. arm that will focus on gaming and food

Key Points
  • Sony AI will have offices in Japan, the U.S. and Europe. 
  • To start with, it will launch projects in gaming, imaging and sensing and "gastronomy."
Joan Cros | NurPhoto | Getty Images

Sony Corporation has set up Sony AI, an organization that will undertake research and development into artificial intelligence.

In an announcement Wednesday, Sony said the new venture would have offices in Japan, the U.S. and Europe, initially launching projects in gaming, imaging and sensing and "gastronomy."

In its announcement, the tech giant said that 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."

It added that the research would be "pursued in close collaboration with the relevant Sony Group business units."

The firm has already made moves into the "gastronomy" sector. In April 2018, via its U.S. subsidiary the Sony Corporation of America, Sony struck an agreement with Carnegie Mellon University to work on artificial intelligence and robotics research.

At the time, Sony said "initial research and development" would look into "optimizing food preparation, cooking and delivery."

This area was chosen, Sony explained, because the technology needed for a robot to handle "the complex and varied task of food preparation" could in turn be applied to a wider range of skills and industries.

The topic of AI generates a great deal of discussion and debate. There is undoubted potential. The European Commission, for example, has said that AI can "bring solutions to many societal challenges" such as treating diseases and "minimizing the environmental impact of farming."

The Commission does note, though, that ethical, legal and socio-economic impacts "have to be carefully addressed."

Others have been more forthright in their views. In 2014, the late scientist Stephen Hawking told the BBC that the "development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race."