SoftBank's Son says Japan should make AI mandatory subject for college students

By Sam Nussey

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Instead of fighting against American technologies...

Americans have allowed Toyota and others to flourish in the US market. How about reciprocating with the US tech companies rather than "fighting against" them?

Japan should leverage its close relationship with the United States to get ahead in cutting-edge tech,

Ah, I get it, the true intention:. Be nice to Americans so we can trounce them. Trump is right.

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Even for English students ?

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SoftBank should sponsor scholarships in any field they want skills in Japanese Universities. Nobody turns down money.

Invite leaders in the field from around the world to lead those programs for a few years.

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Son should use AI to make better investment decisions.

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Japanese students “don’t study if they are not asked... let’s put it as mandatory, then Japanese students will catch up,” Son told a government conference aimed at fostering innovation.

That's a bit myopic, and too much of a generalization. Those Japanese students with a passion in something learn that subject like crazy and go deep. 

Innovation won't be fostered by mandatory subjects. There may be a problem with the one-track mentality that generally prevails, and attacking that in general would be more useful than ensuring Masayoshi's hires will all have some basic AI knowledge. 

I agree with him on that one autonomous driving for senior citizens though.

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Without a doubt this should happen. Not just building robots but actual AI concepts.

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They should also test basic business and investing skills as well, although with Son in charge the correct answer would be to throw away billions of dollars on a poorly-run startup with no chance of profitability!

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Youth has lost passion, curiosity. The system doesn’t care. Make clones. There’s little budget or school environment for kids to excel. It’s all about bukatsu. Good teachers are stuck in poor environments. Education is one area major reforms are needed. As the number of native Japanese children goes down and foreign or mixed blood enter the system this will change. More options for the kids will open abroad. Later, the brain drain will start.

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SoftBank should sponsor scholarships in any field they want skills in Japanese Universities. Nobody turns down money.

Agreed. One of Son's corporate buddies recently bought one of Kyoto's unis. Maybe Son should put his money where his mouth is and do the same.

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What will probably happen, is that they learn the current Tech, but not the underlying principles, so when things change...

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