Learning Japanese is no joke. Featuring three distinct writing systems, a sentence structure which is the opposite of English, and an intricate politeness hierarchy deeply rooted in the culture, the Japanese language is not an easy one to master. This is so true that even artificial intelligence has its share of challenges with it!
The reason is that most AI tools are primarily fed information in English, causing them to often miss the intricacies of Japan’s language and culture. This issue isn’t limited to just stumbling over words; it primarily pertains to difficulties in understanding expressions of politeness, rendering current available systems less than ideal for Japanese users.
To address this challenge, last May the Tokyo Institute of Technology and other organizations announced the start of development of a homemade AI using the Fugaku supercomputer, one of the world’s most powerful. While the Japanese public is still in its early stage in adopting generative AI, systems capable of fully comprehending Japanese would prove immensely valuable as more companies and local governments begin to utilize this technology.
The AI example is great in showing the complexity and multifaceted nature of Japan. Much like the intricacies within the language itself, navigating the cultural nuances of Japan can be equally challenging when investing in or approaching the Japanese market. The age of AI mastery of the Japanese language will eventually come one day, but for now, seeking advice from experts might still be the wisest option!