Japanese Government Signals Wider Adoption of ChatGPT Amid Concerns in Corporate World

Japan has signaled wider adoption of ChatGPT, which was developed by Microsoft Corp backed OpenAI, according to the latest reports. The report comes amid concerns by Japanese corporates about the integration of the game-changing AI tool into their work.

Following a high-profile meeting between OpenAI chief executive Sam Altman and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, senior officials said Japan will approve the wider use of the chatbot if privacy and cybersecurity concerns are resolved.


Will Assess Concerns Too

Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno said on Monday that Tokyo will explore the possibility of introducing AI to reduce government workers' workload, Reuters reported. However, Japan will first assess matters like concerns over possible data breaches, the official said.

Meanwhile, Altman said the OpenAI tool has many upsides and the company will work on mitigating the downsides. "We hope to ... build something great for Japanese people, make the models better for Japanese language and Japanese culture," Altman said after meeting Kishida.

The adoption of ChatGPT has been a divisive issue in Japan's corporate world. Companies like Panasonic have been quick in embracing the technology. In February, Panasonic offered an AI assistant tool based on ChatGPT to its employees. "In the words of (the ChatGPT project leader at the company), it's not about whether to use it or not, it's about when to use it," the company said, according to the Japan Times.

Mega Companies Apprehensive

However, many other large companies were apprehensive about the wider use of ChatGPT. For example, mega-banks like MUFG Bank, Mizuho Bank and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp restricted their employees from accessing ChatGPT.

Sam Altman
Sam Altman CEO of OpenAI Twitter

"In terms of handling customers' information, we don't allow our employees to use (ChatGPT or other AI tools) for business purposes," SMBC said, according to the newspaper. Mizuho Bank also blocked employees from accessing ChatGPT from their work computers.

Italian Ban

The University of Tokyo said last week it was concerned about the use of the AI tool by Japan's top colleges. It said wider use of generative AI tools could greatly impact educational and research activities.

The latest move from Tokyo assumes significance in the backdrop of Italian authorities temporarily banning the use of ChatGPT owing to concerns over data privacy issues.