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AI × Robotics

Creation of experience to stimulate the curiosity

Sony made AI and Robot closer

From an early stage, Sony set its sights on the potential inherent in AI × Robotics, and in 1999 it released the AIBO home entertainment robot. The AIBO represented a bold challenge in providing new experiences using cutting-edge technology.

Since then, Sony has continued to improve its core AI technologies and has incorporated them into a wide range of products, thereby delivering new experiences. The Smile Shutter™ function in digital cameras and Face Recognition feature on PlayStation® are a few examples of the ways in which Sony’s technology has been applied. Sony also got an early start on advanced AI research in areas such as autonomous cognitive developmental intelligence and deep learning. These new technologies are now drawing a great deal of attention as the next big thing in AI tech.

They are taking on further challenges with fresh eyes and new ideas, while combining the traditional techniques of Japan with new technologies.

AI makes you Inquisitive

Now, together with its partner companies and research institutes, Sony is embarking on a new challenge to innovate in the realms of AI and robotics, by fusing its constantly-evolving core technologies with the very latest in technology. Sony's goal is to realize home and urban environments that can autonomously learn and grow along with users, bringing not only greater convenience but also more joy to everyday life.

Inspire and fulfill your curiosity

SONY | Sony Computer Science Laboratories,Inc | Cogitai

Since its foundation in 1946, Sony has been creating not only products, but the way people live through movies, music, games, cell phones and electronics. Now, Sony is taking on a new challenge in the world of robotics and AI. We are seeking unique and talented individuals who have passion for “moving” people through our wide variety of products, content, and services. Join us and be part of a diverse, innovative, creative, and original team to inspire the world.

Sony Corporation

Areas of Interest
Deep Learning / Recurrent Neural Networks / Reinforcement Learning / Speech Recognition / Natural Language Processing / Dialogue Control System / Dialogue Agent / Computer Vision / Computational Photography / AI/Robotics Technologies
Tokyo / San Jose / Stuttgart / Beijing
Talent Acquisition Department, Sony Corporation :

Sony Computer Science Laboratories, Inc.

Areas of Interest
- Global Agenda (Energy, Food, and Healthcare)
- Human Augmentation (Human Creativity, Human-Computer Interaction/Integration)
- Next generation AI
- Other disruptive research to make the world a better place
Tokyo / Paris
Talent Acquisition Department, Sony Corporation :

Sony Corporation
System R&D Group, R&D Platform (SRDG)

The System R&D Group, part of Sony headquarters’ R&D Platform, has played a key role in developing algorithms and software, primarily those related to audio and video signal processing technologies that Sony has cultivated since its inception. In addition to these areas, we have expanded our R&D focus into the realm of advanced intelligent information processing, such as for computer vision, speech recognition, user interaction, machine learning and robotics. The fruits of our R&D efforts have been widely incorporated into Sony’s products and services, from TVs and digital cameras to broadcast equipment, games, and mobile devices.

Our group in Tokyo collaborates with our research hubs across the globe (San Jose, Stuttgart, Brussels, Beijing, and Basingstoke) as well as with other outside research institutes from all over the world. In March 2016, we launched a new R&D initiative called the “Future Lab Program”, which aims to co-create new lifestyles and user value in the future.

・AI research
In the 90s, Sony commenced development for AI technologies such as face, speech and image recognition, SLAM (Simultaneous Localization and Mapping), and natural language processing, in preparation for its 1999 launch of the AIBO autonomous entertainment robot. After this, Sony continued to pursue development for cutting-edge machine learning technology, including deep learning and reinforcement learning, and incorporated a wide range of recognition technologies into Sony products and services.
Sony is also working to develop new technologies in the realms of (1) computer vision and computational photography, based on Sony’s image sensor and image signal processing technologies, (2) speech recognition and natural language processing that assist our daily lives through a natural user interface similar to person-to-person communication, and (3) sensor data predictive analysis, which supports human action and decision-making.
・Examples of technologies applied to products and services
The AI technologies developed for the AIBO autonomous entertainment robot have since been incorporated into various Sony products and services, including digital cameras and personalized TV program recommendation services in the 2000s. More recently, the technologies have been incorporated into the “AR Effect” Xperia™ camera app that utilizes Augmented Reality Experience (SmartAR®) technology, the “Lifelog” app that boasts behavior recognition capabilities, and the Face Recognition login feature for PlayStation®4. One other example is Sony Real Estate’s “Real Estate Valuation Engine” that leverages deep learning to realize data predictive analysis technology. This engine, which estimates property price, is utilized in the company’s “Ouchi (Home) Direct” real estate platform to match property sellers with prospective buyers, without having to go through a real estate agency middle-man.
Sony is also proposing new value through speech recognition. One example of this is Sony Mobile’s “Xperia Agent,” which responds to the user's voice and provides useful information tailored to each user, assists communication through voice and gestures, and controls home appliances. Additionally, the “N” neckband-style wearable prototype device unveiled by Sony’s Future Lab Program boasts similar functionality. It delivers a totally hands-free interactive interface for accessing music and audio information, without the need for an earpiece. The combination of behavior recognition technology with services from Sony enables “N” to provide the user with timely information.

Sony Corporation
Mid-to-Long Term Business Development Division, New Business Platform

The Mid-to-Long Term Business Development Division is part of Sony Corporation’s New Business Platform, and its mission is to develop businesses in new areas for Sony in the mid-to-long term. We will challenge established notions of electronics products and services through the application of AI and robotics technologies. For example, we will aim to bring greater convenience to the home and urban spaces, and to stir users’ curiosity with awe-inspiring experiences. But we do not believe that Sony is capable of accomplishing these big-picture challenges all on its own. Thus, we will collaborate with other companies and research institutes to develop technology and related businesses. Currently, we only have offices in Tokyo, but through collaborations, we will widen the scope of our activities.

・AI Initiatives
We are focused on recent advancements in AI technology that we believe will be key to innovation. We will move to acquire next-generation machine learning technology and leverage it to develop new businesses through system prototyping. We will do so in collaboration with not only teams within Sony, but also start-ups, academic institutions, and other partners outside of Sony. One prime example of this is our investment in Cogitai*, which we announced in May 2016. Together with Cogitai, Sony will jointly develop new AI technologies to underpin the next generation of applications and products, by applying deep reinforcement learning technology to predictive and detection technologies.
Sony Computer Science Laboratories,Inc

Sony Computer Science Laboratories, Inc. (Sony CSL)

Sony CSL was founded in February 1988. At Sony CSL, value is assessed by the degree to which achievements are perceived to contribute to humanity and society, to new science and technology, to industrial progress, and to product development. We respect and foster each member’s initiative and creative ability. A work of research is often a reflection of the researcher’s values, philosophy, and worldview. We gather “Crazy” people and let them challenge themselves to change the world.

When founded, Sony CSL focused on fundamental research in computer systems, including operating systems, the Internet, and user interfaces. As the organization evolved, its focus shifted to exploring ways to use computers in diverse domains such as systems biology, econophysics and artificial intelligence. And now, its major research themes are “Global Agenda,” which encompasses issues ranging from energy to food and healthcare; and “Human Augmentation,” which includes studies exploring human creativity and human-computer interaction/integration. In addition to Tokyo, we have a lab in Paris (founded in 1996).

We have two guiding principles: “Act Beyond Borders” and “Think Extreme.” Our priority is to empower each researcher to function to the best of his/her ability in the pursuit of fundamental, yet applicable research. While encouraging contribution to academia, we push our researchers to give back to humanity and society in concrete ways. The fruits of our research are incorporated into the products and initiatives of the Sony Group, or else are leveraged in collaborative efforts with companies outside of Sony. Finding investors and spinning off a project as a separate business entity is also an option at Sony CSL.

・AI Initiatives
Sony CSL conducts a broad range of AI research, covering everything from basic theoretical studies – such as computational information geometry, causality inference from noisy open-ended data, and evolution of language and perception – to applications for AI and interactive music experiences. Pioneering technologies developed through these studies are transferred to the Sony Group and used in many applications ranging from yield improvement and inspection in manufacturing processes, to behavior recognition in wearable devices, to interactive music systems.
Dr. Hiroaki Kitano (President and CEO) is a former president of the International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence (2009-2011), a founding president of RoboCup, and the 1993 recipient of the Computers and Thoughts Award.