Business / Corporate

Toshiba to tie up with University of Tokyo in global race to secure more AI engineers

Kyodo

Toshiba Corp. said Thursday it will team up with the University of Tokyo to nurture specialists in artificial intelligence as part of efforts to secure talent in the hot next-generation technology.

The electronics giant aims to nearly triple its AI engineers to 2,000 by March 2023 from the current 750 to boost research and development in the field, the company said.

Under the program, which is being developed with the university’s graduate school of information science and technology, Toshiba engineers will study a wide range of technologies in a three-month course covering AI and big data analysis using data provided by its factories.

The program, to launch next month, is projected to train about 350 engineers by the end of fiscal 2022. Toshiba also plans to hire 200 new AI specialists and nurturing another 700 under its original education system, to have its staff acquire knowledge on the latest digital technologies.

Competition to secure AI engineers and data analysts has been intensifying globally and Japan is expected to be about 48,000 specialists short in fiscal 2020, according to the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.

NEC Corp. in July began offering salaries of more than ¥10 million to new employees with the latest IT knowledge, a move that deviates from the nation’s traditional pay system, which is largely based on seniority rather than merit.

NEC’s rivals Fujitsu Ltd. and Sony Corp. have also introduced similar salary systems to offer extra remuneration for digital specialists.

GET THE BEST OF THE JAPAN TIMES
IN FIVE EASY PIECES WITH TAKE 5