Sony Invests In AI Venture

Sony is banking on artificial intelligence as a revenue stream for the company, and it’s just taken another step toward that goal.

The Japan-based company has invested in a U.S. startup known as Cogitai, a California-based company, which focuses on AI machine technology that enables them to learn from real-world interactions. Sony follows the other major tech companies, like Facebook, Apple and Google, that have begun to invest heavily into AI companies.

“From an objective perspective, we are lagging behind,” Sony CEO Hiroaki Kitano told Reuters. “But there are still unexplored areas — some in cyberspace but vastly more in the physical world. And we have a number of products in the physical world. We make hardware. That’s our strength.”

Sony is known for being an early AI developer, starting in the late 1990s with its robo-dog called AIBO, followed by another human-like robot known as QRIO a few years later. But, a few years after that, there was a dip in the market, and there wasn’t much more of an investment.

Kitano said Sony plans on releasing a product and/or service with its new startup partner, which could happen as early as next year.

“We are considering various options, including a robot,” he told Reuters.