TOKYO -- Sony on Thursday released Neural Network Console, freely available software that lets even novice programmers create deep-learning technology.
Developing artificial intelligence usually involves writing massive amounts of code to create an artificial neural network, a mechanism inspired by the human brain, and training these networks to recognize images, sounds and other data. The Neural Network Console simplifies the process by allowing users to fashion an AI out of the combination of ready-made components.
In 1995, Sony became the first in the world to use AI in a voice-activated car navigation system. It has also used the technology for its Aibo robotic dog and digital cameras, but up to now had only explored internal applications.
The Tokyo-based company is looking to boost its presence in the field. It launched a venture fund for foreign and Japanese startups in AI and other areas, and also became the first Japanese player to join the Partnership on AI, an industry group co-founded by such technology giants as Facebook.