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Japan tech giants double down on AI

Fujitsu and seven other electronics makers to sink 300bn yen into research

TOKYO -- Eight of the biggest Japanese electronics heavyweights will spend at least 300 billion yen ($2.67 billion) over the next three years as they strive to catch up in artificial intelligence -- several times the AI investment of the previous three years.

Fujitsu is doubling its staff of AI researchers and system architects to 1,500 by 2018. Labor costs and other expenses will hit 50 billion yen. That is about triple the spending of the three years through fiscal 2015. Together with basic research, aggregate costs for Fujitsu's AI endeavor could reach 100 billion yen.

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