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oru Nishikawa and Daisuke Okanohara in the lab
Daisuke Okanohara, left, and Toru Nishikawa of Preferred Networks in the company’s lab in Tokyo. The duo are drawing comparisons with the two men who founded Sony. (Photo by Maho Obata)
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TAKASHI SUGIMOTO and SHOJI YANO, Nikkei staff writers | Japan

TOKYO -- In a clandestine room located in a basement of an office building in Tokyo's Otemachi business district, the future of artificial intelligence is being conceived and shaped.

Inside, a row of five yellow-colored robots are learning to carry out orders that are challenging for any machine, even one armed with cutting-edge AI. But the robots grow smarter as they repeatedly try to do what they are told, learning by trial and error in the process.

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