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Sony turns to AI and robotics investment

Sony's AIBO robotic dog is set to make a comeback

Sony's new AIBO will feature enhanced capabilities and personality.
Sony's new AIBO will feature enhanced capabilities and personality.

Sony is moving towards embedding artificial intelligence (AI) and robotic capabilities within its video and audio technologies.

Sony's Innovation Fund, which is a corporate venture capital fund that collaborates with global external researchers and start-up companies, will now focus on AI and robotics technologies in a bid to grow investment within the business.

Furthermore, Sony's investment in American start-up Cogitai, has enabled further development in AI that uses deep reinforcement learning and prediction technologies as the foundation for the next generation of Sony products.

Taro Kimura, managing director, Sony Middle East and Africa, said: "Robotics and AI is a rapidly developing area - and one that Sony continues to invest in almost two decades after we launched ‘AIBO', the robotic dog that used artificial intelligence to interact with its owner and its surroundings.

We have come a long way since then and remain committed to enhancing our investment in AI and robotics to create products and services that inspire and contribute to the betterment of society."

Sony's AIBO robotic dog was originally released in 1999 but in November this year Sony announced it is set to make a comeback. The new version not only looks different, but is capable of new movements and forming emotional attachments with humans.

AIBO is also equipped with Sony's proprietary ultra-compact actuators, a variety of sensors, deep learning technology for sensing and analysing images and sounds, and AI technology that connects AIBO to the cloud.

Additionally, Sony is linked to the ‘Partnership on AI to Benefit People and Society', a non-profit organisation formed to create solutions for humanity's most challenging problems.