About This Show
Japanese startups are fundamentally changing Japan’s society and economy. Disrupting Japan gives you direct access to the thoughts and plans of Japan’s must successful and creative startup founders. Join us and bypass the media and corporate gatekeepers and hear what’s really going on inside Japan’s startup world.
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120: This Startup Just Built Japan’s Most Powerful Supercomputer
Preferred Networks is making changes in Japan.
Over the past few years, this AI startup has raised more than $130M in venture funding and grown to more than 130 people.
If you live outside of Japan, you might not have heard of this team, but they are working with Toyota to create the next generation of driverless cars. They are working with Japan's most advanced industrial robot manufacturers to improve efficiency. They are also working with many financial institutions on fraud detection.
Oh yes, and they also built Japan's most powerful commercial supercomputer.
Today we sit down and talk with Daisuke Okanohara, the technical co-founder of Preferred Networks. Daisuke and I talk about the story behind Preferred Networks, he also shares his challenges and current strategies for maintaining the company's experimental and engineering culture as it grows larger and more structured.
Daisuke also talks about his time at Google, how Japanese AI stacks up to China and the US, and why he’s convinced that their biggest competition is going to come from somewhere you would never expect.
It's a great discussion, and I think you'll enjoy it.
What edge-heavy computing is and why it's important
How a Google Internship changed Daisuke's outlook on AI
The future of driverless cars at Toyota
Why the team decided to build Japan's most powerful supercomputer
Why you can't sell disruptive products to large companies
How to keep a curious spirit even as your company grows
Where the real competition in AI will come from
Links from the Founder
Everything you ever wanted to know about Preferred Networks
Check out their Homepage
Follow them on Twitter @PreferredNet
Check out Chainer Preferred Networks free open source AI library
The core Chainer project
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Welcome to Disrupting Japan, straight talk from Japan's most successful entrepreneurs. I'm Tim Romero and thanks for joining me.
Preferred Networks is without question the brightest star in the constellation of Japanese AI startups. It attracted about 130 million in venture funding and have grown to more than 130 people over the past few years.
Of course, if you don't follow AI, you might not have heard about them at all but they are the technology behind Toyota’s driverless cars, some of FANUC’s industrial robots, many cutting-edge applications in other verticals, and as a side project, they also built Japan's most powerful commercial supercomputer.
It's an interesting team to say the least and today, we sit down and talk with Daisuke Okanohara, Preferred Networks’ technical cofounder.
We talk about how Preferred Networks got started and got to scale and he also shares his challenges and strategies of trying to maintain the company's experimental and engineering culture as it grows larger and monthly revenue pressures increase. Daisuke also talks about his time at Google, how Japanese AI stacks up to China and the US, and why he's convinced that their biggest competition is going to come from somewhere you would never expect it.
But you know, Daisuke tells that story much better than I can, so let’s gets right to the interview.
Tim: So I'm sitting here with Daisuke Okanohara, the cofounder and Executive Vice President of Preferred Networks, Japan's leading and probably most innovative AI startup.
So thanks for sitting down with me today.
Daisuke: Thank you very much.
Tim: So Preferred Networks talks a lot about the importance of edge -heavy computing. So can you explain exactly what edge-heavy computing is and why it's important?
Daisuke: Cloud computing is one of the most important trends in the IT area and most people believe that most computations or operations should be done at a data center or across site, and it's okay if we deal with fragile information but when it comes to solving re...
Rated 5 out of
Amazing show if you care about startups in Japan
One on one interviews with founders in English. Great insights that go way beyond Japan.
Date published: 2016-09-02