OpenAI opens first Asian office in Tokyo

OpenAI CEO Sam Altman announced OpenAI's expansion into Japan on Sunday. File Photo by Jim Lo Scalzo/EPA-EFE

April 15 (UPI) -- OpenAI, the creator of ChatGPT, opened its first office in Tokyo in a major step of the company's attempt to spread into Asia and beyond.

Sam Altman, the CEO of OpenAI, said Sunday that Japan was a natural place to expand because of its past tech support, its technology business community, and its culture.

"We're excited to be in Japan, which has a rich history of people and technology coming together to do more," Altman said in a statement. " We believe AI will accelerate work by empowering people to be more creative and productive, while also delivering broad value to current and new industries that have yet to be imagined."

Altman announced that Tadao Nagasaki will serve as president of OpenAI Japan leading the commercial and marketing work and building the local team.

"As a first step in our long-term commitment to the region, we're providing local businesses with early access to a GPT-4 custom model specifically optimized for the Japanese language," Altman said.

"This custom model offers improved performance in translating and summarizing Japanese text, is cost-effective, and operates up to three times faster than its predecessor Speak, a top English learning app in Japan."

Last month, OpenAI said its technology had advanced to a point where it can clone a person's voice by using just a few seconds of audio. The company said its artificial intelligence model, called Voice Engine, can mimic a person's voice with 15 seconds of audio.

"Our new local presence also gets us closer to leading businesses like Daikin, Rakuten, and Toyota Connected who are using ChatGPT Enterprise to automate complex business processes, assist in data analysis, and optimize internal reporting," Altman said.