Japan Grants Residency to AI Bot


Photo By Joshua Damasio via Flickr


Tokyo’s Shibuya Ward officially granted residency to an artificial intelligence character, Shibuya Mirai, making it Japan’s first AI bot resident.

Japan made it official to make Shibuya Mirai a resident when it granted a special residence certificate to the said AI character. The statement was first released by the Shibuya Ward through Microsoft, encouraging people to talk to the AI character. “Please talk to him about anything,” it wrote.

The district recognized that although the boy, Shibuya Mirai, does not physically exist, he is capable of having text conversations with a human being through a LINE messaging app. He is also programmed to familiarize itself with other 224,000 citizens within the district and provide them with an avenue where they can share their opinions with the local government officials.

Mirai means “future” in Japanese language and he resembles a seven-year-old boy. He is supposed to be a first-grader in an elementary school and his hobbies include observing and talking to people and taking pictures.

The virtual newcomer will now be an official resident of Shibuya -- a common place for young people who are fashion-conscious. The place is also close to one of Tokyo’s busiest railway stations, the Shibuya station.

Shibuya also admits that Mirai is a part of their attempt to make the local government more aware and familiar with the opinions of the residents.That way, they can run the government better.