In the heart of Tokyo, a brand-new AI research lab named Sakana AI is making waves by drawing inspiration from the natural world to shape the future of artificial intelligence.
This exciting venture was founded by two AI experts who had previously worked at Google and played a significant role in shaping today’s AI landscape: Llion Jones and David Ha.
Llion Jones, known for his contributions to the influential 2017 Google research paper “Attention Is All You Need,” which introduced the revolutionary AI architecture called transformers, has now stepped away from his long tenure at Google to lead Sakana AI as its CTO.
Alongside him is David Ha, formerly in charge of Google’s AI research team in Japan and more recently involved in AI startup Stability AI, who will take on the role of CEO.
Personal Announcement! I’m launching @SakanaAILabs together with my friend, Llion Jones (@YesThisIsLion).https://t.co/nMIl8fzE73 is a new R&D-focused company based in Tokyo, Japan.— hardmaru (@hardmaru) August 17, 2023
We’re on a quest to create a new kind of foundation model based on nature-inspired intelligence! pic.twitter.com/jAPe8kN60d
Their mission is to create new AI models inspired by the patterns found in nature. They find inspiration in the natural world’s ability to adapt, evolve, and coordinate harmoniously.
Jones and Ha see current AI models as inflexible and rigid, much like buildings, and they aim to change that by infusing AI with the flexibility and adaptability seen in nature’s collective behaviors.
The name “Sakana,” derived from the Japanese word for fish (さかな), embodies their philosophy.
It conjures the image of a school of fish working in harmony, a concept they wish to emulate in AI.
They’re striving to move away from the traditional approach of building massive AI models that require immense resources, and instead, they’re exploring the idea of interconnected smaller models that collaborate to tackle challenges.
This approach could be more secure and sustainable, avoiding the vulnerabilities associated with centralized models that hold vast amounts of data.
Interestingly, while many AI pioneers gravitate towards tech hubs like Silicon Valley, Jones and Ha have chosen Tokyo for their lab.
They believe the city offers a unique blend of technical infrastructure, skilled workforce, and a vibrant research environment.
In a field teeming with tech giants and ambitious startups, Sakana stands out by championing a return to curiosity-driven research.
Amid the AI frenzy, Sakana stands out by prioritizing exploration over profit. Their vision might just steer AI back to its roots and spark a new wave of innovation.