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AI-powered dog is aging Japan's best friend

TOKYO, Sep 08 (News On Japan) - As elderly people in Japan become increasingly more isolated, Osaka Prefecture has launched an initiative to promote social participation using artificial intelligence (AI) designed to learn users' interests and concerns, with an adorable Shiba Inu "Dai-chan" taking center stage.

Dai-chan appears as an icon on the talk screen of the free messaging app LINE. When asked a question, he responds in the Osaka dialect. This is "Talking with Dai-chan," a conversation support service for the elderly, which Osaka Prefecture has launched in collaboration with IT giant Microsoft Japan and others, making it the first of its kind nationwide to utilize generative AI for the elderly.

According to Japan's Cabinet Office, approximately 30% of elderly individuals in Japan are reported to have "no friends."

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