October 11, 2023

Industry Trends: Generative AI May Help Alleviate Japan’s Labor Shortage

japan AI August 2023


In a digital landscape dominated by AI technology, the understanding and application of AI among Japanese internet users is intriguing yet limited. While awareness is high, a deeper comprehension and expansive use of AI need fostering. The voice assistant is the most utilized AI technology, but concerns about privacy infringement and over-reliance on technology persist. The adoption of generative AI applications like ChatGPT, especially among the younger generation, indicates a shift towards embracing AI. However, the reluctance to entrust AI with important decisions reveals the need for further education and awareness. The future of AI in Japan hinges on striking a balance between technological advancement and human trust.



This analysis is based on a survey conducted by the Z.com Engagement Lab from 2023-08-15 to 2023-08-17. The survey collected data from 1,336 Japan internet users aged between 16 and 60, with the aim of providing insights for business decision-makers on consumer perspectives in the post-COVID era.


Deciphering Japan's AI Understanding: Different Generational Viewpoint

Under three in ten (29.6%) Japanese internet users perceive themselves to understand AI to a fair degree (4 or more on a scale of 6). The majority, however, rated their understanding at only 3, indicating a moderate understanding of AI. The average understanding score across all respondents was 2.92 out of 6. A noteworthy trend was that younger generations showed a higher understanding of AI, with respondents aged 16-29 scoring an average of 3.39.


Voice Assistant Leads the AI Adoption among Japanese Internet Users

The most frequently used AI technology among Japanese internet users is voice assistant technology, with almost half (47%) of the respondents having used it. This was followed by recommendation systems at 25%, chatbots at 21%, and facial recognition technology at 19%. Younger users (16-29) showed a higher utilization rate of AI technology compared to other age groups.


Privacy vs AI: The Main Concern for Japanese Internet Users

The biggest concern for Japanese internet users regarding the use of AI is privacy infringement, with 26% of respondents expressing unease about their privacy being compromised. The next concerns were over-reliance on technology and loss of decision-making power, each scoring 26% and 21% respectively. Especially noteworthy is that 26% of respondents aged 16-29 expressed concern about job replacement due to AI, a considerably higher percentage compared to other age groups.

Around 60% of the respondents expressed distrust in handing over important decisions to AI. This distrust increased with age, with 18% of all respondents, 15% of those aged 16-29, and 21% of those aged 50-60 expressing distrust. Only 10% of all respondents displayed trust towards letting AI make important decisions, which too declined with age.


ChatGPT Takes the Lead in Japan's Generative AI Landscape

Only about 30% of Japanese internet users have used generative AI applications, and ChatGPT was the most used application at 21.2%, followed by Bing AI at 6.9% and Google Bard at 6.3%. Again, usage was notably higher among the younger digital native generation.



While the majority of Japanese internet users are aware of AI, the survey results suggest that understanding and actual use of AI is still limited. The use of generative AI applications such as ChatGPT is prevalent, especially among the younger generation. However, the overall readiness for AI introduction remains insufficient in many sectors. Hence, there is room for efforts to promote AI spread and use through awareness campaigns and education in the future.



Z.com Engagement Lab will continue to track the AI of the Japan public and update survey data, monitoring market trends and changes in consumer demand.



Execution by: Z.com Engagement Lab
Survey Date: 2023-08-15 to 2023-08-17
Methodology: Online survey
Target Group: Japan internet users aged 18-60
Sample Size: 1336
Editor: TNL Research
Review by: Tatt Chen

* Contents in this report were drafted with input from generative.ai