Artificial Intelligence (AI) isn’t just a buzzword in the technology industry. There have been multiple discussions about AI, how it’ll impact the different professions and jobs, whether it’ll take over certain jobs, the future of it and many more.

What is certain is the benefit that AI brings. It is able to boost overall productivity by freeing up our time and resources for other areas where human intervention is required. This is especially true in Japan where labour shortage could be a major barrier for businesses and industries to grow further.

In addition, the World Economic Forum's "The Future of Jobs Report 2020" states that while AI is expected to replace 85 million jobs worldwide by 2025, its development will also create 97 million new jobs in that same timeframe. With its continuing growth, any skill that can be leveraged in the AI sector will remain high in demand and can help those within AI to build a successful career in Japan.

We recently spoke with one of our valued partners Zeals, an innovative start-up that develops and offers AI chatbot services, to find out what are some of the latest trends within the talent landscape in AI. Zeals will also cover some upcoming skills and roles in demand, as well as what Zeals can offer for professionals who are interested in a career opportunity within the booming AI sector.


What is the AI industry in Japan looking like?

According to “AI predictions 2022”, a report published by PwC, 53% of the companies that participated in the survey mentioned they have implemented and leveraged some form of AI-based solutions. This is a major leap compared to the previous results, which were 27% and 43% in 2020 and 2021 respectively.

Another interesting analysis was how companies who leveraged AI-based solutions are more likely to see a positive forecast for increases in future revenue – 55% of companies with AI solutions compared to 27% among the companies without AI solutions. These results suggest that more companies are seeing AI as a crucial technology to increase productivity, boost their growth and further increase revenue.


How is the talent landscape within the AI industry and AI jobs in Japan?

Calvin Caleb, Talent Acquisition Lead at Zeals, shared, “AI is the ultimate buzzword, it encompasses major expectations from the public while captivating a great deal of their curiosity as well as fascination”.

As a result, AI is an industry that attracts people to work in as because of its potential. Calvin added that the increasing awareness of jobseekers towards the AI industry has also contributed to this interest. He said, “Everybody I’ve recently spoken to have expressed an interest in working within an AI-related space, whether directly or indirectly”.

However, with the limited pool of skilled talent within AI, competition is fierce. Calvin mentioned, “Big and established companies usually have an ability to pay more and entice jobseekers with better benefits as well as a better brand name. In addition, big tech companies means they’ve access to more data, and these data means that the big players in the market also have an added advantage in that perspective. However, smaller tech start-ups also have their individual advantages such as better exposure, and opportunities to work on multiple projects. But all in all, for any company to maximise AI, they need to have the right talent. This is where there’s an added challenge where talent is limited as AI is still relatively new.”


What jobs in Japan are high in demand within Zeals and the AI market?

Every company has a different priority in how they intend to accelerate their business. For Zeals, the primary focus this year is to ensure their systems become a lot more scalable. Calvin shared, “Our focus is to hire Backend Engineers, SRE (Site Reliability Engineer), and Golang Engineers. With Go being a relatively new language, the talent pool of Golang Engineers is still very limited. In our effort to become more data-driven, we are also planning a couple of important hires, such as UX Researcher and Data Engineer.”

Calvin also shares the challenge of hiring SRE, a role that is critical in finding a balance between releasing new features and ensuring reliability for users. And this seems to be a challenge that lies across the entire industry. He describes the AI landscape by saying that “more and more companies are starting to realise the importance of building a great DevOps culture and making sure that their entire system and software is reliable regardless of traffic. We’re looking for someone with a solid understanding of infrastructure as a code, cloud infrastructure, automation, but so are many other companies within the AI space. It seems to me that for every SRE in the market, there are at least 4-5 companies looking for them”.


Why do job seekers want to work in Zeals?

Zeals have its own strengths and reassurance for AI candidates. Calvin shares, “We are a profitable business, and our product is not only R&D. This means that we already have a huge customer pool, a number of use cases, and most importantly we are expanding. All the capital we have will be used to further our journey to better our AI-related projects and thus better improve our offerings to consumers”.

Calvin continues, “Everyone truly matters here at Zeals. As a company, we are very open and flexible. In addition, most of our current members come from a multitude of different industries. Except for our R&D team, some of our members may not come from an AI-related background but may have an interest or transferrable skills that Zeals is open to upskilling. Whether you’re a young coding prodigy (yes, our CTO just turned 23) or someone who hardly speaks Japanese, you can create an impact at Zeals. This is the culture that manages to captivate 300 (and counting) of our team to take the leap of faith and join us”.

Are you looking for AI professionals or interested in building a successful career for yourself within AI?

Computer Futures connects some of the most innovative companies and sought-after specialists by leveraging our expertise and experience within the rapidly changing IT and technology space in Japan. Whether you’re looking for the right talent within Japan or searching for your next career challenge, our dedicated team covering the AI and Robotics industry is here to help.

As a valued recruitment partner with Zeals, we are also able to share more about Zeal’s job opportunities if you are interested in joining their growing business within this booming AI sector.

Feel free to contact us via the form below so that we can get in touch.

Whether you’re a professional looking for a job or a business seeking highly skilled talent, the team at Computer Futures are here for you. By combining our local expertise and specialist market knowledge, we can provide expert recruitment and employment solutions across a range of IT markets.