Pokémon has been around for nearly three decades now, and it only seems to grow more popular each year. Being in charge of such a massive franchise is certainly a unique position, as illustrated by the Pokémon Company President, Tsunekazu Ishihara.

In a recent interview with Nikkei Asia, Ishihara discusses the “value” of Pokémon, its global perception, and how its use of technology has changed over time. For example, Ishihara cites the Game Boy link cable and Pokémon GO’S GPS system as major utilizations of modern technology in the series.

When asked if there are any current technologies that he’s keeping an eye on, Ishihara mentions AI as one of particular interest to him:

Q: Are there any technologies you keep your eyes on?

A: I am interested in the evolution of generative artificial intelligence. I think Sam Altman, CEO of the U.S. startup OpenAI, which developed the interactive artificial intelligence-powered chatbot ChatGPT, is a unique person. He seems to be predicting the arrival of a new world, like Google did with its groundbreaking search engine.

Q: How do you see generative AI?

A: Generative AI is definitely a useful technology. Google Maps has become an indispensable tool when moving around, and generative AI has more potential than that. Initially, there may be issues such as privacy, but the technology won’t go away. Instead, those issues will be solved gradually, leading to an environment with a new normal in which people can use generative AI technologies in their daily lives.

Not only AI, but also things like a digital global currency as well as home nuclear reactors and other stuff will be adopted by society sooner or later, and will become like the smartphones we can’t let go of.

[Tsunekazu Ishihara, Nikkei Asia]

AI is certainly a hot button topic these days, drawing equal amounts of praise, curiosity, and controversy. Ishihara says he’s following its progression closely. Could that mean we might see AI incorporated into a future Pokémon game somehow? Nothing like that is really hinted at in this interview, but if his interest continues to grow, perhaps it could be a future possibility.

Click here to read the rest of the interview with Ishihara, in which he discusses things like how the Pokémon Company is run internally, and what games mean to him.

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