Sony Corporation's Aibo: An Intelligent Decision?
In November 2017, the chief executive officer of Sony Corporation was preparing to announce the company's release of its rebooted robo-pup, the Aibo-a robot equipped with sensors and actuator technologies, and powered by artificial intelligence that allowed this virtual pet to behave like a real dog. Sony Corporation, the 70-year-old iconic Japanese manufacturing company, had diverse businesses. After significant restructuring since 1999 to address its financial troubles, the company was expected, in March 2018, to post a record operating profit for the first time in two decades. How did a virtual pet business, especially one that had already proved unviable in the past, fit into such a restructuring exercise? Was Sony Corporation's Aibo an intelligent decision? Tulsi Jayakumar is affiliated with SP Jain Institute of Management & Research.