Tatsuhiko Kagehiro, Research and Development Group, Hitachi, Ltd./Mr. Hiroto Kobayashi, Chairman and CEO of INFOBAHN Inc.
Research & Development Group, Hitachi webinar "Innovation Starting with a Question — Societal Transition and AI," which was streamed on October 26, 2021, focused on AI governance. We invited Mr. Hiroto Kobayashi, the President and CEO of INFOBAHN Inc., who has been at the forefront of media and experienced the dawn of AI, and Tatsuhiko Kagehiro, a long-time researcher of AI development at Hitachi, for a dialogue. In this feature, we bring you the contents of the dialogue in three parts.

Japanese

[Part 1] How will social systems change with AI? (First half)
[Part 2] How will social systems change with AI? (Second half)
[Part 3] How do we handle the asymmetric nature of cyberspace and the real world?

Astro Boy and postal codes as the first contact point with AI

Maruyama
My name is Yukinobu Maruyama, Head of Design at Research & Development Group, Hitachi. I will be the host of this dialogue. Today's topic is "Can AI connect cyberspace and the real world?" Today's first guest is Mr. Hiroto Kobayashi from INFOBAHN Inc. Mr. Kobayashi has experienced and spoken about the interaction of advanced technology and society at the forefront of media. Our second guest is Tatsuhiko Kagehiro, who has been involved in AI development at Hitachi for many years.

画像: (From left) Tatsuhiko Kagehiro, Hitachi, Ltd./Yukinobu Maruyama, host/Mr. Hiroto Kobayashi, INFOBAHN Inc. The dialogue took place at the office of INFOBAHN Inc.

(From left) Tatsuhiko Kagehiro, Hitachi, Ltd./Yukinobu Maruyama, host/Mr. Hiroto Kobayashi, INFOBAHN Inc. The dialogue took place at the office of INFOBAHN Inc.

Mr. Kobayashi
My name is Hiroto Kobayashi, the co-founder of INFOBAHN Inc. I am currently the Chairman and CVO (Chief Visionary Officer) of INFOBAHN Inc. Before establishing the company in 1994, I launched "WIRED Japan magazine," the Japanese edition of the American technology and culture publication "WIRED" and worked as the editor in chief. I was in charge of reporting trends during the dawn of the internet, which back then was called the "IT Revolution." I founded INFOBAHN Inc. with the goal of supporting corporate digital communication. The company currently owns a subsidiary that runs online media and e-commerce. It focuses on online media such as "Gizmodo Japan" and "Business Insider Japan." As well, I've been helping companies and municipalities with innovation over the last decade or more. Since 2016, I am also the official Japanese partner of TOA (Tech Open Air), a technology conference that has been taking place in Berlin.

Kagehiro
My name is Tatsuhiko Kagehiro. I am the Director of the Advanced AI Innovation Center of Research & Development Group, Hitachi, Ltd. I joined the company in 1994 and took part in the research and development of mainly image recognition processing, pattern recognition and machine learning technologies.

Maruyama
For you two, what was your first interaction with AI?

Mr. Kobayashi
During my years at WIRED, I had the chance to interview people such as Marvin Minsky (*1), who later came to be known as the "father of artificial intelligence," and knowing Daniel Hillis, a researcher from the younger generation who studied from Minsky and specializes in the study of parallel distributed processing (*2). It was certainly the early days of AI. At that time, I asked Dr. Minsky "If there will come a time when we can actually create robots like Astro Boy? " He replied "That's just not possible." I remember him saying "It's a devil of a job to teach common sense to AI. We need a database of common sense."

*1 Marvin Lee Minsky (1927-2016). An American computer scientist and a cognitive scientist.
*2 A method where you segmentalize a specific process within a computer into several small independent processes and put them in action simultaneously over multiple processors.

画像1: Astro Boy and postal codes as the first contact point with AI

Kagehiro
When I joined Hitachi, the Japanese postal code was shifting from 5 digits to 7 digits. So the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications at that time decided to replace the old mail sorting machines with new ones which read addresses written on the mail with a technology called "Optical Character Recognition (OCR)." For this project, I studied cognitive algorithms. It was my first encounter with AI in business for the company and myself. Later on, we developed a technology where one takes a picture of a printed URL with a camera before visiting the site with Mr. Maruyama. Mr Maruyama was a designer who was working on developing the concept of interface technology back then. We studied together and were able to create a prototype. It was a proposal to support text entry using the camera as a sensor, during a time when cell phones with cameras didn't exist.

画像2: Astro Boy and postal codes as the first contact point with AI

The composition of "AI vs AI"

Maruyama
As you have those backgrounds, I would like to pose my first question to you both. "Now that AI is becoming a part of our lives, how will social systems change?" When we hear the words "social systems," we tend to think about infrastructures such as railroad and energy, but I think they actually refer to a larger social operation system that also include journalism, tax, and laws. Mr. Kobayashi, what do you think?

Mr. Kobayashi
First of all, I would like to introduce you to a writing engine called "Wordsmith", which automatically generates articles from data. It was developed by a company named Automated Insights. Wordsmith was originally intended to be used to automatically create and send revenue reports and profit and loss reports that investment trusts managing companies were sending to clients every month. By entering the data, you can automatically create an article whose quality is nearly equivalent to that of one written by a human. So in the United States, it is used to generate simple articles—such as sports match results or changes in stock prices—for online news sites.

Other than this, there are other writing engine that write down not only articles but also recommendations for headings and website concepts. For example, all articles on Wordflow AI Articles are generated by a writing engine called Wordflow AI. And actually, all of the news is made up.

Along with the birth of such writing engines, AI which analyzes whether the news written by AI is fake or not is being introduced as well. In the field of journalism at least, I think the time of "AI vs AI" will come, sooner or later.

Kagehiro
The composition of "AI vs AI" is happening in the field of image recognition too. Let's take the Generative Adversarial Networks (GANs) as an example. GANs are an algorithm of a repetitive study where you order one AI to create an image that is similar to the real object, and order another AI to detect it. GANs are already being used in various fields and I think the composition of "AI vs AI" will become more and more common.

Click here for "[Part 2] How will social systems change with AI? (Second half)"

画像1: Societal Transition and AI - Vol.2: Can AI Connect Cyberspace and the Real World?
[Part 1] How will social systems change with AI? (First half)

Hiroto Kobayashi
Co-founder, Chairman and CEO and Chief Visionary Officer of INFOBAHN Inc.

Hiroto Kobayashi has published various print and digital media including the Japanese edition of "WIRED" and "Gizmodo Japan." In 1998, he founded INFOBAHN Inc., a company that supports corporate digital communications, and has pioneered the fields of content marketing and owned media. He currently supports digital transformation and innovation implementation of companies and municipalities. He is the author of publications such as "After GAFA: The Future Map of a Decentralizing World" (Kadokawa), "Rise of Corporate Generated Media" (Gijutsu-Hyoron Co., Ltd.). He also supervised or wrote a commentary for books such as "Free," "Share," "Public" (NHK Publishing, Inc.) and many more.

画像2: Societal Transition and AI - Vol.2: Can AI Connect Cyberspace and the Real World?
[Part 1] How will social systems change with AI? (First half)

Tatsuhiko Kagehiro
Director, Advanced AI Innovation Center, Research & Development Group, Hitachi, Ltd. Doctor of Engineering.

Tatsuhiko Kagehiro specializes in image recognition processing, pattern recognition and machine learning. After joining Hitachi, he headed the research and development of video surveillance systems and media processing technologies for industries at the Central Research Laboratory. He was a visiting scholar at the University of Surrey in 2005. Since 2015, he has taken part in Hitachi’s humanoid robot, Emiew project at the Global Center for Social Innovation (CSI). In 2017, he took office as the Department Manager of the Media Intelligent Processing Research Department. He took up his current position in 2020. He is a visiting associate professor at the University of Tsukuba Graduate School of Integrative and Global Majors, Empowerment Informatics Program. He is a member of the Information Processing Society of Japan and the Institute of Electronics, Information and Communication Engineers.

画像3: Societal Transition and AI - Vol.2: Can AI Connect Cyberspace and the Real World?
[Part 1] How will social systems change with AI? (First half)

Yukinobu Maruyama, host
Head of Design, Global Center for Social Innovation – Tokyo, Research & Development Group, Hitachi, Ltd.

After joining Hitachi, Yukinobu Maruyama built his career as a product designer. He was involved in the foundation of Hitachi Human Interaction Laboratory in 2001 and launched the field of vision design research in 2010 before becoming laboratory manager of the Experience Design Lab UK Office in 2016. After returning to Japan, he worked in robotics, AI, and digital city service design before being dispatched to Hitachi Global Life Solutions, Inc. to promote a vision-driven product development strategy. He is also involved in developing design methodology and human resource education plan. He took up his current position in 2020.

シリーズ紹介

[特集]ポストコロナの社会とビジネス

破壊の先にある創造へ――。「グレート・リセット」後に求められる社会とビジネスのあり方を、各界の有識者の言葉から探ります。
※グレート・リセット:2021年夏に開催される予定の次回世界経済フォーラム年次総会、通称ダボス会議におけるテーマ

楠木建の「EFOビジネスレビュー」

一橋ビジネススクールの楠木教授の思考の一端を、切れ味鋭い論理を、毎週月曜日に配信。

山口周の「経営の足元を築くリベラルアーツ」

山口周氏をナビゲーターに迎え、経営者・リーダーが、自身の価値基準を持つための「リベラルアーツ」について考える。

八尋俊英の「創造者たち」~次世代ビジネスへの視点~

八尋俊英日立コンサルティング社長を導き手とし、新世代のイノベーターをゲストに社会課題の解決策や新たな社会価値のつくり方を探る。

協創の森から

社会課題の解決に向けたビジョンの共有を図る研究開発拠点『協創の森』。ここから発信される対話に耳を傾けてください。

新たな企業経営のかたち

パーパス、CSV、ESG、カスタマーサクセス、M&A、ブロックチェーン、アジャイルなど、経営戦略のキーワードをテーマに取り上げ、第一人者に話を聞く。

Key Leader's Voice

各界のビジネスリーダーに未来を創造する戦略を聞く。

経営戦略としての「働き方改革」

今後企業が持続的に成長していくために経営戦略として取り組むべき「働き方改革」。その本質に迫る。

ニューリーダーが開拓する新しい未来

新たな価値創造に挑む気鋭のニューリーダーに、その原動力と開拓する新しい未来を聞く。

日本発の経営戦略「J-CSV」の可能性

日本的経営の良さを活かしながら利益を生み出す「J-CSV」。その先進的な取り組みに迫る。

ベンチマーク・ニッポン

日本を元気にするイノベーターの、ビジョンと取り組みに迫る。

デジタル時代のマーケティング戦略

マーケティングにおける「デジタルシフト」を、いかに進めるべきか、第一人者の声や企業事例を紹介する。

私の仕事術

私たちの仕事や働き方の発想を変える、膨らませるヒントに満ちた偉才たちの仕事術を学ぶ。

EFO Salon

さまざまな分野で活躍する方からビジネスや生活における新しい気づきや価値を見出すための話を聞く。

禅のこころ

全生庵七世 平井正修住職に、こころを調え、自己と向き合う『禅のこころ』について話を聞く。

岩倉使節団が遺したもの—日本近代化への懸け橋

明治期に始まる産業振興と文明開化、日本社会の近代化に多大な影響を及ぼした岩倉使節団。産業史的な観点から、いま一度この偉業を見つめ直す。

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