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The use of artificial intelligence (AI) is growing, with applications that range from big data analytics to marketing and self-driving vehicles. It is anticipated that new possibilities for business will open up through the combination of AI with large quantities of data acquired from real life, including human behavior and operating conditions from a variety of equipment. Anticipating such developments, Hitachi was among the first to work on the development and deployment of general-purpose AI.
Through this work, Hitachi is seeking to revolutionize business and society using AI solutions based on proprietary technology and concepts. Today, we invited Kazuto Ataka of Yahoo Japan Corporation, a leading evangelist for new AI, and engaged in a discussion with Kazuo Yano, who directs general-purpose AI research at Hitachi, concerning the shape of the future in which AI and people will co-exist.
The term artificial intelligence (AI) has started to become commonplace in Japanese print media and TV. However, since many people are still largely unfamiliar with what the term actually means, my office receives questions about AI and requests for presentations about it on a daily basis.
AI has certainly been covered in a large number of books and other media, however only certain aspects of it tend to be presented. As the term AI is currently trending, some of the coverage has started to exploit the trend by interpreting it in a broad sense, giving people the wrong impression.
I don’t like machines very much. I don’t like riding in cars or on trains, and I chose a high school and university that I could commute to by bicycle.
However, of all the various types of machines around today, I think I most dislike appliances with artificial intelligence (AI) functions—‘talking appliances’ in particular. People are surprised to hear this coming from the leader of an artificial intelligence project, the Todai Robot Project. Naturally there is no microwave in my house. Microwave heating ruins tasty sake and makes mochi rice cakes lose their shape. It may be more work, but sake is better when warmed in hot water, and mochi is better when cooked on a grill.
ARTIFICIAL intelligence (AI) is a topical subject. Large investments in the technology, which is a major factor in international competitiveness, have been announced by governments and other organizations.
Nobody as yet has an overall grasp of what impact AI will have on business and other parts of society. However, new developments that give a glimpse of the future have already begun to appear. These can be found in marketing, academic papers, investment decisions, and Internet chatter. And they already include examples of how things will play out in the future. The future is already happening.