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Sci-Fi No More: Creations to Address Societal Dilemmas

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University of Tsukuba Associate professor Yoichi Ochiai

"I want people to have the awareness of the issues affecting Japan," says University of Tsukuba Associate Professor Yoichi Ochiai.

Artificial intelligence, 5G wireless networks, and other technologies can be harnessed to address social challenges unique to Japan, says Yoichi Ochiai, an associate professor at the University of Tsukuba and CEO of Pixie Dust Technologies Inc.

The 5G network is set to enter commercial service in Japan next spring. It will "have an enormous impact on our communication media . . . [and] will become a means for us to resolve challenges," says Ochiai, who specializes in human-computer interaction and computer graphics.

Improving the service infrastructure for the elderly, including taxi-hailing apps and automatic transcriptions for those with hearing difficulty, is vital to independent living, Ochiai says. Japan is "in dire need of research, development, and on-site experiments to determine whether the services are commercially viable and how they should be provided to users," he says.

Ochiai leads the xDiversity project backed by the Japan Science and Technology Agency under the science ministry. Its main quest is to support people's physical "diversity" using machines, AI, and robots.

Ochiai will introduce xDiversity's research efforts in a speech at CEATEC 2019 next week.

From The Japan Times
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