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NEDO Held a Ceremony Recognizing Outstanding Research by AI Start-ups

– Introduced six research projects at “CEATEC JAPAN 2017” –
December 1, 2017

On October 6, 2017 at “CEATEC JAPAN 2017,” NEDO held a ceremony to honor six outstanding research projects by AI start-up companies. The projects were chosen competitively by NEDO with the aim of discovering and supporting innovative AI technologies. Six winners were selected from a total of 57 applications through a competition process that required both the review of documentation and the demonstration of prototypes. Representatives from each company offered a presentation at the ceremony regarding their outstanding research projects.

  • Photo of member
    Photo, NEDO Held a Ceremony Recognizing Outstanding Research by AI Start-ups

  • From left to right
  • Osamu Hasegawa, Ph.D., CEO & CTO, SOINN Inc.
  • Yoshihiro Inoue, Deputy General Manager, R&D Dept. Medical Systems Div., SHIMADZU CORPORATION
  • Toshinori Takeuchi, President, AR Advanced technology, Inc.
  • Koji Mitsumoto, CEO, Hmcomm Co., Ltd.
  • Kazuo Furukawa , NEDO Chairman
  • Yotaro KATAYAMA, Director, BEDORE Inc.
  • Saburo Yamauchi, President & CEO, Earth Eyes Co., Ltd
  • Miku Hirano, CEO, Cinnamon K.K.

1. Overview

NEDO selected the winners through a competition process that required both documentation review and prototype demonstration. The competition’s aim was to discover and support start-ups working on innovative technology in the field of AI, in which development moves extremely fast. As a result, six winners, including the first prize, the second prize, and the Special Jury Prize, were selected from a total of 57 applications.

A ceremony was held at the Innovation Talk Stage at CEATEC JAPAN 2017 in Makuhari Messe, accompanied by presentations given by representatives from each company, with the aim of providing broad exposure for the research projects. Winners will conduct their two-year research projects*1 in fiscal year 2017 and 2018. Based on direction from the government of Japan, *2 NEDO hopes that by promoting the social implementation of AI through support for AI startups, new demand for this technology can be created and fusion with existing industry activity will be promoted, in order to strengthen Japan’s industry competitiveness in this area.

2. Ceremony

  • Name: Ceremony for "Research Study on Next-Generation AI Technology Field: Strategic Advancement of Multi-Purpose Ultra-Human and AI Technologies (SamuRAI)"
  • Date & Time: 3:00 – 4:30pm, October 6, 2017
  • Venue: Innovation Talk Stage (at CEATEC JAPAN 2017), International Exhibition Hall 3, Makuhari Messe
  • Speakers:
  • Shintaro Matsumoto, Director of the Industrial Science and Technology Project Promotion Office
  • Kazuo Furukawa, NEDO Chairman
  • Hisashi Sekine, NEDO Project Manager
  • Recipients of prizes:
  • Koji Mitsumoto, CEO, Hmcomm Co., Ltd.
  • Toshinori Takeuchi, President, AR Advanced technology, Inc.
  • Yoshihiro Inoue, Deputy Director, Medical System Division, R&D Department, SHIMADZU CORPORATION
  • Osamu Hasegawa, Ph.D., CEO & CTO, SOINN Inc.
  • Yotaro KATAYAMA, Director, BEDORE Inc.
  • Saburo Yamauchi, President & CEO, Earth Eyes Co., Ltd
  • Miku Hirano, CEO, Cinnamon K.K.

3. Research Projects

First Prize

“Practical applications for ‘End-to-End Speech Recognition AI’ that recognizes diversified speakers in multiple languages”

Hmcomm Co., Ltd.

Hmcomm is pursuing practical applications for "End-to-End Speech Recognition AI”, using “CNN"*3 and "AI comparable to human intelligence" to solve social issues, such as labor shortages due to the aging population and the needs of sophisticated telemedicine.

  • Schematic view of
    Figure 1. Schematic view of "End-to-End Speech Recognition AI"

Second Prize and Special Jury Prize

“Research and development on AI’s ability to infer optimal clinical departments”

AR Advanced Technology, Inc. and SHIMADZU CORPORATION

In this project, AI cloud systems are trained to select the appropriate medical departments for outpatients by acquiring information through an interactive interview. The results of this project could shorten waiting time for outpatients and improve efficiency in medical office work.

  • Image of “Inferring optimal clinical departments by AI”
    Figure 2. Image of “Inferring optimal clinical departments by AI”

The Second Prize and the Special Jury Prize

“Personal Artificial intelligence from Japan, cultivating in the smart phone.”

SOINN Inc.

By automatically learning the privacy settings of an individual smartphone, the “AI Personal Concierge SOINN" program collects information exactly suited to the user’s personal needs and operate the smartphone automatically. Because the AI’s learning takes place within individual smartphone devices, the risk of the information leaking is greatly decreased.

  • Image of “Personal Artificial intelligence from Japan, cultivating in the smart phone.”
    Figure 3. Image of “Personal Artificial intelligence from Japan, cultivating in the smart phone.”

The Second Prize and the Special Jury Prize

“Research and development on interactive search algorithm based on deep learning to retrieve unstructured enterprise data”

BEDORE Inc.

BEDORE is creating a deep learning-enabled interactive search system that can retrieve documents and answer questions. Enterprise search systems have lagged behind web search engines, which are highly optimized in their use of big data and machine learning. The proposed interactive search system aims to make enterprise searches more efficient.

  • Image of proposed deep learning-enabled interactive search system
    Figure 4. Image of proposed deep learning-enabled interactive search system

The Special Jury Prize

“Development of a ‘Five Senses’ AI-enabled camera”

Earth Eyes Co., Ltd.

Earth Eyes is developing an AI system that prevents accidents and criminal activity with a sophisticated combined-sensing feature comparable to human capabilities (image processing, sound processing, olfactory sensing, sound source recognition, and more), combined with analysis by AI. A primary goal is to use the technology to develop retail stores with AI features, such as automated shoplifting prevention.

  • Figure 5: Image of ‘Five Senses’ AI-Enabled Camera
    Figure 5: Image of ‘Five Senses’ AI-Enabled Camera (at retail store)

Special Jury Prize

“Research and development on an AI engine to increase the productivity of back office contract review work”

Cinnamon K.K.

Cinnamon is creating an AI document reader to increase the productivity of office workers.

  • Image of “AI engine to increase the productivity of back office contract review work”
    Figure 6: Image of “AI engine to increase the productivity of back office contract review work”

Related News Release

[Glossary]

*1 Research Projects
Project Name: "Research Study on Next Generation AI Technology Field: Strategic Advancement of Multi-Purpose Ultra-Human and AI Technologies (SamuRAI)"
Period: Fiscal year 2017-2018
*2 Direction of Government of Japan
Based on instructions issued by the Prime Minister in “Public-Private Dialogue toward Investment for the Future” in April 2016, the national government established the “Strategic Council for AI Technology.” This council established “Research and Development Objectives and the Industrialization Roadmap” as well as “Artificial Intelligence Technology Strategies” (March 31, 2017). The strategies hold that supporting start-ups to promote the utilization and applications of AI technology is necessary, and it was decided that NEDO would support the research and development activities of start-ups.
The “Strategic Council for AI Technology” is a council charged with promoting R&D and PoC for the implementation of AI-based IoT (Internet of Things) in society and businesses. The council will take charge of the study and deliberation that are considered appropriate to be processed through consultation with related organizations with regards to AI technology strategy, action and role of the three ministries (Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications; Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology; and the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry), and important issues related to AI technology, in order for the three ministries to cooperatively accelerate AI technology development and its social implementation.
*3 CNN (Convolutional Neural Networks)
A method of machine learning.

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