Tag Archives: singularity

We attended the New Context Conference 2016


I recently attended the New Context Conference 2016 organized by Digital Garage on July 5th and July 6th.

The official Web site is: http://ncc.garage.co.jp/en/

It was divided in 2 parts. The first day was about “Blockchain” and the second day about “AI”.

As you may already know, my company, Descartes Search, LLC, has 2 specific recruitment services dedicated specifically to “Blockchain” and “AI”.

The former is named Satoshi’s collar™, the latter Turing’s collar™ .

This was the first time for us to attend the conference but this year’s themes were, I have to say, perfectly matching our fields of expertise :)

I decided to attend only the second day but I had the opportunity to attend the dinner party on the first day.

My overall impression can be described as follows:

- the level of the talks was quite high

-a lot of people are intrigued by “blockchain” but even after attending the first day they have generally no idea about why they should adopt it over a standard database system

- AI is being deployed to many many industries so it is quite clear it is becoming the next platform as I mentioned here based on what Andy Rubin said at NEST 2016

- Some entrepreneurs believe that the technological singularity is near, some believe it is still very far away

In any case, each speaker’s talk was very interesting.


I would like to share with you the notes I took, as follows:


- Hiroaki Kitano, President & CEO, Director of Research, Sony Computer Science Laboratories, Inc.

  • It is impossible to read every scientific paper that is released every day (there are 4100 papers published each day)


- Joshua Lachter, Vice President of Strategic Growth, ASAPP, Inc

  • Facebook has 7 trillions pics


- Kazutaka Yonekura, CEO, al+

  • One of the mission of our company is to create an AI that can fall in love


- Joi Ito on the differences between the US and Japan

  • Japan is very strong at creating cute AI agents that people can get attached to
  • the US is very strong at designing AI algos
  • The key is to find what context to feed into the computers in order to yield creativity
  • The future of AI is in the combination of what machines are good at with what Humans are good at


- Alex “Sandy” Pentland Professor, Director, MIT Media Lab Connection Science and Human Dynamics Labs

  • Hedge funds: Humans are still much better than AI
  • AI is good at optimization
  • Humans are good at managing other people
  • The future of AI is in networked intelligence


- Yuki Shimahara, Founder & CEO, LPixel Inc.

  • Between 2005 and 2012, the number of images used for medical examination has been multiplied by 1.7
  • Japan has the highest number of cancer images in the world
  • Organs are becoming industrial products
  • The 21st century will be the century of life science
  • The combination of AI and life science will yield a new health care industy


- Koichi Nakamura, Founder & CEO, Idein Inc.

  • Our company is about designing intelligent sensor devices using pattern recognition and active learning
  • We use low-end sensors and low-end embedded computers
  • Training requires more time than prediction
  • It is possible to do deep learning in embedded devices


- Panel discussion moderated by Hiroaki Kitano

  • Go Challenge (Google) is using deep learning, reinforcement learning and Monte Carlo
  • In the near future, the combination of active learning and deep learning will increase
  • In the near future, there will be an increase of the interaction between Humans and AI (ex: health care industry)
  • Japan can be the leader in the field of AI applied to the health care industry


- Ichiro Otobe, Director of Operation & Member of the Board, ZMP Inc.

  • “Robot of everything”
  • Our secret sauce is in the weightings
  • Our autonomous car driving on a normal country road is the first of its kind in the world


- Panel discussion whose moderator is Joi Ito

  • “Human in the loop”


- Takeshi Fukuda, Director IBM Research, IBM Japan

  • We are now in a cognitive era with the rise of cognitive computing and neuromorphic computing


- Motoaki Saito, CEO, PEZY Computing

  • “I would like to cause a pre-singularity”
  • Not so far away in the future, we will have energy and food for free. Also, we will have access to anti-aging technology and we will not need money any more
  • The next generation of AI tech is AI algorithms combined with super computers
  • We will have soon 1000 times more powerful AI than now, an AI that will be able to raise assumptions, verify assumptions and create concepts
  • We will create soon a super computer that has 100 peta flops
  • We will create soon a very powerful AI computing platform with a 1000 times more powerful AI engine and a 1000 times more powerful computing power


- Ryota Kanai, Founder & CEO, ARAYA Brain Imaging

  • Our goal is to create consciousness


- Panel discussion moderated by Joi Ito

  • “The world is going to be run by algorithms”
  • “Some countries are going to have different cultural problems regarding AI”
  • “Humans are very good at causing problems”