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AI and earthquakes -- AI Daily - Artificial Intelligence News


This is an average however as in 2010 320,120 people were killed in earthquakes, compared to 768 in 2012. As such earthquakes are very difficult to predict and protect against. While long term measures can be employed in high risk areas, short term evacuations could save many more lives, but these are currently very inaccurate. The 2011 Japan earthquake that caused $235 billion in damage was forecast without AI to be much smaller in magnitude with a smaller tsunami before it struck. Given AI's exceptional ability to analyse vast amounts of data, in this case seismic, scientists are hopeful that the new analysis computers will provide could give quicker and more accurate warnings, as well as predictions about aftershocks, which are often especially damaging.

Hilariously out of sync cheerleading robots dazzle during baseball game in Japan


The Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks filled their seats with robots in place of humans. SoftBank's'Pepper' and Boston Dynamics' 'Spot' performed a collaborative cheer during the game. While other sports have tried cardboard cutout crowds, the Hawks decided they'd go where few others have dared.

Grab deal just the start of MUFG's focus on technology investment, CEO says

The Japan Times

A math expert who studied number theory at the University of Tokyo's graduate school, he made an impression earlier in his career by heading the bank's launch of bond options trading. Digitalization is key to streamlining operations, especially in domestic retail banking, he said. While MUFG and others saw a surge in branch traffic despite a stay-at-home plea by the government in April, Kamezawa said the bank is now seeing a jump in the use of online banking services. His two predecessors, Kanetsugu Mike and Nobuyuki Hirano, were known for their overseas backgrounds. Under them, MUFG spent about $15 billion to acquire PT Bank Danamon Indonesia and Thailand's Bank of Ayudhya, and to obtain stakes in Vietnam's Vietinbank and Security Bank Corp. of the Philippines. Asked whether the acquisition of commercial banks in the region was over, Kamezawa said: "I think so." "We have succeeded in making up for declining domestic profit through our push overseas," he said, adding that the priority now was to control steadily rising costs. MUFG's costs as a percentage of revenue remain high, standing at 70.2 percent for the year ended March, compared with 62.8 percent for rival Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc. "We will recalibrate our global strategy, review growth areas and allocate resources accordingly," Kamezawa said. Since the early stages of the COVID-19 crisis, The Japan Times has been providing free access to crucial news on the impact of the novel coronavirus as well as practical information about how to cope with the pandemic. Please consider subscribing today so we can continue offering you up-to-date, in-depth news about Japan.

Microsoft to spin off its Xiaoice chatbot work into an independent company


Microsoft is spinning off its Chinese chatbot business into an independent company. Microsoft plans to maintain investment interest in the new company as work after it finishes spinning it out in the next few months, according to an announcement by Microsoft in China (which I saw via TechCrunch on July 13). Xiaoice, translated as "Little Bing," has been a big hit in China since it was launched in 2014. Xiaoice has similar counterparts available in India (Ruuh), Japan and Indonesia (Rinna) and the U.S. (, which was the successor to the ill-fated But none of these have been anywhere near as successful, in terms of number of users or conversations as Xiaoice.

Cannes winner Naomi Kawase named producer and senior advisor for Osaka Expo 2025

The Japan Times

Osaka – Film director Naomi Kawase, winner of several Cannes awards, and roboticist Hiroshi Ishiguro were among 10 producers named Monday for the World Exposition set to be held in the city of Osaka in 2025, as the nation began preparing for the event. Kawase will also double as a senior adviser to the event. The expo, to be held for the second time in the city after one in 1970, will have no general producer in charge overall but instead will have 15 senior advisers. The 10 producers, selected by the Japan Association for the 2025 World Exposition, are tasked with designing venues and planning pavilion exhibitions among other sites for the event, which is to be held on Yumeshima, a manmade island in Osaka Bay. Ishiguro, a professor at Osaka University whose creations include his "robot twin," said at a news conference, "The expo 50 years ago had a great impact that can be felt even now. We would like to make the (next) expo one whose legacy will continue for another 50 years."

A life-size Gundam statue will be completed outside of Japan in 2021


You won't have to visit Japan to see a life-size Gundam statue in the months ahead, although you may still have to book a lengthy trip. Our Engadget Chinese colleagues report that Bandai Namco will debut an 18-meter (about 59ft) Freedom Gundam statue at the LaLaport Mall in Jinqiao, Shanghai, China sometime in 2021. It's the first large Gundam robot statue to be built outside of Japan, Bandai Namco said. It's unclear if this robot will have any movement like the recent Yokohama statue, but it won't be surprising if that's the case. These statues have been cultural draws for years in Japan, and movement (however limited) might draw more people. The pandemic complicates matters -- it's unclear how many people will want to venture outside to see a robot statue in 2021.

This New App Uses AI To Grade Tuna Freshness


Sushi is only as good as the fish wrapped inside its barrel of rice and seaweed. If the tuna, yellowtail, or salmon isn't fresh, it not only looks gross, but renders the whole roll underwhelming in flavor and texture. To keep things from getting fishy, a Japanese company has developed a new mobile app that uses artificial intelligence to grade the freshness of cuts of tuna on sight. Aptly named Tuna Scope, the system uses thousands of cross-sectional images of tuna tails as training data to learn what good quality tuna looks like. According to the Tuna Scope website, trained fishmongers use the tuna tail as a "road map" detailing the fish's flavor, texture, freshness, and overall excellence.

Battery breakthrough makes lithium-ion tech 90% cheaper – and manufacturing is easy as 'buttering toast'

The Independent - Tech

A battery pioneer has invented a new kind of battery that is 90 per cent cheaper to produce than standard lithium-ion batteries, and potentially much safer. Hideaki Horie – who has worked on battery technology since 1990 and led Nissan's development of the Leaf electric car – discovered a way to replace the batteries basic components in order to speed up and simplify the manufacturing process. "The problem with making lithium batteries now is that it's device manufacturing, like semiconductors," Mr Horie told The Japan Times. "Our goal is to make it more like steel production." Manufacturing the new batteries is significantly simplified by replacing the metal-lined electrodes and liquid electrolytes typically found within lithium-ion units with a resin construction.

Japanese college dropout builds $560 million fortune through AI firm

The Japan Times

Taku Toguchi knew he wanted a career in artificial intelligence as far back as when he was a teenager. Now 36, the college dropout and serial entrepreneur has joined the ranks of Japanese founders building fortunes in AI, thanks to a stock-market rally that turned his company into one of the nation's most richly valued. AI inside Inc., which went public in December and specializes in digitizing handwritten documents, has been among the biggest beneficiaries of surging investor optimism toward companies that use AI and other technologies to enable remote working. While some analysts have questioned whether the stock's almost ninefold gain is sustainable, AI inside has ambitious plans to expand outside Japan and into other business lines. "It feels like we're being hugely recognized," Toguchi said in an interview.

A sushi restaurant chain in Japan is using AI to evaluate tuna cuts


The highlight of almost any sushi platter is the fatty tuna. Finding that perfect cut of tuna that melts in your mouth is something that fish buyers spend years of their life learning how to do. But now a Japanese advertising agency named Dentsu Inc has developed an app called Tuna Scope that allows someone to do the same with little to no training (via The Verge). The firm trained the machine learning algorithm that powers the software using thousands of images of tuna tail cross-sections. The cut can tell human buyers a lot about the quality of fish they're about to purchase.