Kanto


Machine Beats Man

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You probably picture robots as clodhoppers: ponderous, clunky, even doddery droids that need caffeine, badly. But robots are on the brink of making giant strides. Just ask Columbia University engineering professor Hod Lipson, who writes in Nature that "young animals gallop across fields, climb trees, and immediately find their feet with grace after they fall"--and robots are set to follow suit. A new breed of speedy robots promises to eventually outdo the runners at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Notable cybernetic contenders include MIT's dominant Cheetah, Boston Dynamics' Petman and Handle, Michigan Robotics' MABEL, and--further afield in South Africa--the University of Cape Town's Baleka. Plus, that efficiency-geared Florida University powerhouse, the Institute for Human & Machine Cognition (IHMC), fields a smart, sensor-free biped plainly called Planar Elliptical Runner (PER).


AI system to help docs spot brain aneuriysms NHK WORLD-JAPAN News

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Japan's health ministry has approved the use of a revolutionary piece of artificial intelligence software to help identify brain aneurysms. It is the first time they have approved a deep learning program for use as medical equipment. The system was developed by a Tokyo venture firm called LPIXEL which develops AI software to analyze images. Their EIRL program can process MRI images and flag suspected aneurysms. It also has the ability to learn by itself and keep improving.


Data technology is rapidly expanding and creating innovation all over the world

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NTT Communications Forum 2019 was recently held in Tokyo to promote the digital transformation of society and technology to realise One Smart World with Artificial Intelligence (AI) as one of the main themes in the exhibition. The forum also offered a variety of programs, cooperating with NTT engineers and exhibition of advanced digital initiatives. NTT displayed as how people can experience future working styles with modern cutting-edge Artificial Intelligence Technologies. AI Operator can answer a wide range of inquiries by a customer and if the customer decides to speak with a human operator the AI connects him with the human operator and AI becomes an avatar reflecting the human operator's speech and even movement of the body. "To achieve a smart world we need to develop different communication solutions, this way we can maintain a high level of knowledge and face various challenging issues. And this would be an important part of the country's development. For example to develop the agriculture industry we can use AI to get better crops and reduce the time of production process," said Ryuichi Kawamura, NTT Communications.


New Toyota LQ concept set for Tokyo launch

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This is the new Toyota LQ. It's an autonomous all-electric concept car which will be revealed at the Future Expo special exhibition of this year's Tokyo Motor Show. Toyota says the concept will feature an advanced artificial intelligence system, which will build an emotional bond with its driver and offer a personalised driving experience. Toyota claims "Yui", its artificial intelligence system, will adapt the cabin lighting, climate control and interior fragrance based on the driver's emotional state and alertness. The system can also select and play music based on the driving route, as well as offer the driver real-time traffic information and local points of interest.


Toyota's LQ concept introduces you to an AI helpmate named Yui

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Around the same time, Toyota said it would put an evolution of the Concept-i to work as an escort vehicle at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. The new LQ concept is that evolution, coming to the Tokyo Motor Show later this month. The Concept-i housed an AI assistant called Yui, the software enlivened with Disney's 12 Principles of Animation that code behaviors to make fabricated things seem real. Toyota's assertion when debuting the Concept-i was, "We don't want to make a cold, technical, dry, soulless machine." The LQ expands the methods of interaction between Yui and occupants, the aim being to personalize the driving experience and "build an emotional bond between car and driver," the development philosophy being, "Learn, Grow, Love."


Typhoon Hagibis disrupts Japan's mail and delivery services

The Japan Times

Large and powerful Typhoon Hagibis is disrupting mail and parcel delivery services in Japan while forcing amusement facilities to suspend operations despite a three-day weekend through Monday, a public holiday. On Saturday, Japan Post Co. halted mail collection and delivery operations, and over-the-counter services at post offices mainly in the Kanto region including Tokyo due to suspensions of public transport services and other factors. With delays having already occurred in some mail and parcel delivery services, Japan Post is expecting the disruptions to spread throughout the country. Yamato Transport Co. halted or shortened the day's parcel pickup and delivery operations in many areas to ensure safety of workers. Delays in parcel deliveries are expected to continue until around Monday due in part to road clolsures, company officials said.


Computer-Assisted Judging Tested at Gymnastics World Championships

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Scanning and computer-assisted judging may safeguard against the pitfalls of human judging. On the eve of the 2019 gymnastics world championships in Stuttgart, Germany, the 527 participating athletes were asked to consent to a scan by multiple laser sensors to create a precise, three-dimensional image of their bodies. Those images, in turn, are being used to improve the accuracy of a so-called "judging support system," developed by Japanese IT giant Fujitsu, that's being used for the first time in the competition. The expectation, pending approval by the International Olympic Committee, is that the technology -- in which artificial intelligence helps human judges score gymnastics routines -- will be used at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. And it may presage the day when computers replace human judges entirely in the largely subjective sport, although that is not the plan "for now," officials said.


Laundroid: A home robot that folds and sorts clothes ZDNet

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Engineers at Tokyo-based company Seven Dreamers started developing a laundry-folding robot called Laundroid in 2005, and now, there is finally a robot to show off at CES 2018. We haven't seen it in person yet, but we spoke with Seven Dreamers CEO Shin Sakane for a preview. The idea is: You drop clean, dry clothes into a box in a pretty home appliance, and then several hours later you can collect the folded, sorted items. "Soft material like clothing is one of the hardest problems for AI even now," Sakane says. "Laundry folding seems like an easy task but it's actually very hard, so that's why no one has ever done it before."


Sony confirms PlayStation 5 launching in 2020: What we know so far

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories

In this file photo taken on September 12, 2019 the Sony Playstation logo is seen during the Tokyo Game Show. The long-rumored arrival of Sony's next PlayStation has officially been confirmed. On Tuesday, Sony revealed its next video game console, PlayStation 5, will launch during the holiday 2020 season. "These updates may not be a huge surprise, but we wanted to confirm them for our PlayStation fans, as we start to reveal additional details about our vision for the next generation," said Sony Interactive Entertainment president and CEO Jim Ryan in a statement. Next year is expected to be a pivotal one for the video game business, with two new video game consoles slated to launch by the holiday season.


Sci-Fi No More: Creations to Address Societal Dilemmas

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"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 . . . 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.