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Imperial College London Innovations Introduce Artificial Intelligence (AI) Solutions for Technology Commercialization

On December 5, 2017, Deloitte Tohmatsu Consulting hosted an artificial intelligence event. Cogent Labs and Imperial College London Technology Transfer Program introduced seven AI solutions. This article attempts to explore the relationship between AI and data and evaluate the impact of artificial intelligence. It concludes with the implications of AI for Japan and the country’s economic outlook.

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Cogent Labs’ Artificial Intelligence Architect Dr. David Malkin and Research Scientist Dr. Max Frenzel, together with Technology Licensing Executive Alex Garcia from Imperial College London, United Kingdom, joined a technology transfer pitch session hosted by Deloitte Tohmatsu Consulting in Marunouchi, Tokyo on December 5, 2017. This event introduced recent trends in the AI business and discussed technology transfers from academic institutions for practical applications. Deloitte Innovation Leader Takeshi Fujii and Digital Leader Fabian Wong joined the networking reception following the pitch session. 

As a champion of technology transfer, Deloitte Innovation Strategy has been collaborating with technology commercialization office at the most prestigious academic institutions and research centers worldwide to put cutting-edge technology into practice. Currently, Deloitte teamed up with AI experts and innovators at the Imperial College London to help turn their top technologies into innovations. 

Seven AI solutions were introduced at the event. This offered the participants an opportunity to consider about the impact of innovation on their current business and the value technology transfer brings to their organization in this age of cross-industry technological disruption. 

Dr. Malkin’s team developed Tegaki to eliminate manual data entry for multiple industries such as insurance, finance, healthcare, manufacturing, sales and education. It was reported to be capable of recognizing up to 99.22% of the handwriting in forms. Dr. Frenzel presented Kaidoku, a natural language understanding engine for automatic processing, categorizing and labeling text. Kaidoku was designed to improve data visualization and interpretation, and unveil hidden relations and trends. Both solutions have been implemented in several conglomerate companies in Japan. Other solutions mentioned and discussed include Face Soft, Logical Contracts, Adaptive Software Systems, Autonomous System Safety, and Neural Network Wireless IoT Device. Despite the variety and diversity, the universal feature that all those solutions presented at the session shares is data management. 

Data - that basic building block of every enterprise - has become the most valuable business asset any organization possesses. As organizations increasingly value data as the key asset, the corresponding demand follows to “unleash” it—to make information more accessible and actionable across units, departments, and even geographies. This creates the need for data integration yet requires modern approaches to data architecture and governance that take advantage of machine learning, natural language processing, and automation to dynamically understand relationships, guide storage, and manage authorities. The same capabilities are called upon to navigate changing global regulatory and legal requirements around data privacy and security.*1 

Going forward, AI will become an essential tool to process large amounts of data and draw meaningful insights for business organizations. As the next decade unquestionably becomes the age of artificial intelligence and AI progresses into advancement, the world is likely to see a continuing exponential increase in the number of commercial AI-based technologies. 

This trend has been triggered in Japan and will be unlikely to stop because Japanese corporations will have to embrace AI to maintain their competitive edge in the global market; additionally, AI will replace half of human jobs in 10 years. As a consequence, more people will feel threatened and restless, and become depressed as they lose their corresponding self-actualization. However, this presents an unprecedented opportunity for Japan, whose skilled technicians are aging and working-age population shrinking. Compared to Europe and North America where an excessive labor force causes fierce labor market competition, Japan may provide a more favorable environment for AI to take root. Albeit the fear of risk and failure, Japan’s hardworking labor force and world-renowned craftsmanship have prepared this country to confront, accept, or embrace changes that will lead this economy into a new direction of economic takeoff. Given what lies ahead, this country must warmly embrace AI. 

Faced with a big industrial revolution like this, AI requires Japan to abandon the traditional mindset and open up its mind. The business models that worked perfectly well in the 1960-80s, a period of Japan’s economic boom, may no longer be applicable. While the first AI tools in any industry may appear weak and fragile, be assured they will get better with data.*2 As industries remain competitive and the country regains business momentum, AI will redefine and rejuvenate a service-centric Japan as a sustained economic powerhouse.

 

*1 “Tech Trends 2018: The Symphonic Enterprise.” Deloitte Insights. Retrieved from https://www2.deloitte.com/insights/us/en/focus/tech-trends.html

*2 Kai-Fu Lee. May 15, 2017. “An Engineer’s Guide to the Artificial Intelligence Galaxy.” Retrieved from http://engineering.columbia.edu/kai-fu-lee-speech

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