2017年9月19日火曜日

White Paper on Telecommunications Questions Companies’ ICT Response

 The white paper on telecommunications turned a sharp eye on corporate response.

 ICT investment by Japanese companies has turned into a situation of 'defensive ICT investment' aimed at realizing operational efficiency and reducing costs.

 US companies analyzed their ICT products and services and found that they are leaders due to their ‘defensive ICT investment’ strategy aimed at strengthening ICT product and service development, and reforming the ICT business model.

 Japanese corporate investment in ICT/GDP is lower than that of the United States, the UK, etc., and it will decline even further during the recession, but there are also survey results that show that the US and the UK invest more during times of recession. In the past 10 years, one reason why the competitiveness of Japanese companies didn’t increase was the low understanding of ICT in corporate management.

 The use of IoT was also analyzed.

 The IoT progress index that shows the state of Japanese use of the IoT is low. Although Japan's communication infrastructure index is at the highest level, the IoT progress index is inferior to that of the United States, China, Germany, and the UK. In other words, even though it is available, it is not being used. This is also a problem of corporate management.

 Japanese firms also have relatively low projections for market expansion using IoT. From 2015 to 2020, the rate of adoption of IoT in most countries is expected to increase 2 to 3 times, but Japan has little intention to introduce IoT, and there is a danger that a gap will open up between Japan and other countries in the future.

 The use of AI was also analyzed.

 In Japan's workplaces, many people say they are not doing anything to respond to or prepare for AI. In the United States, many acquire knowledge and skills of AI, such as learning from the AI side, in anticipation of continuing in their present job.

 However, there is another way of looking at it.
 Resistance to the introduction of AI into one’s workplace and resistance to AI as a work partner tends to be lower for Japanese workers than for American ones. This may be a sign that the spread of AI into the workplace is happening more smoothly in Japan.

 Overall, whether it is ICT or IoT, the awareness of Japanese corporate management is low, which is likely to affect competitiveness. This is an extension of the fact that the white paper has long pointed out that the issue of ICT in Japan is the use of corporate management. It’s a problem for the CEO.

 The infrastructure providers and the users of ICT such as general consumers and young people are cool, but there is a problem with corporate use. The usage policy for both IoT and AI should be expanded if they depict a growth strategy such as Industry 4.0.


 Rather than subsidizing the development side, governments should stimulate the user side with the tax system. The government should lead the way for business by becoming a strong consumer and introducing IoT and AI. I can suggest such a policy.

2017年9月5日火曜日

White Paper on Telecommunications Challenges ICT Surplus Analysis

 The White Paper on Telecommunications. I worked on the editing committee.
 http://www.soumu.go.jp/menu_news/s-news/01tsushin02_02000101.html

 The impact of the growth of the ICT sector is expected to have an upward pressure effect that will result in a real GDP of 33.1 trillion yen in 2020.
 And this white paper was a special version dealing with IoT, big data, and AI. I have extracted some points from it.

 One of the challenges is the ICT consumer surplus analysis.
 “The Second Machine Age” by MIT Sloan’s McAfee and Brynjolfsson points out the “limits of GDP,” as GDP includes production and industrial output, but doesn’t grasp the full value of ICT. It poses the question of how to measure the consumer surplus that gives rise to new products and services.

 I was already aware of this question, but I do not know of an example of successful creation of that index. This time, the white paper dealt resolutely with this matter.
 
 It says, "Although the value of ICT is held by both the company side and the consumer side, while in the end an increase in GDP can be seen in the existing statistics for the company side, the consumer side is not fully captured by these statistics. The analysis covered 1. the consumer surplus, 2. the saving of time, and 3. a focus on information assets.

1. Regarding the consumer surplus (the difference between how much consumers think they should pay for an item and how much they actually pay), an example analysis of a music and video service shows that consumers have a surplus of 150 to 200 yen per month. If we then estimate the annual consumer surplus amount, the total is about 109.7 billion yen.

2. Regarding the saving of time, an analysis of Internet shopping shows that around 40 minutes to 1 hour of time is saved for each time.

3. Regarding information assets (reviews), an analysis of Internet shopping shows that more than 80% of users have had the experience of deciding which product to buy based on reviews.


 I assume the consumer surplus is actually much bigger, but first I want to acknowledge that this subject was dealt with at all. I believe that deepening this analysis and improving its accuracy will be a global contribution.

2017年8月1日火曜日

Intellectual Property Office New Information Asset Committee

The Intellectual Property Office launched a New Information Asset Investigation Committee. It is a new assembly that was formed from the current round. I am serving as the committee chairman.

Last year's next generation committee discussed leading the world in AI creation, but this time we will expand the discussion to include big data, IoT etc., as well as industrial property rights other than copyright.

There are 3 points under consideration.
1. Strengthening of industrial competitiveness
2. The balance between protectiveness and usefulness
3. International coordination and harmony
Among these, number 1 was confirmed in a meeting as a very important point to be advanced.

There are 2 challenges.
1. Protection and use of data, and 2. Creation, protection, and use of AI.
For 1, discussion will be held regarding the right to accumulate large amounts of data through the IoT, and the predominance of platformers, and plans will be made to strengthen industrial competitiveness.
For 2, we will go over intellectual property issues in addition to AI creation, learning data sets, learned models, etc.

About the 1st challenge. How do you guarantee intellectual property rights to raw data and accumulated big data? Does data require an open or closed strategy?

About the 2nd challenge. How should AI learning data sets and learned models be positioned in the intellectual property system? In what situations do AI creations need to be protected?

Right away at the meeting, there was some discussion about how the definitions of raw data and big data are unclear, and the point was made that if the progress of AI was debated too early, the situation would change while the discussion was still going on.

Furthermore, it was pointed out that international harmonization and inter-agency collaboration should be attempted. Regarding the latter in particular, there has been a flood of around 10 conferences within the government for AI and IoT, and cooperation and coordination is an important mission for the Intellectual Property Office.

In addition to methods of protection such as legal systems and contracts, it has been pointed out that we should issue not only system theory, but also a wide range of messages such as utilization promotion measures and stimulation measures. So with all that going on, the discussion is starting to heat up.