Today at 11:30 pm, I was a moderator at the AI to Peace International Internet Conference. This is my first experience as a moderator at an Internet conference. It was a very exciting experience.
I'm not good at English, so I made a PowerPoint document as a supplement, but I couldn't use it. For your reference, I am posting the material below.
Q. Kenzo, please could you tell us about your role in the Japanese legislature and academia, and why AI is important to you in relation to your work?
I have experiences of government official at the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, parliamentarian as a member of the House of Councillors (Snate), the State Minister of Internal Affairs and Communications in charge of ICT, and now visiting professor of Tokyo university and Keio University. I have experienced Parliament, government, and academia. Unfortunately, no business experience.
I am familiar with the roles and ways of working of each field.
Currently, from the standpoint of an academia, my role is to examine the effects of systems and regulations necessary for the better spread of new technologies such as AI in Japan with lawmakers, government, and industry. I will encourage them to make new policies and laws and regulations for AI.
During my time at the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry and as a member of the House of Councillors, I worked in the regulation and dissemination of innovation. AI is indispensable innovation, and I believe that AI will make indispensable industries that will support the future of Japan.
First, I would like to explain the status of the Japanese government's consideration of AI ethics and regulations.
In 2020, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, where I was a vice minister, compiled 10 principles regarding the use of AI as shown in the table.
It is organized into four issues. Issues to protect life and body safety, rights and interests, issues related to the relationship between humans and AI, issues requiring solutions from a technical perspective, and issues related to data.
In 2022, Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications had published 22 AI-related values. However, I think that research and discussion on AI in Japan lags behind other countries.
We need to ensure that these transformations are positive by collaborating together to shape the path of AI use.
The G7 is scheduled to be held in Japan in 2023, and preparations are underway to actively propose the state of AI. In the midst of various developments, we are expected to cooperate with the international community to create a new society.
Q. Kenzo, what impact will AI play in our survival?
AI tends to attract attention for its high performance, but in order to implement AI in systems and promote its use, it is necessary to overcome various issues and concerns such as fairness, transparency, security and robustness, and safety. Among them, fairness and transparency (explainability, etc.) are mentioned in many AI ethical principles and guidelines, and related research is increasing in academia and industry, and they are key issues in the implementation of AI society.
Now that digital technology has become a part of people's lives, more than half of the world's population has access to the internet and spends an average of 6.4 hours a day online.
Digital technology, including AI, is inseparable from us.
I think AI is a double-edged technology that can help the world progress if the good poeple use it correctly, but if the bad people use it incorrectly, it will run out of control and throw the world into chaos. Innovations from the Industrial Revolution, such as the steam engine, which have improved our lives so far, have shifted from hardware to software and are completely digital such as AI. Humans may be afraid of things that they cannot see or imagine, but if used correctly, this AI will enrich human society even more because it has functions that surpass humans in some ways.
AI can make decisions much faster and calmer than humans in stock trading, for example. On the other hand, there is also an argument that AI can replace human jobs. I think there are many influences that AI has on our impact, but I think that not only AI but also we are required to evolve with the progress of technology.
Q. finally, for the individuals who are watching, what can they do to make sure AI promotes the protection of people and our shared planet? - and the same question to you Kenzo.
AI has some great ways to surpass humans in some ways.
For example, by conducting large-scale simulations using AI, we can see what kind of impact our activities, production in factories and farmland will have in the long term, and prevent such dangers in advance, for example, disasters, wars, accidents, etc. that could occur by using AI for things close to future prediction. I think it would be a good idea to use it to extract judgment materials that can prevent such things from happening. If we protect the fact that humans are the final decision-makers, AI can be controlled and will become a good neighbor that supports us without getting out of control.
In recent years, while AI systems have been used for socially important decision-making (personnel recruitment, crime prediction, etc.), there have been reports of cases where "fairness" has become a problem, such as AI learning human bias included in training data. In addition, it is required that humans, who are users, can trust and cooperate with AI.
Although economic impacts are difficult to predict, we should prepare for the following five economic impacts:
1. Positive contribution to increase productivity
2. Skills changes required in the labour market, including further increased demand for higher levels of technical skills
3. Unfair distribution of impacts by field, income level, education level, occupation, and location
4. Fluctuations in the labor market, in which certain occupations disappear while new ones are created
5. The possibility of a worker losing a job in the short term and prolonged job loss due to policy actions
According to the OECD report
The annual number of hours worked per worker in the G7 has been on a long-term downward trend, and the rate of labor productivity growth is slowing. We expect AI-driven automation to improve labor productivity."
I had a friend in Obihiro, Hokkaido, who loved mountaineering and who guided me and my son up the mountains of Hokkaido every year.
One of those climbs that I still remember is the view we saw from the top of the mountain.
On that climb, we pitched our tent at the summit.
As the evening progressed, it got darker and darker, and when we finished dinner and put out the lanterns,
It was really dark and we couldn't see anything.
However, the sky was covered with stars and they were shining brightly.
The number of stars, their brightness and their fluttering were something I could never see in my life in Tokyo.
There were stars shining all over the sky (the universe) and the Milky Way was streaming beautifully like a river in the sky.
Everything in sight was filled with stars, so much so that I felt as if all the stars were about to rain down on me.
An amazing view that can only be seen at the top of the mountain.
It wasn't just the level of the view that I could see, but the sensation of having my entire field of vision dominated by the stars.
It was breathtaking.
I kept getting sucked into the ceiling and looking at the sky all the time, but I couldn't keep my face turned all the way up.
Then, when I looked down my vision, I saw a string of orange glow in the distance.
They were the city lights.
Compared to the stars in the sky, they were smaller and more gentle in colour.
They were truly 'stars on earth'.
I was in the boundary layer between the stars in the sky, their world and the stars on the ground below.
There is a truth in the universe that has remained constant and equal since the birth of the universe 13.8 billion years ago (the laws that bring all matter, energy, information and life in the universe into existence), and humanity is trying to understand it. We call this action and knowledge science.
However, no matter how much progress science makes, I believe it is impossible to fully elucidate the laws of the universe.
And the truths that science cannot elucidate, people have no choice but to believe in them, and that is where faith is born.
As I gazed at the star-filled sky and the universe, I felt that until just a hundred years ago, when there were no electric lights, humans must have thought about their own existence while gazing at such a starry sky. Compared to the size of the universe, my existence is really small. Also, compared to the 13.8 billion year old universe, my life of about 100 years is tiny.
However, as a member of the universe, I, too, am a tiny being, and I am allowed to exist (live) in the universe.
And there are many people living on earth.
They may be small compared to the universe, but they all live and light up.
At this time of the day, families are probably gathered under most of the lights, eating meals and enjoying each other's company.
Those are the stars on the ground.
Both the stars in the sky and on the ground were shining with great significance.
That is why I cannot forget the stars in the sky and the stars on the ground that I saw from this mountaintop.
この二つの銀行が破綻して直ちに、バイデン大統領はイエレン財務長官、パウエルRFB議長を動員して、「ＳＶＢの預金者の全預金を全額保証する（all depositors of Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) will have access to the full amount of their deposits）」と宣言した。「これでリーマンショックのような惨事にはならないであろう」とメディアは報じ、日本でも金融危機は去ったように報道されている。
バイデン大統領は「シリコンバレー銀行やシグネーチャー銀行がおかしくなったが、政府がちゃんとした手当てをしたので皆さんは安心して欲しい"Americans can rest assured that our banking system is safe. Your deposits are safe."」と言った。そして3月13日バイデン大統領は、「シリコンバレーの裕福な預金者を国民の税金で救ったのか」と批判されるのを恐れて、「重要なことなので繰り返す。納税者の負担によるものではない」と言った。