The rise of uber-smart technology

  I was part of the MIT Media Lab 15 years ago, and the theme we pursued was "Intelligent, Ubiquitous, Wearable", or to put it in simpler terms, "Smart, Everything, Always". We looked into the possibilities where such technology could boost the power of individuals.
 However, there are signs that such technology has finally become prevalent now, in this day and age. Perhaps the 15 years taken by devices such as PCs and smartphones to be connected together in a network was a prerequisite for this.

 Several examples of this are presenting themselves.
 In the state of Florida in America, a murder suspect's iPhone records were submitted to the court as evidence. The records included the murder suspect asking Siri, "I need to hide my roommate," to which Siri answered, "Swamps, reservoirs, metal foundries, dumps." This is what "smart" means.

 "Everything" will be connected via ubiquitous computing. With M2M technologies, home appliances, cars and robots will all be able to communicate with each other. Concurrently, with the spread of 3D printers, we will become able to create and distribute physical items as content. We can do this to anything and everything. Even in Japan, a man who created guns using a 3D printer received a 2-year prison sentence after being charged with a crime under the Ordnance Manufacturing Act.

 "Always". Mobile technology is a means for us to be connected "anytime". Wearable technology will do so "always". The switches will never be turned off. They will always be on.
 Bills were submitted in 8 states of the US regarding restrictions of the usage of "Google Glass" while driving. While they did not make it past Congress, enforcing them would be difficult even if they did. Even if it was worn, anyone could excuse themselves saying, "I didn't turn it on." It does not end there. It appears that a contact lens version will be making its appearance as well, so it will become impossible to tell if the device is being worn, or not. Even software that has functions to assist in driving will soon be developed, and there are likely to be advocates that insist, "It is safer to install them."

 Multi-device systems, cloud networks, and social services together form up a complete set of "smart" technology, and we are now moving toward the next stage of intelligent, ubiquitous, and wearable technology. "Uber-smart" technology, so to speak.


Closed and open

 IP2.0, a project that concerns itself with the debate on the issue of intellectual property entering a new playing field, has started.
 Domestic rules do not apply to overseas servers, so Japanese business are on the receiving end of an unfair tax and copyright system. Japanese video game companies have established independent regulations, but international platforms such as Google and the App Store do not follow them, thus domestic game makers are losing out to overseas companies. What should we do about this?
 France and Italy impose fines and taxes on Google. China adds restrictions to the activities of overseas corporations. There are open talks about tactics to form regional blocs. Bloc economies have drawn much flak politically and economically, but in the digital playing field, there exist arguments that affirm them. That is how terrific the pace of globalization is.
 If the EU and China form a bloc, what should Japan do? If Japan joins the bloc, it will no longer be able to sustain itself independently. Even if Japan relies on America just because of that, the competition from Google, Apple, and Amazon lies in America.

 In contrast to that, there is also the strategy of suppressing the rules of individual countries and shifting toward a more open and multinational set of rules. We have WTO for trade and commerce, WIPO for intellectual property, and recently we have TPP.
 Should there be separate rules for each of the modern nations, or should there be a multinational society? This is a 100-year-old topic, ever since Wilson championed the principles of harmony through the formation of the League of Nations. The fact that this topic has resurfaced at this point in time attests to the power of digital technology.
 The power of countries, once thought to be immoveable entities, is showing signs of uncertainty. International business platforms sometimes demonstrate international power beyond that of the influence of entire countries. Similarly, meta-level global decision making beyond the scope of individual countries is sought after in the TPP.


The societal order destroyed by the Internet

 It has been 20 years since the Internet started becoming widespread. Recently, there have been a number of cases where it has caused damage to the "societal order".

  A number of teenagers in Fukuoka were prosecuted for "dueling". The junior high school students made a pact to fight it out via the social networking service LINE, and through LINE, about 100 spectators also gathered to watch the drama unfold.
 The crime of dueling was laid out in a law over 120 years ago, before the establishment of the penal code, and that law has rarely been applied until now. Digital media has managed to unearth the society of a century ago. It has become easier for insular communities to incite duels, and for them to gather spectators.

 There has also been an account of an increase in the number of "nameless" delinquent gangs, which do not possess group names. These are social delinquents that assemble and operate via Twitter and LINE. They do not wish to be bound by the rules of traditional gangs. They do not need leaders or an organization. They assemble and run whenever they want to do so. The digital world is promoting actions purely based on their own intentions to break the rules.

 Our individual existences have also become dependent on the Internet.
 According to the American online employment website CareerBuilder, 51% of employers have rejected job applications after looking at social media. More so than resumes and interviews, one's net history presents a more accurate view of a person. Building up an online persona has become a more powerful method than making an impression on real life interviews.

 Organizational and social structures and also going with the flow. Numerous closed communities have sprung up, and have become opaque from the outside. At the same time, they form connections with each other, collapse, and again transform into other communities. In the midst of this, the individualism accorded to each person has increased, but every person is remembered by the Internet, and is personally bound by it.
 These 20 years. The generation that was born into the Internet age has begun to emerge in society, and it seems that the union between what is real and what is virtual has already changed from a "revolution" to an "established fact".


New round of meetings for Strategic Council on Intellectual Property

 The government's Strategic Council on Intellectual Property has begun a new round of meetings regarding content. As per previous sessions, I am taking on the role of chairman.
 The construction of archives is a major topic of discussion.
 The Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology is currently making a digital archive of art in various forms of media. It reports that It has already compiled basic data regarding 250 000 volumes of manga, 120 000 issues of magazines, 9000 titles of anime, and 35 000 games.
 The archiving of the National Diet Library was done 5 years ago at a cost of ¥12.7 billion, with the amendments made to the Copyright Act. For Japan to become a major archival nation, initiatives like this have to be repeated for about 5 more times.

 There are also fields in which citizens are proceeding autonomously. Mr. Ken Kutaragi, the creator of the Sony PlayStation, is currently building up a game archive. He asserts that in the midst of a world where data and information about past games is steadily becoming scattered and ultimately lost, it is essential to tackle this issue now.
 He says that broadcasted content and works from the past are disappearing, and the actual extent to which they still remain has yet to be ascertained.
 The construction of archives like this is progressing at an individual level, but there is no sector that unifies all the individual activities. It is important for policies to be made to bring them all together in a network or system.

 Various ministries have made statements about overseas expansion. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is carrying out its diplomacy using Doraemon, Attack on Titan, and cosplay. The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry is using Chibi Maruko-chan and Gundam. Interesting.
 Incidentally, the Agency of Cultural Affairs reported that ¥850 million is spent each year to promote Japanese films. I do not understand why films are being promoted now, because I believe that instead of using the budget to promote films, putting it into comic markets and game archives would be more effective.
 Even if the government decides to invest part of the budget in them, to which areas should the budget go to, and for what purposes? There is the creation of content, the building of dynamic infrastructure, and the cultivation of talent. There is no consensus regarding this.


Takeshiba CiP concept kicks off

 I am advancing the concept of the Takeshiba CiP.
 I asked for ideas from students during a lesson of mine, and 4 suggestions quickly popped up. In their words, the suggestions are as follows:

1) Superhuman Olympics
 Let us hold a Superhuman Olympics. Superhumans will battle it out with an amalgamation of sports and technology. They will be equipped with wearable computers and cyborg technology. We will make a festival that supersedes the Olympics and the Paralympics.
 I wish to set new world records for archery by wearing ultra-high performance goggles and machines that augment physical strength. I have never done archery in my life, but I feel like that would be able to make me king of the world.

2) eSports
 eSports refers to computer games of a multiplayer, competitive nature comprising many genres such as sports games, fighting games, and shooting games. Although there are professional competitions overseas with prize pools of over ¥100 million, such sports have not seen much development in Japan. This is a plan that suggests that the Olympics be used as an opportunity to create a location for such events in Takeshiba.

3) Kids' jungle
 Let us make a wonderland where children can create and publish digital content. I want to establish a base for the study of programming, which will form the foundations of the children's creativity. I want to hold daily "workshop collections", where children create content using digital technology.

4) Floating city
 Can't the waterfront terminals and piers could be turned into pleasant places like that of San Francisco, Venice, and Nice? Can't live concerts, workshops, dates, and casinos be put on a boat? And can't a grand film festival be held with a huge screen on the surface of the water?

 Minato Ward is a special ward in the strategic planning of the country. I wish to propose ideas that it can execute as a special ward as well.