Intellectual Property Headquarters / New Information Goods Committee

Second meeting of the Intellectual Property Headquarters New Information Goods Committee. The proper guardianship and use of AIs. Debating institutional theories concerning training data, AI programs, and trained models.

AI is a boom and, while we are unable to anticipate a general or all-purpose AI, countless individual, single-purpose AIs are being created. The combination of these is important.

A time draws near when collective AIs, rather than the wisdom of crowds, demonstrate their power. ...this is a discussion held with this radically developing situation in mind.

Industry uses specialty AIs that bear human knowledge as a mechanism through deep learning, rather than general-use AIs.  This year’s mission is to anticipate the possibilities therein and consider institutions for using them. The topic will revolve around such things as exclusive use rights (copyrights), trade secrets, and contracts.

For example, copyright infringement of a work that was created by an AI is said to be a grey area. There are cases which, in the U.S., fall under fair use, but are illegal in Japan. Even if we were to organize a domestic system, the point of view considering international competition and usage will grow in importance.

Committee Member Miyajima indicated that, as Japan is very cautious about gray areas, it is important to examine the issue with an eye towards increasing creative work and business opportunities and to get out that message. Committee Member Yanagawa commented to note that the balance between guardianship and utility may be disrupted. I think that’s true.

Committee Member Shimizu observed that open source is mainstream in the software world and that the time of copyrights is ending. Also, that PPAP is making money on derivative works on YouTube. It’s wonderful that the name “Pikotaro” will live on in the official record of government proceedings.  

Committee Member Seo brought up the issue of a non-human “AI individual”. He suggested that we anticipate big-picture suppositions about various AIs ranging from infancy, when the AI is still learning, to adulthood. ...again, a development that indicates the situation.

Committee Member Shimizu proposed that Japan is lacking in computational resources. Therefore, we should organize an environment for everyone to use, what we might call an “AI Portal”. In response to this, there was also the suggestion that it would be good to have a “National AI Archive” much like our National Diet Library. Suddenly, we’ve jumped from institutional theory to policies for promotion.

Committee Member Kitsuregawa: This is a contest of controlling data more than it is an algorithm-like methodology.  The written works held by libraries will become less significant compared to data. We need to raise the priority on data. Right now, we need to put together a strategy for intensely concentrating resources such as data, budget, and personnel rather than the legislative system on the issue.

The work to solve this equation, which involves so many different variables including institutions, promotional policy, the advance of technology, and the international situation, will go on.


Superhuman Sports Games

The First Superhuman Sports Games were held at Tokyo Tower. Four superhuman sports matches were held and six new superhuman sports experience events were held.

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The Superhuman Sports Society would like to hold a world tournament of superhuman sports in 2020 alongside the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics. The Superhuman Sports Games were the starting point for the development of contests and the cultivation of competitors to that end.

Bubble 1
Tournament Contest 1, Bubble Jumper
A form of sumo wrestling in which the wrestlers wear spring stilts on their legs and a clear elastic bubble over their upper body and collide with each other.

Hado 1
Contest 2, HADO.
A battle of “energy attacks” realized using augmented reality and motion sensing technology, in which the contestants wear heads-up displays and sensors on their arms. Contestants may move freely around the field as they cooperate in an unfolding 3 vs. 3 battle. They fight in a virtual world by moving their arms and legs in real life. This game has already been implemented at places such as Huis Ten Bosch.   

Over 1
Contest 3, Hover Crosse.
A one-on-one ball sport in which contestants take offensive and defensive roles and use HoverTrax, an electric scooter controlled solely through the shifting of the user’s body weight, to move about on the field and throw balls into three goals.

Carry 2
Contest 4, Carry Otto.
A racing contest in which humans become one with their machines by controlling small motors with reins. A sport that everyone can participate in from age 3 to 80, including those who use wheelchairs and those who are intellectually disabled. The moment you reach the goal decides the match.
Competitors can sprint using home-made carts or the wheelchairs that they normally use. The appeal of the contest is that you can freely use any kind of vehicle you like.

Competition Experience 1, ToriTori.
A local superhuman sport from Iwate Prefecture. The motif of this competition is the bird-catcher that appears in Kenji Miyazawa’s novel Night on the Galactic Railroad. Contestants compete to earn points by using a camera-mounted drone to capture target drones.

Kart 1
Competition Experience 2, HADO Kart.
An augmented reality motorsport in the form of a battle. Contestants wear heads-up displays and motion sensors while operating scooters and engage in virtual magical combat against the backdrop of the real world.

Drift 2
Competition Experience 3, Sli-de-lift.
A race in which contestants vie with techniques such as drift driving in all-direction power-assisted wheelchairs. Competitors can seize victory through skillful, precise, and well-judged sharp maneuvers and tight turns.

Ball 1
Competition Experience 4, Wheelchair Ball Shooting
Users of wheelchairs and able-bodied individuals can compete on an even ground in this ball sport, in which competitors use a ball-shooter instead of their hands. In a one-on-one battle, competitors use air cannons to get as many balls into the net over their opponent’s head as they can.
While this is a serious sport designed to ease the difficulty wheelchair users have in throwing balls, the light-heartedness does prompt laughter.

Competition Experience 6, Rock Hand Battle.

Another superhuman sport from Iwate. It recreates the combat that appears in an original comic based on the tale of Mitsuishi Shrine in Morioka City. Competitors face off wearing large, heavy, boulder-like “rock hands” and compete to smash the small rocks off of each other’s hands.


Intellectual Property Headquarters New Round for Overseas/Infrastructure

 Intellectual Property Headquarters Content Meeting @ Kasumigaseki. This is a new round for foreign development and infrastructure establishment.

Explanation of the government’s initiative.
 Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, Section Chief Toyoshima: Objective is to triple the foreign sales of broadcast content by 2018 from 2010 levels. Sales were on target in 2014, having doubled to ¥14.4 billion. Promote the maintenance of overseas broadcast quotas and co-production of content. Recently have begun to see the participation of local stations.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Chief Secretary Takamizu: Offer Japanese dramas and animated shows for free through the operations of the International Cooperation Fund. So far have provided 192 programs to broadcasters in 48 countries.

Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry, Section Chief Hirai: Support localization and promotion of content. 405 companies, representing 36% of all JLOP users, have expanded abroad for the first time using this structure. Businesses that were inwardly focused are in the process of spreading abroad.

Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry 2: The Cool Japan organization has invested in 18 cases so far. Provision of money for high-risk/high-return investments. As METI’s operation for the development of content overseas approaches its tenth year, it underwent an administrative evaluation review and received a positive evaluation.

Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry 3: As means for the reinforcement of infrastructure, the establishment and standardization of digital creation environments for anime, holding DCEXPO/Innovative Technologies etc.

Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry 4: Revise subcontracting guidelines for the anime production industry in July. Aim for measures such as documentation of contracts and public awareness of best practices.

(An important policy towards the improvement of production working environments, which are considered poor. This is certainly the task of this administration.)

Well then, hereafter is the discussion. I’ll pick out several items.

○ Cool Japan is proceeding forward from the stage of selling content abroad. This is the period for developing policies that will take us to the next phase and for hammering out a message, with an eye towards what comes after 2020.

○ A key point is to continue business after becoming independent of subsidies.

○ Exports of video games have dropped sharply from ¥700 billion in 2007 to ¥90 billion in 2014. The structure of the industry is also changing. It is unclear how long the government’s policies will continue and it is important to brace for a time when they will no longer be in effect.

○ The infrastructure of industry groups is also frail and is becoming dependent upon the national supplementary budget. A major policy for the mid-to-long term is necessary. The effectiveness of policies coordinating with government agencies is important, but interdepartmental cooperation within agencies is also not functioning.

○ Liaison conferences etc. must be established linking government agencies. It would also be good if industry groups could be optimized and reorganized via mergers etc.

○ It is becoming difficult to convey the appeal of the content industry to students in the intellectual property educational setting at universities. An important theme is how to position content within education at schools.

○ It would be good to create a message and content, such as anime that depict the near future of content, that demonstrate the future of content and the content industry.

○ Companies that are good at producing documentation are the ones that make money. But the people we want to give our money to are different. Japanese content relies on the creativity of individuals. It is extremely difficult to discover these individuals. It’s important to create a space for the purpose of discovering new creators. The CJ organization should have a mechanism for recruiting works and reviewing the open net.

○ Nobel Prize-winners are all good at writing up documents. Those who are bad at it get forgotten.

○ Let’s make an appeal towards 2020.