Youth Net Safety Countermeasures 2.0

 A task force committed to supporting the safety and peace of mind of young people on the internet.
Is being debated in the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications.
And I am serving as chairman.
  It has been 8 years since EMA, a content filtering agency, and 7 years since the platform “Japan Internet Safety Promotion Association (JISPA)” (a joint effort by industry, academia, and the government), were established as safety countermeasures for young people on the internet.

 After that, for a time there was a temporary sense of relief, but immediately after that the internet underwent a complete change from the perspective of  children on the internet. Cell phones changed into smartphones, content turned to social networking, and the web became an application. And there are even newer problems coming to the fore.

 At the same time, the government wants all children to study on tablets by 2020. In other words, their stance changed from saying, “Don’t use them!” to “Use them!”
We also were involved in advancing this movement. Conversely, there is the issue of promoting this agenda.

  At the beginning of the safety task force, there was an explanation from the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications.
94% of high schoolers, and 46% of middle schoolers have smartphones.
Filtering is on 65% of cell phones, and 45% of smartphones.

 There were many perspectives from the committee members.

1) Some examples of things that were pointed out are, education is the most important counter measure in literacy, more so than the children there are bigger problems with their guardians, as well as the matter of how to deal with people who are not very knowledgeable. There were especially strong opinions concerning the responsiveness in the classroom.

2) There were several people who expressed the desire to improve filtering, because they felt that the settings are too complicated and hard to understand. A sales agent reported that “It takes 15 minutes just to explain filtering to a customer, so in total it would take 2 hours to explain everything.” That certainly is a pain, even the customers would get sick of it.

   However, in order to improve the filtering, it would be necessary to correspond with an OS business (like Apple or Google). But for just one country to demand an improvement is probably not enough. This is the most troubling aspect of this matter.

3) Well, based on countermeasures for literacy and filtering, it would be necessary to readdress the question of what kind of organization we should pursue, but this is a difficult question to answer. The number of shareholders and stakeholders in youth net countermeasures is very high.
  Including, third party agencies like EMA and Japan Internet Safety Promotion Association (JISPA). Providers such as communication carriers, manufacturers, distributors, SNS, and OS business. Users such as guardians and schools. Government and the Cabinet Office, Ministry of Internal Affairs, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Economy, Consumer Agency, National Police Agency will also be concerned. And each local government.

  This is a countermeasure that involves hardware and software, and is a global problem, this is a cost sector that does not yield much benefit when you act independently. The public benefit for businesses is also high. That being said, how do we redesign it? I will collect more wisdom from everyone and get back to you.


The Impact of AI

  The subtitle to Masakazu Kobayashi’s Impact of AI is, “Is Artificial Intelligence an Enemy of the Human Race.?” And his answer to this question is “no.” He depicts how PC and internet technologies are comparable to AI and the next generation of robots, and how AI and the next generation of robots will  revolutionize all industries.

 As Mr. Kobayashi lays out, the history of AI has been a hard road. Minsky, an MIT professor attested to the limits of neural networks in the 50s, and after a boom during the 1st and 2nd generations, the industry underwent a setback. During the second boom in the 80s, I was involved in a government development project, so I understand the severity of this is.
  He says that after 2006, thanks to deep learning, there was a revolution in the robotics industry, resulting in large advances in image recognition and natural language processing. It would seem that finally after 10 years the next boom is finally taking off in earnest.

  The iPhone’s siri application and IT recommendation services are also AI, but what is more promising than those services are innovations like self-driving vehicles, drones, and robots. And Mr. Kobayashi also focuses his attention on these aspects.

  Especially in the United States, robotics development projects are proceeding one after another at places like MIT, Carnegie Mellon, Stanford. And with the call from DARPA (United States Advanced Research Projects Agency) there has been an increase in development projects. It is an industry-government collaboration.

  On the other hand, IT companies such as Google, Apple, Amazon etc. are currently leading the way in AI ​​and robotics. They say that they are trying to collect big data through the net and robotics.
  After being created by DARPA, the internet was further developed at universities, and then made into a service and commercialized by a group of industries on the west coast, and from there the internet spread around the world. Thus the diffusion of AI and robotics proceeded from the military, to the universities, to west coast industries.

  And that might mean that the situation has reached a place where even if the Japanese government and universities rush they will not be able to catch up. Can the Japanese government and universities really compete with such little funds, when companies continue to invest hundreds or  hundreds of billions of yen?

  In this regard, this book brings up Germany's "Industry 4.0", where production and logistic sites are becoming more internet based, while the national policy is managed by AI, supporting the fear that the US monopoly on the IT revolution will hijack Germany’s treasured manufacturing industry. Japan’s strategy is called into question.

  One interesting point here, is that the direction of development is different in Japan and the US. This is how Mr. Kobayashi sees it:
Japan: Single function robot operated by humans vs USA: A general purpose robot that moves autonomously with AI.

  In this context, Kobayashi points out that, the majority of the engineers employed as robotics engineers specialized in mechanical engineering and control systems at university. In other words, subjects that are unrelated to AI. Manufacturing, AI, and IT are dealt with separately. This is not good.

  What is even more interesting, is that Japan is indecisive when it comes to answering the question  of “what to make.”
At one time, America was indifferent towards humanoid robots like Assimo. And then, in regards to the development of the humanoid robot Schaft, the Japanese government decided that “there was no market for humanoid robots” and the project could not secure the necessary funds. Then, to the shock of all those involved in the development, Schaft was bought by Google. Presently humanoid robots occupies the center of the American industry.
That is where we’re at.

  In this regard, Masahiko Inami emphasises that “In order to ensure that robots function correctly in the environments in which they will be used, it is important to find out how people want to use their robots.” Along with the development of AI, the desired features of robots are evolving. Despite this, Japan does not seem to be pursuing these issues.

 AI and robots will steal jobs from humans. The middle income strata of jobs, (office workers etc.), will be stolen, and the more atypical manual labour jobs will be stolen too. Robots will also be put to use in jobs which are considered higher ranking jobs such as medical research and business consulting.
  But it doesn’t end there. Not only will AI usurp the throne in the world of shogi and go. A professor at UC Santa Cruz developed a program called “Emmy” which composed an opera which surpasses professional composers, so even creative jobs will become the domain of AI.

  In conclusion, Mr Kobayashi asks the question, machines have already exceed humans when it comes to steam locomotives, automobiles, heavy machinery, computer, strength, speed, and computing power, but will we also forfeit “intelligence” which is our last trump card.

 And he answers himself. Humans will probably make that decision. Humans have become unable to manage the many problems that we’re confronted with, such as global warming, air pollution, and the processing of nuclear waste. For this reason, he thinks that we need computers and robots equipped with knowledge that surpassses our own.

  He goes on to explain, intelligence is not the final trump card left to man. We possess something that exceeds that. After having created something that exceeds ourselves, we have the foresight and broad mindedness to accept it.

  From the vague anxiety concerning AI and robots, pessimism regarding the future is in the air. What we need to combat this is not blind optimism, but a creative attitude that will subjugate the future


An “Extremely Leisurely Society” is Probably Coming.

  We are worried about the super smart society of AI, IoT and robots, or what is called the Fourth Industrial Revolution and Society 5.0.
  We are worried whether or not AI is going to go out of control like HAL. There are already examples of bots who spout hate and stir up society. There have also been incidents where robots have injured people, and cases where robots killed people.
  What is more concerning than anything else is the theory that  owing to the spread of AI and IoT, half of the work will be stolen. A number of influential studies are predicting this, and legitimize this concern. AI is already responsible for 70% of financial transactions, and the signs are becoming reality.
  However, one lesson of economics is that new jobs are born even if old jobs are lost. In Race Against the Machine, Brynjolfsson and McAfee bring up the example of the luddite movement during the industrial revolution, in order to offer an optimistic theory for the long-term.
  They explain that the steam engine of the first stage of the industrial revolution, and  the electricity of the second stage, produced many new workers. And that in the long term, in the third stage of the industrial revolution, computers and the net will do the same.

  There are also books that incite with accounts of the jobs that will be gone soon. It is easy to think of the jobs that are becoming less competitive. On the other hand, it is hard to imagine what kind of new jobs are coming. Because these are jobs that do not exist yet. But it is doubtful whether humans are able to create such job. I hope that AI will create these jobs for us.

  But are AI and robots really going to increase our work? With intellect surpassing humans, AI embodied robots, are going to be completely different from the technology that we have now, so won’t we just lose work?

  Farmers who originally farmed with hoes acquired tractors and  pesticides, and were able to make lots of crops with relative ease. If AI and robots take over everything and we earn income without doing anything, doesn't that mean that rather than losing work, we will be liberated from work?

 I hope that’s the case.

  I once talked at a children's workshop where I asked the question “When AI and robots take over half of the work, we’ll have to come up with twice the work. What do you think the future of work will be?” But maybe, we should really be more interested in what society looks like without work.

 An extremely leisurely society.

  In Murray Shanahan’s Singularity. This cognitive robotics engineer explains his outlook on AI. He carefully analyzes AI technology from the perspective of neuroscience and robotics. With physiology that seeks to emulate and copy the brain, and an analysis that is firmly based in informatics, he debates the impact of AI.

  The author explains that...
The amount of paid labor in the future will definitely be reduced. An age of abundance where goods and services will spread to even the lowest strata of society. An age of equality with education for all. An age of unprecedented cultural expression.

I hope so.