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The AI technologies being nurtured by her team are full of promise for the future.

AI Solutions Department, Digital Innovation Center

Miku Yamasaki

Commitment to Digital Technologies

AI (Artificial Intelligence) is a technological field that has attracted more attention than almost any other. If machines can someday automatically make decisions that conventionally can only be made by “humans,” they could help advance technology and improve our lives. I have been excited about this potential of AI since I was engaged in research on AI-based image processing during my previous job.

Just as “humans” sometimes make mistakes, however, “AI” is not perfect either. Digital technologies work well in some fields and not so well in others, which is why I sense a certain human-like quality in AI.

Evolving AI

One of the reasons that “AI” has started to attract attention lately is the evolution in its learning level. Following on the “first generation,” which utilized advanced heuristics, and the “second generation,” which statistically reached the best solution, the “third generation” is modeled on brain science that extends as far as perception and emotion. In this way, AI now allows computers themselves to derive rules and correlations from vast amounts of data. I think this third-generation technology, called “deep learning,” has made AI a more familiar part of our lives.

When I heard that Furukawa Electric had established the Digital Innovation Center to challenge the possibilities of the future, I decided to change jobs and work for the organization. My research here is based on ideas that have emerged from the inspiration I have received through communication with my peers. And the process by which these transform into technologies is very enjoyable.

AI Is Nurtured by People

Ever since I was a student, I have loved working with those around me to create something new together, rather than doing things alone. When I was in high school, I devoted my youth to collaborative events like cultural festivals and theatrical performances.

Today, I am working to build a system that automatically detects slight changes in the physical condition of livestock. Livestock owners would probably spot such changes at a glance. But an AI will not be able to perceive these changes right away like the livestock owners, and must therefore be “taught.” So, it is probably easier to understand what my team is doing if you think about our work in terms of nurturing this ability to perceive. Of course, everyone on my team, including myself, must maintain the perspective and frame of mind of the livestock owners. And in this respect, too, I feel that I have been allowed to work in a way that suits my personality.

Rewards of Support Work Behind the Scenes

I think that data analysis often plays a supporting role that serves to achieve major objectives from behind the scenes. We steadily collect and analyze data to construct the logic for finding target markers buried within analog information. As an engineer, I am singularly fascinated by the rewarding nature and enjoyment of my current job, which involves digitalizing this analog perspective, and by the possibilities for the future. Right now, I want to build a solid foundation for myself as I am heightened by my superiors and senior staff who guide me at work.

Profile

2018
  • Joined a major electrical equipment manufacturer where she was involved in the development of automation technology for plant equipment.
2020
  • Joined Furukawa Electric where she is engaged in the development of smart dairy farming technology at the Digital Innovation Center.

AI Solutions Department, Digital Innovation Center
Miku Yamasaki