Means of communication have diversified in recent years as our society has become global and multicultural. Communication technologies—the infrastructure of communications—continue to evolve and with IoT (Internet of Things) allowing all ‘things’ to be connected, the boundary between cyberspace and physical space is becoming less noticeable. New values can be created by analyzing massive and diverse information (big data) from both spaces using artificial intelligence (AI). However, while this has demonstrated possibilities in resolving some of the social issues such as language barriers and shortage of labor due to the declining birthrate and the aging society, we still face many challenges in finding truly valuable information from big data, establishing mutual understanding by taking advantage of such information, and taking the right actions in a society where different cultures coexist.
The Universal Communication Research Institute (UCRI) has been promoting research and development (R&D) and social implementation of technologies that can uplift the quality of communication by creating an AI research platform using high-quality, large-scale database mainly in Japanese and specialized for specific fields, with the aim to achieve universal communication and to establish mutual understanding among the people. The technologies include: multilingual communication technology which enables low-latency AI simultaneous interpretation that can be used in business scenes; data-driven intelligent communication technology which enables users to interact with virtual personalities based on their interests and backgrounds; and smart data analytics technology which enables real-world analysis and predictions by connecting public and private data. Some of the results of these R&D have been implemented into practical systems or made into databases and released to the public as open source or via industry-academia-government collaboration projects such as "Advanced LAnGuage INformation Forum (ALAGIN)." We also conduct licensing and joint field experiments with private companies to further promote social implementation of our R&D outcomes. We hope these activities would help remove the barriers of language, knowledge, and data utilization in global businesses, elderly care, environmental risk reduction, etc. and contribute to solving social issues and creating new values.
UCRI resides in the heart of Kyoto, Osaka, and Nara, known as "Keihanna Science City" and along with other research institutes in the area, we seek to create new industries through industry-academia-government collaboration activities such as Research Promotion Council of Keihanna Info-Communication Open Laboratory , in scope of the Expo 2025, Osaka, Kansai.
The research field in which UCRI focuses on requires a powerful computing environment to process large-scale and high-quality databases. We are among one of the top few research institutes in the country who retain sufficient resources; both data resources (e.g., crawled data of about 30 billion web pages, training data used for complex Q&A systems, and various linguistic databases) as well as computing resources (e.g., large numbers of GPGPU and thousands of servers), and the numbers continue to grow. We have internship programs for students both from Japan and abroad, and also accept graduate students whom we have the chance to study with through classes jointly held together with Nara Institute of Science and Technology, etc. Come join us and take full advantage of our large-scale databases and computing resources for your research!