Main menu

 Co-founder and Representative Director
Chiaki Hayashi

This is a talk session by 4 people, Mr. Joichi Ito (MIT Media Lab,Director), Mr. Hiroaki Kitano (Sony CSLPresident and CEO), Mr. Suwa and Ms. Hayashi of Loftwork Inc., discussing the present and future of Loftwork Inc. such as "Loftwork Inc. is now in the process of complete transformation","Goals must be changed in order to change the system" etc. We present the second part of the talk session.

>>Click here for Part One

Survival Kit of Next Generation is Diversity.

Kitano : This is a very complicated thing to talk about, but when an extremely powerful player enters a particular system and dominates the others, that system becomes very unstable.

To cite a well-known example, once the wolves became extinct in the Yellowstone National Park, the ever-increasing deer population had eaten up the vegetation and the ecosystem collapsed. However, once wolves were reintroduced, the ecosystem stabilized and the landscape recovered. The more diverse the inhabitation of organisms, the stronger the environmental change becomes.

Diversity as in Loftwork Inc. is important in an age in which it is difficult to make predictions. Diversity within the organization, client diversity, diversity of business. It will be very interesting if that by itself becomes an identity.

Ito : In addition to what he said, self adaptation is also important. When something goes wrong with the self-adaptive and complex system, innovation happens on its own from within the organization. In case of a society, problems are solved due to innovation in science and technology. In case of human bodies, cure is possible using genes and matter. Diversity may not be important when you are running a straight path, but when the balance collapses due to unforeseen circumstances, it will not be possible to restore to normalcy without diversity.

Even companies may not realize the value of diversity when they share a vision and tread on a straight path. However, diversity becomes a necessity when there are fluctuations and the situation becomes unstable. Whether it is the client, creators or members, Loftwork Inc. brings out their voluntary behavior and changes it in the bottom-up direction.
Complex systems cannot be designed by top down approach. In the first place, it is a positive aspect for the company that two people, like Mr. Mitsuhiro and Ms. Chiaki, with different individualities are managing the company.

Hayashi: While I can empathize with what Mr. Kitano and Mr. Joi said that "cultures and diversity have become increasingly important", it is a fact that a completely different story prevails in the society, isn't it? For example, statements like "The age of artificial intelligence and robots will come." That talk is linear, has economic priorities, but has no diversity. Ultimately, the person with the best algorithm seems to take all the profits.
Finally, please tell us what is the outlook towards the future that the 3 of you have in such a world in which completely different stories coexist.

Ito: Once, a middle school student made a stop sign using red paper and waved it in front of a Google car. Then, the self-driving system became confused and stopped. This was because the artificial intelligence is fed with instruction that "you must stop on seeing the stop sign."

Artificial intelligence can reproduce the human's thought process of artificial intelligence, but then, there are many things that can not be created in the world. Strange and ridiculous way of thinking is extremely important as it gives rise to innovation, but we cannot produce it on machines yet. Therefore, this kind of nonsensical thoughts such as obstructing a self-driving car using stop signs on paper will also become increasingly important from now on.

Kitano:Artificial intelligence solves problems in an optimized and most efficient way. However, I think that humans excel at "causing problems." The world is disrupted by problems which makes it possible to move on to the next stage. I think it will become more prominent in the future that only strange and outrageous things will be able to survive.

Suwa: Since my father was hospitalized this year, I go to the hospital every weekend. He cannot get up by himself anymore. So, I wanted to take him outside and tried to get him on to a wheelchair, but I am not used to it and since my father is of a heavy built, I could not do it.

If you talk about nursing care, it's easy to just say "let's make a humanoid nursing robot!". However, I simply want to take my father on a wheelchair and just take a walk with me.

Even if you do not make any robots, it would be much simpler to just sit and talk to arrive at a quicker solution. Solving such small things with the power of creativity will eventually lead to solving bigger problems.

Hayashi: That's so true, isn't it? Hereafter, we would like to gradually increase small actions that increase happiness from a realistic point of view such as "Will Joi laugh if I do this?", "Will this help Mr. Suwa's father?'', and more importantly, am I enjoying it, and so on. Thank you so much for your time today, Mr. Joi and Mr. Kitano !

(Text: Takahashi Mirei)
(Edited by: Natsuki Ishigami, Satomi Haraguchi)