NEC’s AI Approach
Why is so much attention being turned to AI again?
AI (artificial intelligence) technology is defined as the use of computers to replicate human intellectual activities such as learning, recognition and understanding, predicting and inferring, and planning and optimization. A great deal of attention is being turned to AI again as a technology which can solve various societal problems and create new value. There were AI booms in the 1950s and the 1980s, but AI failed to achieve widespread penetration due to the high level of specialization it involved and the difficulty involved in creating AI rules. The renewed interest in AI is led by dramatic improvements in computer processing capabilities, the evolution of sensing devices, and the birth of advanced analysis engines developed using high level algorithms.
Modern AI technology is used to provide operation support for bank and insurance company call centers, dynamic pricing based on supply and demand conditions, used for airfares and power billing, improved efficiency for Internet search engines, financial industry high speed trading, and more, and is poised to contribute to an even greater range of fields in the future.
NEC’s AI approach
NEC is using advanced AI technology to create new societal value in the fields of visualization, analysis, and prescription. NEC has a track record of world-leading and unique technologies in these three fields, led by AI technology. We fuse this world-class technology with big data and the IoT to provide advanced solutions in a wide range of fields.
NEC approaches AI technology advances from two directions. The first is an approach based on defined goals, such as creating safer cities or performing quality management. In this field technologies such as machine learning are used for automation and autonomy in order to achieve thorough, overwhelming efficiency. The second is focused on areas without defined goals where decisions are made by people, such as business decisions, care provision, and new product development. In this segment we are taking on the challenge of creating more advanced “intelligence" that will enable intellectual-level AI to cooperate with people and provide them with suggestions.
What advanced AI technology initiatives is NEC implementing?
NEC has over 50 years of experience developing AI-related technologies. Based on this experience and history, we have created numerous groundbreaking, world-class technologies in the visualization, analysis, and prescription fields, used in image and video recognition, language and meaning parsing, machine learning, predictive detection, optimization planning and control, and more.
NEC is engaged in business using these AI technologies in a range of fields, such as immigration systems which use NEC’s facial recognition technology, which boasts the highest level of accuracy in the world, plant failure prediction systems which detect failure warning signs too subtle for people to observe, and building energy management systems and retail order placement systems which use high precision demand forecasting based on machine learning. Furthermore, we are working to create even greater value that contributes to creating safer cities and societies, such as our water management innovations, which optimize water delivery plans, our Safer Cities project, which aims to prevent accidents and crimes by detecting suspicious behavior, and cyber security, which detects undiscovered attacks.