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C&C User Forum & iEXPO2016 Keynote Speech

NEC: A Driver of the Digital Industrial Revolution
Creating a society that is safe, secure, efficient, and equal

November 24, 2016

Case studies of NEC's ongoing initiatives worldwide

Now, I will introduce ongoing case studies of NEC's initiatives in offering values to society.

First is the initiative to realize safe and efficient urban management, which is now going on in many cities around the world. NEC has been helping the city of Tigre in Argentina to prevent crime and create a safe and secure city by monitoring the streets using a face recognition system. The system has already yielded results, including an 80% reduction in car thefts. Also, in New Zealand's capital city of Wellington, cameras and sensors installed throughout the city are connected to the Cloud City Operation Centre in Europe. NEC's solutions are not limited to the creation of a single smart city. When more cities participate, the accuracy of analysis will increase because of the increased amount of data available.

The next initiative is the development of technologies for improving tomato cultivation and processing in collaboration with Kagome. NEC's analysis and prediction technologies are used at Kagome's tomato farms in Portugal and Australia. NEC's artificial intelligence technology enables growth prediction simulations to be run as many times as required based on different conditions each time. For each farm, a large-scale farm the size of 10 Tokyo Domes can be replicated in virtual space to carry out simulations of more than 20,000 farming patterns.

Next is Asahi Breweries' adoption of NEC's AI technology, heterogeneous mixture learning, to reduce stockouts and bad inventory arising from discrepancies in forecasts and actual demands. Shipment and actual sales data for 200 product items sold in the past, calendar and weather data, and product information are inputted as data. After which, sales four weeks after product launch are predicted based on shipment trends immediately after launching, enabling the optimization of future production and inventory plans. Using heterogeneous mixture learning technology enables non-experts to carry out advanced forecasting that was previously based on “long years of experience and intuition” and took data scientists massive amount of man-hours to complete.

NEC is driving the digital industrial revolution by deploying ICT across all of society's value chains. As we do so, we offer values in the areas of "visualization," "analysis," and "prescription." We will offer values in computing and networking, as well as in security, the most important area. NEC will ensure the safety, security, efficiency, and equality of society by focusing on "higher quality" social value creation.

Social value creation through co-creation

There is a limit to what NEC can do by itself in carrying out business utilizing IoT and AI, including the NEC initiatives we have thus far introduced. Thus, we will more than ever actively pursue open partnering in all the areas of social value creation, with our business partners, universities and research institutions, national and municipal governments, and various other innovation partners.

On October 26, we announced our collaboration with GE, as our newest co-creation partner. Through this collaboration, we will combine NEC's cutting-edge AI and IoT technologies with GE's rich knowhow on operational technology (OT) to construct an integrated system for the development, introduction, and maintenance of IoT solutions for Japanese companies. NEC will also accelerate social value creation by deploying NEC's advanced technologies and solutions globally.

As with our collaboration with our partners, “co-creation” is also important in business since there are many areas in which our customers are uncertain on where to start in pursuing business leveraging IoT and AI. Through NEC's “Co-creation Program” and “Consulting Services,” we provide support in the systematization of new business creation processes, from the creation of ideas to the testing of hypotheses, with the participation of designers. From the quick establishment of business to succeeding business expansion efforts, we will work side-by-side with our customers throughout the entire process.

As a means to promote co-creation, we have established “co-creation spaces” at our Headquarters, Kansai Branch Office, and other locations, and prepared a wide array of modules for readily putting shape to business ideas.

On September 29, we announced “NEC the WISE IoT Platform,” an IoT platform for clarifying customer's issues, formulating and testing hypothesis, constructing test environments, and rapidly migrating to the production environments, in accordance with this co-creation process. The platform has the following three features:

  1. (1) Utilization of efficient data collection platforms and advanced analysis engines based on AI and other cutting-edge technologies.
  2. (2) Rapid system construction based on a building-block structure.
  3. (3) IoT platform that enables construction of secure and highly robust systems

As with the above-mentioned initiatives, some of these co-creation initiatives are now actually in operation. For example, NEC has established a joint venture company with the Indian government as a result of initiatives to create values in logistics, which is essential to economic development in India. The new company was launched in October 1.

Towards 2020: NEC's vision for the future

What becomes of the world after the digital industrial revolution?

In post digital industrial revolution, Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence and robotics will spread into every corner of our society. These technologies will have by then become so much more highly advanced than they are today. In particular, it is likely that “Superintelligence” have been achieved by then. It still uncertain, however, whether “Superintelligence” would provide convenience and be useful to humans or rather would pose as a threat and become a risk to human life.

As an ICT company that is founded on technology, NEC will endeavor to create a “bright and smart society” in the future where “Superintelligence” has come about. In order to create the future that NEC envisions and to grasp the various issues that go beyond the technologies necessary to realize that future, NEC will pursue new initiatives in co-creation with experts in a wide array of fields outside the company.

I am referring to “NEC Future Co-creation Conference,” through which we will collaborate with the world's top planners, including Professor Michio Kaku from City College of New York, to create visions for an even brighter world of the future. We will be announcing the results of the discussions at the “NEC Future Co-creation Conference” through websites and other means, so please look forward to that.

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