The 8th Science Council of Japan Symposium on Informatics

Committee on Informatics, Science Council of Japan
Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST), National Institute of Informatics
Date / time
March 9, 2015. 13:00-17:40
Auditorium at Science Council of Japan (7-22-34 Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tokyo, Japan)
The exit No. 5 of the Nogizaka station, Tokyo Metro Chiyoda Line


This symposium is the first symposium on informatics after the 23rd term of the Science Council of Japan started. Therefore we start with introduction of future plans of the Committee on Informatics and each subcommittee. Then we have an invited talk by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology to introduce the recent trend in policies related to information and communication technology followed by expectations and demands for the informatics community to promote scientific and technological policies of the government.

There have been emerging research challenges towards utilization of big data for novel intelligence information processing, forming a hot topic in Informatics. Considering this background, we plan two more invited talks about recent trends of brain-based processors and necessary social norms for this evolving technology. Intelligence information processing technology based on brain-like computational models (e.g., deep learning) has been experiencing rapid improvement in recent years and attracting attention in a variety of fields. In addition, high-performance brain-based processors with significant enhancement both in degree of integration and energy efficiency are also under development. We aim to discuss how such technological advancements in informatics would impact future society and how we should handle ethical, legal, and social issues.

Based on the discussion above we finally have a panel session to discuss ICT towards the 5th fundamental plan for science and technology, aiming to clarify the current position of informatics, which would help activity of our committee.


Opening Remarks
Masaru Kitsuregawa (Member of the Section III of the Science Council of Japan, Head of National Institute of Informatics, Chair of the Committee on Informatics)
Report from the Committee on Informatics
Masaru Kitsuregawa (Member of the Section III of the Science Council of Japan, Head of National Institute of Informatics, Chair of the Committee on Informatics)
Invited Talk
"Recent Trend in Policies Related to Information and Communication Technology"
Tsuyoshi Enomoto (Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology)
Invited Talk
"The Coming Revolution in Neuromorphic Computing: Hardware and Software"
Brent Hailpern (Head of Computer Science, IBM Research)
[Abstract] As the roadmap for the conventional von Neumann architecture "tops out", alternative computing architectures become increasingly interesting. Probably the most exciting alternative computing model is based on the functioning of the human brain: neuromorphic computing. With the advent of the True North chip, pioneered by Dr. Dharmendra Modha and his team at IBM Research - Almaden, the era of brain-based processors has begun. This talk will summarize some of the advancements in the underlying hardware for neuromorphic computing, the necessary first steps in software to support that hardware, and the challenges that face us to integrate these new hardware and programming paradigms into our software engineering and DevOps lifecycles.
"A Tale of Two Cyber-Futures: (how) might science policy today shape our "Super-Cyber" societies of tomorrow?"
Jason Blackstock (Department for Science, Technology, Engineering and Public Policy, University College London, UK)
[Abstract] Emerging cyber technologies continue to reshape the way humans interact — both with each other, and with the physical world around us — altering the social dynamics that underpin our modern societies. As new cyber technologies increasing integrate (converge) with new physical and biological technologies, the pace and magnitude of these changes promises to continue accelerating. From security to equality, social wellbeing to individual freedom, these changes have profound implications for our modern and future societies. Starting from a series of contrasting examples, this talk will explore particularly how contemporary science policy — integrating interdisciplinary (spanning social and natural sciences) policy-oriented research, alongside broader open policymaking — might enable an adaptive governance approach to shaping our modern societies’ “super-cyber” futures.
Invited Talk
“Will the Super-Cybersociety Make Us More or Less ‘Human’?”
Steve Fuller (Chair in Social Epistemology, University of Warwick, UK)
[Abstract] ‘Humanity’ has always better captured an aspiration of Homo sapiens than the species’ actual living conditions. Many argue that ‘emerging technologies’ will simply make the task of raising the entire species to a common level of ‘humanity’ more difficult, as the difference between the ‘haves’ and ‘have-nots’ increases. I believe that certainly the potential exists for that to happen. However, my attitude is similar to that of Karl Marx vis-à-vis the industrial mode of production under capitalism. Left to its own devices, capitalism does indeed increase class divisions until they become unbearable. However, socialism is capable of harnessing capitalism’s best features, including its productivity and efficiency, to ends that serve humanity more equitably. In our time, ‘information’ broadly construed – from the genetic code to digital programming – is the new mode of production that currently exists in a relatively unregulated capitalist environment. I will consider the sorts of legal arrangements that are necessary for the information mode of production to result in a just social order, thereby reducing what many fear to be an emerging asymmetry between, so to speak, the ‘knows’ and the ‘know-nots’.
Panel Discussion: ICT Towards the 5th Fundamental Plan for Science and Technology
* Coordinator:
Masaru Kitsuregawa (Member of the Section III of the Science Council of Japan, Head of National Institute of Informatics, Chair of the Committee on Informatics)
* Panelists
Michihal Nakamura (President of Japan Science and Technology Agency)
Shojiro Nishio (Associate of the Science Council of Japan, Professor of Osaka University, Member of the Special Committee on Policy at Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology)
Hiroaki Nakanishi (Member of the Council for Science, Technology and Innovation, President and CEO of Hitachi, Ltd.)
Miwako Doi (Member of the Section III of the Science Council of Japan, Supervisor of National Institute of Information and Communications Technology, Member of the Committee on Informatics)
Closing Remarks
Hideyuki Tokuda (Member of the Section III of the Science Council of Japan, Professor of Keio University, Vice Chair of the Committee on Informatics)

* Please note that speakers and title of the talks might be changed.


Kaoru Arakawa (Executive Committee Chair of the 8th Science Council of Japan Symposium on Informatics, Manager of the Committee on Informatics)
kara [at]


Send the following information via e-mail by March 8, 2015. (Registration closed.)

(1) Name:
(2) Affiliation
(3) E-mail
(4) Other notes:

Registration due: March 8, 2015.

Please send your application to:

Jun Adachi (National Institute of Informatics)
e-science-sec [at]

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