Message from IPSJ President

Message from IPSJ President


Creation of New Values in the Post-Colona Era

  -- Upon assuming the IPSJ President --

  Norishige Morimoto
Norishige MORIMOTO
(President, Information Processing Society of Japan /
Vice President of IBM Japan)
(from "IPSJ Magazine" Vol. 64, No.7, pp.316-318 (2023))


 I am honored to succeed former President Dr. Tokuda as the 32nd President of the Information Processing Society of Japan (IPSJ). I would like to work together with all of you to promote our activities more actively, and I would like to seek for all of your help to achieve it. I also would like to take this opportunity to express my sincere respect for the efforts made by the past presidents, executives, members, and secretariat members who have been dedicated to the development of the Society for over six decades.


Toward Post-Corona Era

 Since the declaration of the pandemic by WHO in 2020, COVID-19, which has had a major impact on our daily lives and societies, has finally ended. When people, goods, and businesses are on recovery, what the world has experienced during this period has had an irreversible impact. For example, the use of remote meetings/classes, online shopping has been dramatically increased, along with the digitization of clerical processes and the expansion of online-enabled businesses, which accelerated the Digital Transformation (DX) in many aspects of business. Even after COVID-19, these technologies and habits will not go away, and continue to make a long-term impact on our daily lives and ways of working. It is more likely to impact on organizations such as businesses and schools, and to community and social values. On the other hand, along with the spread of applications and services, the rapid rise of demand for smart phones and PCs caused a serious shortage of semiconductor products around the world. In addition, coupled with the exposure of global supply chain vulnerabilities due to repeated local disasters and accidents, attention has also been drawn to securing so-called strategic materials, including critical medical supplies, semiconductors, and rare metals. Each country will continue to make efforts to secure these goods and supplies, and in fact, at the G7 meeting in Hiroshima in May, this became one of the most important issues in the context of global economic security.

Increasing Interest in Information Technology

 During the COVID-19 pandemic, the digitization across the globe has greatly increased interest in information technology. In particular, with regard to the development of AI over the past few years, adoption of AI, such as ChatGPT in society has progressed with the advent of generative AI that made available to ordinary users, and the hurdles for application have declined rapidly. The emergence of machine learning and deep learning followed by Large Language Models and their speed of improvements, has become a hot topic around the world. The world is once again watching the emergence of new algorithms and the generative AI is now rapidly spreading among the general audiences. At the same time, public attention has been drawn to the negative aspects of this rapid technological evolution. Transparency, ethics in AI, limitation of its use, and preventing misuse have emerged as significant societal concerns. Moreover, the performance of computer hardware and the issue of excessive power consumption in large-scale and complex AI have gained attention. As a result, there is a growing expectation for computer processing capabilities to progress beyond so-called, Moore's Law, particularly in terms of energy efficiency.

 In light of this trend, there has been an increased demand for cutting-edge technology in the development and mass production of advanced logic semiconductors in Japan, the United States, and Europe. Consequently, each country has started to inject significant government funding to support these endeavors. In Japan, following TSMC's construction of a new plant in Kumamoto, a new corporation named Rapidus was established in December last year under the framework of the Japan-U.S. partnership to start to rebuild the advanced semiconductor production capability in Japan. In the field of quantum computing, Keio University established a research hub in 2018 to promote industry-academia collaboration, utilizing IBM's cloud services for quantum computers. This collaborative effort later expanded into a larger consortium called the “Quantum Innovation Initiative Consortium (QIIC)”, with the University of Tokyo taking the lead. In 2021, the QIIC initiated to acquire IBM's gate-type quantum computer to be installed in Shin-Kawasaki, aiming to further enhance its research activities with the partner companies. Moreover, Japan’s domestic team achieved notable progress as well. RIKEN successfully launched its first operational quantum computer in March this year.

  Indeed, there have been multiple initiatives to investigate technological innovation in the field of information technology, driven by the advancements in computer hardware. The current landscape is characterized by a convergence of social demand stemming from the widespread adoption of large-scale AI and breakthroughs in fundamental technologies such as semiconductors and quantum computers. The combination of factors has created an environment where there is a pressing need to address the challenges and opportunities arising from these advancements.

The emergence of geopolitical risks and the role of open academic organizations

 The emergence of geopolitical risks is indeed a significant concern in today’s world, further compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic. While there are pressing global challenges that require collective efforts, such as addressing environmental issues, energy sustainability, and addressing to the emerging healthcare and safety issues around the world, many conflicts persist.

 In such a complex and interconnected world, the role of open academic organizations become more and more crucial. These organizations have the potential to foster collaboration, knowledge sharing, and understanding among nations and cultures. By promoting open dialogue, research and education, academic institutions can contribute more to address to many more challenges in the world we have today.

 Open academic organizations such as IPSJ provide platforms of broad research fields for scholars, researchers and students from different countries and background to come together, exchange ideas and work towards common goals. Their emphasis on inclusivity, diversity and openness helps break down barriers, overcome biases and build bridges between nations as well. By nurturing a culture of mutual respect, cooperation, and understanding, these organizations can play a vital role in peaceful and sustainable world. In fact, some advanced technology areas move faster in the industry, and such an active and open collaboration will help accelerate the field of research and the advancement of the entire field and adoption to the society.

 In my new role at IPSJ, I am committed to further promoting an open and diverse collaborative environment and creating new value for both the community and society as a whole. This entails integrating knowledge from various academic fields to foster innovation and advancements.
To achieve this, it is crucial to encourage active participation from researchers and engineers with diverse backgrounds, experiences, and expertise. Facilitating talent exchanges and international collaborations that transcend generational and industry boundaries is also important. Additionally, I am dedicated to actively engaging and supporting students and young researchers, including through initiative such as the junior membership system that we established in 2015.
I am eagerly looking forward to collaborating with all of you to realize these visions and contribute to the growth and development of IPSJ. Together, we can create a vibrant and inclusive community that drives positive change and meaningful contributions to society.
May 23, 2023