Generative AI and Digital Transformation in Japan

Monday, April 15, 2024
11:00 AM - 1:00 PM
Philippines Conference Room
Encina Hall, Third Floor, Central, C330
616 Jane Stanford Way, Stanford, CA 94305
  • Kenji Hiramoto,
  • Akiko Murakami
  • Tricia Wang
Flyer for Generative AI featuring three headshots speakers (From left to right: Kenji Hiramoto, Akiko Murakami, and Tricia Wang)

With the rapid advances in the last couple of years, generative AI has attracted a great deal of attention in advanced economies. The U.S. seems to be betting on its positive potentials while Europe is generally more apprehensive about its harmful aspects. Japan has arguably been one of the most forward-leaning countries when it comes to harnessing the potential of AI, in the hopes of reclaiming its leadership in high-tech industries lost during the last few decades as it fell behind on digital transformation. How is Japan catching up on information technologies in general, and what are Japan’s plans for leveraging generative AI for economic resurgence while ensuring its peaceful and equitable development? This panel session addresses these questions with leading experts of AI and digital transformation in Japan and the U.S.


Headshot for Kenji HIramoto

Kenji Hiramoto is the Director General of the Digital Infrastructure Center (DISC), IT Promotion Agency (IPA), Japan and Executive Officer for the International Data Strategy, Digital Agency, Japan. He began his career at NTT Data in 1990 as a systems engineer. In 1998, he served at the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), where he provided educational technology. In 2001, he served as project manager of Stanford Japan Center, Stanford University. In 2002, he served at consulting firm. Hiramoto served as Executive Advisor to the Government CIO in 2008, and in 2012, became Chief Strategist(IT) in the cabinet secretariat, where he was responsible for digital strategy for 13 years. In more recent years, Hiramoto served as Head of Data Strategy and Executive Officer of the Digital Agency in 2021, where he was responsible for the National Data Strategy and the Government Interoperability Framework. In 2023, he become the Director General of DISC, IPA. Presently, he now serves as the Secretary General of the Japan AI Safety Institute.

Headshot for Akiko Murakami

Akiko Murakami is the Executive Officer and Chief Data Officer of Sompo Japan Insurance Inc.. She delivers DX of P&C insurance utilizing digital technologies and AI for the purpose of innovation challenges with digital media. Prior to joining Sompo Japan in 2021, she was a researcher of natural language processing, social analysis and text mining at IBM Research for 16 years. After this, she represented Watson development as an architect at IBM for 5 years.Murakami is involved in "resilient engineering" that utilizes IT for disaster recovery, mitigation, and risk management and founded “IT Disaster Assistance and Response Team” (IT DART) in 2015 and became a board member. She is also a board member of The Association for Natural Language Processing from Apr 2022. She was a part-time lecturer at the Disaster Prevention Research Institute, Kyoto University by Mar. 2024. In 2024, her background led her to become the Executive director of the Japan AI Safety Institute.


Headshot for Tricia Wang

Tricia Wang, a social scientist, consultant, and thought leader, is on a relentless quest to ensure technology serves humanity, fostering social impact at the intersection of data and humanity. Renowned for helping companies unearth pivotal customer behavior insights to unlock growth, Tricia co-founded Sudden Compass and has advised industry giants like Google, Spotify, and P&G. Her insights have been featured in publications like Quartz, New Yorker, Buzzfeed, Techcrunch, The Atlantic, Al Jazeera, Slate, Wired, The Guardian, and Fast Company. In a world where data is the cornerstone of innovation, Tricia has long recognized its potential, well before the recent rush of consumer-facing AI products. Tricia's unique fusion of ethnography and data science offers an invaluable perspective on technology, design, and human experience. She has been instrumental in launching tech labs with clients, including a recent collaboration with The World Economic Forum in founding the Crypto Research and Design Lab (CRADL). As an acclaimed speaker, Tricia's enlightening keynotes and her TED Talk delve into AI, data, and their societal, economic, and personal impacts. Her concept of "thick data" advocates for deep human understanding in AI and emerging technologies, transcending conventional data analysis. Her ethnographic fieldwork spans from China to South America and North America, offering unique insights into the adoption of social media under authoritarian regimes and advocating for consumer-centric approaches in the private sector.