Kyushu University and Fujitsu Begin Field Trial Using Automatically Evolving AI
Interest in relocating to the countryside is rising, and Itoshima officials are receiving an increasing number of inquiries about relocating to the area. When people wanting to move there consider where within the municipality they should reside, however, they have found it difficult to obtain information on different locations, which at times has led to a low level of satisfaction among those who relocated.
In this field trial designed to help match potential new residents to candidate locations within Itoshima, automatically evolving AI is trained on the preferences of users seeking to relocate. It presents, based on those preferences, day-to-day information on such locations that are deemed appropriate for the user, and then seeks to provide appropriate matches through an iterative process in which the user rates the locations presented. Through this trial, the parties seek to develop AI that takes social acceptance into consideration and to build a system for matching people wanting to relocate with locations where they will feel a high level of satisfaction.
In recent years, there has been increasing interest in Japan in relocating from urban areas to the countryside. Itoshima, which is blessed with natural beauty and enjoyable scenery, enjoys easy access to Fukuoka City and is the site of Kyushu University's Ito Campus, has in recent years received increasing interest as a potential place to live, leading to a greater number of relocation inquiries. As Itoshima City is quite large, including areas with a wide variety of local characteristics, such as seaside, mountains, fields, town areas, and isolated islands, there are concerns that opportunities will be lost due to a mismatch in the day-to-day information presented to people seeking to relocate, who have a variety of different needs, or that people seeking to relocate will feel greater uncertainty because of a lack of information. In this situation, there is a need to build a system that will reliably provide people looking to move with the day-to-day information they desire.
In implementing this joint field trial, Itoshima City will provide a venue for interviews with local residents and people seeking to relocate, as well as experience in recommending candidate locations. The Fujitsu Social Mathematics Joint Research Unit within the Institute of Mathematics for Industry at Kyushu University and Fujitsu Laboratories will handle the development and evaluation of the AI technology using experience in the social sciences to carry out the following research:
- Validating the effectiveness of automatically evolving AI technology
This test will model the relationship between the characteristics of people seeking to relocate and their preferences using mathematical techniques. The automatically evolving AI will present locations appropriate to the characteristics of the people seeking to relocate according to this model. The users seeking to relocate will evaluate the locations presented, and the AI system will further learn the preferences of those users based on their evaluations, automatically improving the mathematical model.
This field trial will not only evaluate the performance of automatically evolving AI in the real world, it will also evaluate effectiveness from the perspective of government service quality, based on the AI's ability to increase the degree of satisfaction of potential residents, as determined by comparisons with people, with the same characteristics, who seek to relocate using conventional recommendations by staff. In addition, in order to improve the relocation support system, the AI technology will be upgraded on the basis of feedback gained during the field trial from people seeking to relocate.
- Evaluating social acceptance of AI
In this field trial, the focus is not on the AI system mechanically matching potential residents with candidate locations, but on it helping potential residents understand their own requirements for the place where they want to move, and promoting effective dialogue by sharing the recommendations provided by the AI system with city officials. The parties expect that, by using AI to promote dialogue between people in this way, it will eliminate psychological barriers to the use of AI and improve the satisfaction of people seeking to relocate. Moreover, based on the results of this field trial, the parties will review the system from the perspective of ease of use for potential residents, with the goal of building an AI system that operates collaboratively with people and is accepted by society.