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NEC: Industrial Internet Consortium Approves Testbed of Negotiation Automation Platform for coordinating interests among AI systems

Posted Aug 21, 2019 @ 14:54 CDT | Stock Ticker(s): TYO:6701

Promoting implementation through expansion of participants

TOKYO, Aug 21, 2019 - (JCN Newswire) - NEC Corporation (TSE: 6701), Fraunhofer IOSB, Kabuku Inc., the Korea Electronics Technology Institute (KETI), Oki Electric Industry Co., Ltd., and Toyota Tsusho Corporation announced today the approval by the Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC,(1)) of a Negotiation Automation Platform Testbed in cooperation with Japan's National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), designed for the validation of new technologies, applications, products, services and processes for industrial networks. This represents an important step towards a global standard for AI technology.

The IIC Negotiation Automation Platform Testbed leverages a variety of AI infrastructure technologies, which automatically negotiate trading conditions and resource assignment with each other in order to coordinate interests among various AI systems. The networking of AI throughout society, such as the automatic negotiation between AI, has brought a great deal of attention to the importance of responsible social implementation, the need for legal guidelines, and the consideration for economic and ethical issues. In terms of specific applications, this product is expected to be used across areas that include the manufacturing, transportation, electricity and water supply fields.

NEC led the proposal of this testbed, with the support of Fraunhofer IOSB, Kabuku Inc., KETI, OKI, Toyota Tsusho Corporation and AIST as participants. In the future, testbed participants aim to expand the range of organizations and target industries that contribute to these developments and to promote standardization activities that support the growth of AI throughout society.

Background:

In order to increase industrial competitiveness and social value, utilization of AI technologies for smart systems is attracting a great deal of attention recently. In the future, multiple AIs operating in individual systems with different owners are expected to collaborate together automatically and solve social challenges such as labor shortages. In addition, efforts to address issues from a social, economic, ethical, and legal perspective are also underway, including the development of new legal systems, whether or not important decision making should be automated, and the vulnerability of information.

Automatic negotiation between AI can be interpreted as networking of AIs in a society, and application areas such as a "manufacturing value chain", "transportation / people flow", "electricity / water distribution", and "autonomous mobiles", which are expected to be promising. For example, in a business-to-business transaction in the value chain, AI can coordinate and reconcile interests between organizations more effectively than current human negotiations that require a great deal of effort and time consumption. It can also be expected that great social value will be created by the efficient operation of society as a whole.

In this testbed, the partner companies will develop and evaluate the functions of discovering business partners and negotiating trading conditions with them in an automated manner, as a support for supply / order contracts in a series of supply chains from processing, assembly, and logistics.

IIC Negotiation Automation Platform Testbed Features:

Each company that places or receives an order is provided with a negotiation AI agent through the Negotiation Automation Platform. This AI agent searches for terms and conditions that can be agreed upon by both parties by using standardized protocols, data formats, and lexical definitions.

If a condition that can be agreed upon by both parties is found, human users are asked to make a final decision as to whether or not to conclude a contract. This makes it easier for both parties to find win-win conditions, making the value chain of manufacturing and logistics more efficient and flexible.

This approved testbed utilizes research results from Japan's Cabinet Office's Strategic Innovation Promotion Program (SIP(2)).

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