Create the future from images and support people's decision-making with data
In this dialogue, Safie's CEO Ryuhei Satoshima and FRONTEO President Masahiro Morimoto talked about the vision, culture design, possibilities and expectations of AI utilization of each company.
―― Please tell us about the world that Safie's vision of "creating the future from images" envisions.How did you open up the new field of cloud recording services?
Sado Island:We have a vision of "creating the future from video" based on the belief that video data supports each individual's decision-making.
I used to work for Motion Portrait, a carved-out company from Sony Kihara Laboratory, which has been conducting research and development on image and video processing, and I have seen the dramatic development of AI since around 2012.At that time, I felt firsthand that people with an overwhelming amount of data would design the society of the next era.I also witnessed the progress of machine learning when creating entertainment content using a large amount of face recognition technology.All conventional machine learning had to be programmed, but I realized that it will be possible to automatically generate data by annotation, and that human judgment will be replaced by computers.
Around 2030, I think that various world data will be aggregated and a mechanism for coexistence of humans, AI and robots to make decisions will be implemented in society.Our vision of "creating the future from images" is to define such a social structure first, think about how to get there, assemble a business, and move forward.
In fact, this vision has an original experience. In the summer of 2014, I had a second child and built a house.At that time, I considered installing a security camera, but the security cameras at that time had low specifications and security levels, so I could not use them with confidence.Based on this experience, I wanted to create a mechanism to spread devices born from a new way of thinking, which is different from conventional security cameras, while utilizing software.To achieve this, we started by "creating a" smart camera "that anyone can use with peace of mind and easily by utilizing image processing technology." A SaaS business is born by providing one camera and software as a cloud service to users who want to use the camera at a low price.It also provides a camera, software and data platform to various companies as PaaS.As applications are loaded on this platform, various data will be accumulated, and as VDaaS (Video and Data as a Service), depending on the data, remote control or automatic driving will be possible, and more robotics. Will take root in human life and create business opportunities for new data platforms for humans and robots to coexist.This is the story of Safie.It's an image of creating a business strategy to support it by calculating back from the mechanism in which humans, AI, and robots coexist to make decisions.
Morimoto:FRONTEO is the same in terms of a business that supports decision making.We support the decision-making of professionals such as lawyers, criminal investigators and doctors.Criminal investigations, litigation, medical diagnosis, etc. should be equal in nature, but the idea is to manage the situation where the results change depending on the judgment and ability of the corresponding person. It is the basis of the business.We are working to realize fairness through technology that solves this problem.
―― Creating an organization that is indispensable for realizing the vision.What do you value as a manager?
Sado Island:While acknowledging diverse talents, we are committed to creating a team that can share a single set of values.In addition, seven "cultures" are the values and codes of conduct that Safie values in order to realize the vision.1)Based on this, we carry out recruitment, evaluation, business planning, etc.The specific content, for example, is "to talk about dreams and get through".In a society full of unknown elements, people's imagination and ideas are the starting point for change, and it is necessary to take the plunge to create services that are used by many people. ..
The fifth item, "Beyond Imagination," is based on the idea that we will devote ourselves to improving quality in order to provide products that exceed the imagination of our customers.
The sixth, "super-personalization," is to think about the user's usage scene as oneself in every corner, including situations other than those in which the company's products are directly involved, and find a solution to the problem.However, sometimes the idea of "mochi is mochiya" is also important. The seventh "Yoshi Mikata" corresponds to this.We will appropriately outsource and collaborate on the parts that other companies with specialized technologies and services should take on, and we will take on new challenges and work on horizontal expansion to the next industry.
Morimoto:I also realize that culture is very important.On the other hand, it is also difficult to coexist and coordinate the recognition of the diversity of employees and the coexistence and coordination of moving in one direction.In the past, when I entrusted the work of compiling our history to young people, I felt a gap between the culture they absorbed by interacting with the president and the culture of the field, and I have had an experience that did not go well.
Sado Island:At our company, on the first day of joining the company, I, the president, give a one-hour presentation on "what is culture" to all employees.The composition is the framework and way of thinking that make the product, the roadmap, making friends for realization, and the passion that is the origin of them.In addition, we will tell you about the current situation of our company along the growth trajectory, including the story of the times when we experienced the pain of business birth.The culture book "Safie Deck" pursues fun as a reading material.The boring vision and culture aren't heard, so we focus on the story.
Even at the stage of hiring human resources, we are conscious of building a team to continue taking on challenges.I will be in charge of the final interview, and I will ask applicants to read "Safie Deck" in advance, dig deep into their thoughts on work, and confirm whether they want to join our team.Especially in areas where there is nothing that can be seen concretely, such as engineering, it is important that the points of commitment are the same as those of our colleagues.The turnover rate is very low, probably because of the interviews, and we place great importance on having people who think "Safie is their company" join the company.Some even thought about it until they were convinced that it was their own company, and joined the company a year later.
Morimoto:At FRONTEO, strengthening organizational strength for discontinuous growth is an important issue.In addition to the president disseminating the values, the leaders of each department will not function in the field unless the values are properly communicated to the staff. We want to build a system where not only one person leads, but multiple people lead in the same direction and values.
―― In the three years since its establishment, you have reached the top share in the cloud recording service in Japan.What has been your toughest challenge so far?
Sado Island:In the process of trial and error, we made a lot of mistakes and caused inconvenience to our customers.For example, the phenomenon of heat generation inside hardware could lead to battery failure, which was a serious problem.In addition, when the work was done at the request of the customer, the cable was put up or pierced in the wrong place.The biggest mistake was that for the first three years since the company was founded, a small number of elites were good.As a result, sales did not grow at all.Given that Sony and Google have more than 10 people worldwide, no matter how wonderful and efficient the company operates, as long as people make up society, it will drive the market. On the way, I realized that it is important for people of a certain size to create an industry that can be used.However, we consider failure to be part of the process for growth, and we are working on our business while thinking about how much we can enjoy 10 out of XNUMX failures and how we can correct them.
Morimoto:In a business, failure cannot be avoided 100%, but in an organization that can take improvement steps by thinking about the impact and inconvenience that will occur if the system and operation that occur when it fails cannot be corrected or improved. It's important to be there. At FRONTEO, we are also focusing on creating such an organization.
――Finally, please tell us about your future business prospects and what you would like to work on.
Sado Island:It is a "smart building".I would like to use our services to optimize the inside of the building.In the development, if everything including annotations is done automatically, it will also create "intelligence only for that building".By all means, I would like to collaborate with AI venture companies and spread it to the industry.
Morimoto:The strategy of collecting data and creating a platform is rare in Japanese companies.There are great expectations for Safie's business.On the other hand, the interesting part of FRONTEO is the AI engine.We aim to change the structure of data analysis and even the architecture of society with a superior AI engine.
Sado Island:After all, the service is "helping customers".Safie is particular about the user experience and simplicity that you can use without hesitation just by turning on the power.Of course, handling an unparalleled amount of data is also a big support for the service, so I would like to aim for further product evolution.
Morimoto:I think that data collection has a purpose such as store management and security.If you collect endlessly, you will not be able to obtain truly meaningful data.Based on that, I think Safie has a data collection strategy that focuses on the necessary parts.Individualization and simplification of AI engines is indispensable for meaningful data collection.That is also FRONTEO's specialty.
Sado Island:"Everything has different intelligence in the eyes" is exactly where we are investing the most.Please continue to exchange information in various ways.
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