Chuo Onlineロゴ

  • twitter-icon
  • facebook-icon
  • rss-icon


"Authenticity Judgment is Common Ethos from IoT Layer to Cultural Layer" Research Activities in a Government-Led Project in the Age Where our Life-Span is 100 Years

Commemorating the 20th Anniversary of Establishment of Research and Development Initiative:

Shigeo Tsujii
Professor, Research and Development Initiative, Chuo University
Areas of Specialization: Information Security and Theory and History of Code

Special feature for commemorating the 20th anniversary of establishment of Research and Development Initiative, Chuo University

This year, Research and Development Initiative, Chuo University commemorates the 20th anniversary of establishment. Since it was established in July 1999, it has been tackling problems with the actual society, for the purpose of developing a sustainable society, as a research center with the mission to achieve collaboration among industry, government, and academia and deepen exchanges for research. Over the past two decades, more than 100 research units have been organized, and many research outcomes that are influential academically and socially have been produced thanks to the efforts of a lot of participating researchers.

This special feature is focused on researchers participating in ongoing research units, and describes their research activities, to introduce some of research outcomes at Research and Development Initiative.

I have just started going down the slope for 80-year-old people, but thanks to people around me, I can continue research while pretending to be healthy. Just before turning 70 years old, which is the retirement age in the Chuo University Faculty of Science and Engineering, I won the competition for last place of 21st Century Center of Excellence (COE) Program of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, which determined my fate. COE is a research project, in which national, public, and private universities competed for the honors, and the competition was so fierce that about half of the 7 former imperial universities or Tokyo Institute of Technology, which is my alma mater, did not see their information-related themes adopted. Someone jeered, "Professor, you have betrayed Tokyo Institute of Technology." Then, some post-doctoral researchers were hired as COE researchers, but even after COE, the post-doctoral researchers were not able to find a regular job. At 3-year intervals, Research and Development Initiative applied for a large-scale research project hosted by the government, to support their post-doctoral research and produce some results. I have no intention to interrupt young researchers, but applying most large-scale projects that can pay personnel expenses requires a broad perspective and experience, and it is difficult for a young researcher to become a representative. Soon, retired elderly researchers who have a strong motivation to research flocked to such projects. At present, a team composed of over 10 members engages in the research project SCOPE entrusted by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, but about half of the members are over 70 years old. Before describing the SCOPE research, please let me suggest the use of senior researchers.

Activities of Koukikai

It is deplorable that Japan's research capability has declined. The research culture has not been recognized socially. This has been pointed out by Nobel laureates via the media, etc., so I won't repeat it. What I want to insist is the use of senior researchers. There are not a few elderly people who want to research, if there are opportunities. Meanwhile, there are not a few former top-notch researchers who put a period to their life while lamenting, "Post-retirement years are boring." This situation is not beneficial for them or Japan.

On the other hand, there exist seniors who continue their research even after turning 80 years old and publish papers, while writing novels, like the professor emeritus Masao Kasahara of Kyoto Institute of Technology. Mr. Makoto Nagao, who was born in 1936 and served as president of Kyoto University, has recently published Informatics Is the Front Line of Philosophy. Mr. Yuichiro Anzai, who served as president of Keio University, obtained a doctoral degree in philosophy in addition to the doctoral degree he obtained when he was young. I attended his celebratory party, and was impressed.

These days, active researchers of the late middle age are too busy with the competitive procurement of funds for short-term, planned, practical research to find time and money to endeavor to do freewheeling research. This situation is deplorable. Meanwhile, senior researchers have time to research, because the minimum standard of living is guaranteed, so they could produce some outcomes by utilizing their long-term experience and broad perspective, if they are provided with funds and opportunities to have discussions and give presentations at academic conferences. At Research and Development Initiative, a lot of senior researchers, including Professor Syoji Fukuoka, still engage in research actively. In this situation, I established Koukikai, a society of researchers aged 75 years or older for developing the above-mentioned research environment, in cooperation with Mr. Junji Namiki, a former NEC researcher, and others, to continue research activities. Mr. Namiki established a special workshop of Koukikai in the Institute of Electronics, Information and Communication Engineers.

Overview of the research titled "Development of IoT device authentication infrastructure and application of the AI-based technology for recognizing facial expression to healthcare" in the Strategic Information and Communications R&D Promotion Programme (SCOPE) of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications

This research, which began in fiscal 2018 and is scheduled to end in 2020, is conducted (representative researcher: Tsujii; researcher representing Chuo University: Professor Norio Shiratori) based on the cooperation between Secure IoT Platform Consortium (Director: Shigeo Tsujii) and Research and Development Initiative, Chuo University. As mentioned above, about half of the 10-odd members of the research team for this project are senior researchers, who have lively discussions at weekly seminars.

The theme of research is the judgment and guarantee of authenticity in the strata of devices, society, and culture. The following sections will describe each stratum from higher ones for understandability.

Strata of information services, society, and culture

The current AI (artificial intelligence and machine learning) has the serious problem of adversarial learning. For example, a photo of Masaoka, Shiki could be recognized wrongly as Natsume, Sōseki and the face of the philosopher Kant could be recognized wrongly as Hegel. This is because the AI developed through supervised deep learning is based on planar Euclidean geometry. To deal with it, Professor Cho Jinhui et al. of Chuo University succeeded in developing a theory of AI that can prevent adversarial learning by using Riemannian geometry, that is, geometry of curved space, while considering the feature that perceives human expression, and were highly evaluated at international conferences. Mr. Sumiya, who was a graduate student of Cho's laboratory, received the Japanese Broadcasting Award and the Youth Award of the Institute of Digital Forensics. At present, the international competition of AI research is fierce. The Japanese industrial sector not only imitates foreign technologies, but has devised epoch-making theories. I expect these theories will be put into practice.

As for the strata of society and culture, the spread of fake news caused by the popularization of SNS is a serious issue. In the SCOPE research, the researcher Naoshi Sato has deepened discussions.

However, fake news is not a new topic. During the Pacific War, I was a pupil of elementary school (national school), and received fake news from the Imperial Headquarters almost every day. I am currently interested in Why did the Kyoto sect, which reportedly pursued the world's best intelligence, wind up supporting war? (authored by Jun Sugawara, the Kyoto sect). Besides pacifism, I think that they were not well aware of the reality of the significant difference in national power between Japan and the U.S. It is now necessary to objectively and critically assess ourselves for grasping the reality, but most of authors who have criticized cultural figures, critics, and others in the war times do not mention it. I am wondering why.

Prevention of leak of information and guarantee of authenticity in the data management stratum

Digital transformation (DX) is now in high demand.

The system base for DX would be public cloud. In order to prevent the leak and falsification of information and guarantee the authenticity of information for competitors and administrators, it is necessary to encrypt it and send it to the cloud, rather than using plain text. If the encrypted information is deciphered before processing, the risk of information leak will augment. In these circumstances, Professor Hiroshi Yamaguchi, the researcher Masahito Gotaishi, and others engage in research for calculation and retrieval without deciphering encrypted information as part of our SCOPE research.

Guarantee of authenticity of senders in the Internet

As for cyber-attacks via the Internet, a targeted attack is now a serious issue. According to IPA's annual questionnaire asking "What is the most serious cyber-attack against your organization," a targeted attack has been the most common. A targeted attack can be likened to Tokugawa Ieyasu's tactic of first attacking the weak spot of Osaka Castle, covertly intruding into the castle keep where Yodogimi and Hideyori stayed, building a transmission line with Ieyasu, and stealing important information. As a countermeasure against targeted attacks, many organizations instruct, "Don't open a fishy file." Such an instruction can reduce the number of employees opening a fishy file, but cannot decrease it to zero. Protecting a single stronghold is not effective. It is essential to take network-wide measures. Therefore, the standard, Secure/ Multi-purpose Internet Media Extensions (S/MIME), was enacted internationally over 20 years ago, for the purpose of guaranteeing the authenticity of senders for receivers. Since it would take cost and labor to apply that to individuals, I submitted a proposal for introducing it to organizations first to a newspaper about two years ago. In response to my proposal, the executives of the Japan Ministry of Defense visited Chuo University together with some subordinates, and said that they would adopt my proposal in the defense industry. I heard that it has progressed considerably.

Every time I give a lecture, I recommend the adoption of S/MIME. For that, I purchased expensive long chopsticks, to introduce a Buddhist sermon: "When you have only long chopsticks and you cannot put food into your mouth, let's put food into each other's mouth." As Oumi merchants used to say, "Trade should be beneficial for sellers, buyers, and society," I say, "Information transmission should be beneficial for senders, receivers, and the Internet." I think that Internet morals should be like this.

IT technology is advancing day by day. The establishment of legal systems and standardization is keeping up with it, but ethics, morals, and the code of conduct are lagging behind. Mr. Tsunetami Sano, who founded Japanese Red Cross Society, said, "The advance of culture must be accompanied by the advance of morals," but it is difficult.

In the SCOPE research, the researcher Toshiaki Saisho of Research and Development Initiative played a central role in streamlining organizational S/MIME, discussing extended systems including IoT, and carrying out social recognition activities.

Stratum of devices

In the present age, an estimated 50 billion items send information. If tiny sensors are included, not a thousand, but a trillion items transmit information. If the data sent from medical apparatus, important infrastructure, or the like are falsified, this may claim a human life. In this situation, in the SCOPE research, Secure IoT Platform Consortium is leading R&D for mounting important devices with a built-in electronic authentication unit.

In addition, I have discussed how to identify a person and the usability of Social Security and Tax Numbers. I have proposed a method of mathematically embedding digital DNA data, excluding private information such as physical information, which is called Short Tandem Repeat (STR) for identifying anyone around the world, in a private key to a public key (the three-stratified public key method). Together with Professor Ko Shikata of the Chuo University Faculty of Law, Mr. Masao Yamazawa and Mr. Toshiaki Saisho, who are researchers of Research and Development Initiative, President Koji Sasaki of AdIn Research, Inc., and Mr. Nobuharu Suzuki, I plan to give a presentation about legal and ethical discussions and the application to the block chain at the Institute of Electronics, Information and Communication Engineers in July this year.

As mentioned above, Research and Development Initiative, Chuo University is appropriate and indispensable for interdisciplinary and comprehensive research, and we can expect a lot from its future activities.

Figure: Avoidance of adversarial learning

Today's AI (supervised deep learning) has the risk of adversarial learning, with which the face of Masaoka, Shiki could be recognized wrongly as Natsume, Sōseki and the face of Kant could be recognized wrongly as Hegel. The new AI based on Riemannian geometry, which has been proposed in this research, does not have that risk.

Shigeo Tsujii
Professor, Research and Development Initiative, Chuo University
Areas of Specialization: Information Security and Theory and History of Code

Shigeo Tsujii was born in 1933 (85 years old).

<Current positions>
Professor and Fellow, Research and Development Initiative, Chuo University 
Director of the Secure IoT Platform Consortium
Professor Emeritus, Tokyo Institute of Technology
Professor Emeritus (and first President), Institute of Information Security
Member, Japan P.E.N. Club

1958: BE in Electrical Engineering, Tokyo Institute of Technology
1970: Ph.D. (Engineering), Tokyo Institute of Technology
1978: Professor, School of Engineering, Tokyo Institute of Technology
1994: Professor, Faculty of Science and Engineering, Chuo University
1996: President, Institute of Electronics, Information and Communication Engineers
1999: President, Research and Development Initiative, Chuo University
2000: Chair, Radio Regulatory Council, Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications
2003: Member, Science Council of Japan
2004: President, Institute of Information Security
2007: Member, Japan P.E.N. Club
2010: Director, Foundation for MultiMedia Communications
2013: Director, Secure Broadcasting Authorization and Research Center
2017: Director, Secure IoT Platform Consortium

1978: Commendation for Invention (Kanto Region)
1996: IEICE Distinguished Achievement and Contributions Award
2004: NHK Broadcasting Culture Award
2009: Order of the Sacred Treasure, Gold Rays with Neck Ribbon
2014: NEC C&C Prize
Code-The Technology and History of Information Security, Kodansha Gakujutsu Bunko
Information Society, Security and Ethics, edited by The Institute of Electronics, Information and Communication Engineers, Corona Publishing, And more