Applying AI Technology to Animation Production to help the Digital Transformation of the Industry（Cinnamon AI）
At the Hiroshima Business Forum for Global Peace held in September 2021, businesspeople held discussions on the topic “How we can revitalize the world and build an even better global community in 2021—Conquering the pandemic and overcoming discrimination, disparities and national favoritism.” We spoke with KAJI Yoshimitsu, Chairman and Chief Sustainable Development Officer of Cinnamon AI, one of the participating companies.
With the increasing impact of various technologies on peace, the concept of “dual-use technology” (i.e., technology with both military and civilian applications) has become an important issue for large companies possessing AI technology in the U.S., China, and elsewhere. In Japan, however, although the risks of dual use are recognized, it has not yet emerged as a major issue.
We are also actively developing our own AI technology and undertaking various initiatives, mainly with the aim of contributing to corporate growth strategy.
One example of these initiatives is the automation of cel coloring in animation. Producing animation requires a huge number of cel sheets—24 per second of video. Until now, technicians have colored each sheet individually. By having AI learn and automate this process, we will be able to achieve 96% coloring accuracy, reduce the time required to approximately one-tenth, and cut costs by more than 50%.
Animation is an important industry and a form of culture that our country can hold up to the world with pride. If cel coloring work, which was previously outsourced overseas, can be industrialized domestically, animators can be assigned to higher value-added work, which will greatly contribute to the digital transformation of the animation industry. It is also an initiative that embodies our philosophy of eliminating wasteful everyday tasks and achieving a world in which people can focus on work that is full of creativity.
Management of personal information, which is fraught with various risks, requires rules to be set.
Unstructured data, which is considered to be the most important in the big-data society of recent years, is our strongest area of expertise. Unstructured data is data that is not in a standardized form, such as a variety of different documents, proposals, audio and video recordings, etc. This data is organized by AI to extract and make it useful.
AI has always had a strong relationship with the finance and insurance industries, where it already being put to use, mainly through the development of “chatbots,” user assistance programs that automatically carry out conversations on the web. However, the problem here is personal data, and large amounts of data can be leaked to other companies and other countries. We believe it is important to set firm rules on how to strike a balance between the protection of personal information and the utility of AI.
Since we handle data owned by our clients, we are committed to conducting our business in fundamental compliance with their policies. We hope that in-depth discussions will take place on a more practical basis going forward. In my own professional opinion rather than that of the company, I believe that in this area rule-making should be conducted on an opt-in basis, where the use of personal information is implemented with the consent of the individual.
Approaching “true meritocracy” through collaboration with the wealth of talent in emerging countries.
We are providing solutions to various issues faced by companies with the use of AI by discovering, developing, and collaborating with abundant talent from Vietnam and other emerging countries. The characteristics of these emerging countries mean that many people work for us for several years, build up various types of experience, increase their market value, and then leave the company. Although we are a start-up company that is inevitably subject to this kind of cycle, in recent years we have become so well-known and highly regarded that we have been ranked among the most popular places to work in Vietnam.
I believe that our business model, which is premised on multi-stakeholder collaboration, is what will lead to the implementation of the “true meritocracy” called for in the Hiroshima Appeal 2021.
The Hiroshima Business Forum for Global Peace is inspired by the various efforts of a diverse range of people
Our company continues to participate in the Hiroshima Business Forum for Global Peace. This forum’s view that the realization of peace is a prerequisite for business and that business activities themselves should contribute to achieving peace is a very important one. For our part, we intend to take a strong position on the session topic of “dual use,” including a thorough rejection of the military application of AI and similar technologies, as well as respect for human rights.
It is historically very significant that we are working toward peace under the banner of Japan, the only country in the world to have experienced atomic bombings, and Hiroshima, the symbol of those events. In our company, there are more and more opportunities to share discussions at meetings within the company and to talk about how AI can contribute to achieving the SDGs and peace. I was also encouraged by all of the many other discussions at the forum and by the fact that each member of the truly diverse group of participants had different ideas of “peace,” with everyone striving to move toward that goal. We will continue to participate as much as possible, hoping that our participation will help bring the world even one millimeter closer to peace.
Chairman and Chief Sustainable Development Officer
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