- Date of birth
- ：May 16th, 1969
- Blood type
- ：Kobe-city, Hyogo, Japan
- Educational background
- ：Faculty of Engineering, Okayama University
Story of ROBOmind-project Development
A theory that one’s life changes at the age of twenty-nine
A person encounters his/her vocation at the age of twenty-nine.
A vocation is a work that he/she must complete during his/her life.
If a person didn’t encounter it at the age of twenty-nine,
They will never encounter it at the rest of his/her life.
These are the words by Randy Taguchi who had distributed exciting e-mail newsletters every week around the end of the 1990s and been called a queen of the Internet.
At that time, I was just twenty-nine years old and had a feeling of frustration by seeing those words.
“Am I continuing working for a patent office until the age of retirement?”
Working for a patent office was enjoyable as I was able to know various technologies widely.
But I couldn’t definitely say that it was the very work that I would like to do or I would like to continue as long as I live.
“What’s my vocation?”
Although I had kept thinking about it, I became thirty years old with nothing changed.
I still clearly remember what I thought on the day I became thirty years old.
It was Sunday afternoon.
After lunch, I was on a sofa and thinking about something vaguely, I suddenly remembered what I had been absorbed in when I was in university.
What I researched when I was in university
What I researched when I was in university was about “comedy”, “fun” and “stories”.
I researched them personally so there was no relation to my university, though.
At that time, what grabbed and won’t release my heart was a new trend of “comedy”.
For example, Comedy skits by Down Town or four-panel comic named “Koujien” by Koji Aihara.
Hitoshi Matsumoto of the day was the very inspired comedian.
The epoch of comedy was definitely divided into two before and after his appearance.
I was trying to determine what on earth “fun” was by watching their comedy repeatedly.
Then I found out that there was “narrativity” inside “fun”.
“Fun” was born at the moment that a new story or a completely different story appeared in an instant.
One more thing that I was fascinated with at that time was a TV drama “Twin Peaks” by David Lynch.
In the drama, a world in a dream blended into a real world, or expected underplots were ignored and a totally different story swept away the main story. ?
I got deeply drawn into its surprising world view by the technique that put “fun” before lures of stories.
Then I naturally started to research about “stories”.
I made basic patterns of stories referring to “Morphology of the Folktale” by Vladimir Propp.
For example, in a pattern of “hero’s return”, a hero who leaved for an impossible mission to be done would return when everyone thought that he had failed in the mission.
The story reached the climax at that time.
Such as movies “Apollo 13” or “Run, Melos!”
In a pattern of “prohibitions to be broken”, a prohibition such as “you mustn’t open this room” would be always broken.
Such as three prohibitions of movie “Gremlins”.
I thought that I could make interesting stories forever by making several those patterns and combining with each other.
Go to the east
What I suddenly remembered on Sunday afternoon of my thirtieth birthday was such a thing.
“Oh, I wonder what I was thinking about at that time have been realized now.”
“I wonder a system that makes interesting stories automatically by inputting a name of a main character or setting up a situation have been realized now.”
I tried to search for such system on the Internet but I couldn’t find them.
A certain idea suddenly flitted through my mind.
“How about making such a system by myself if it doesn’t exist in this world yet?”
“Oops, what a silly thing I thought.”
“I won’t be able to develop a program by myself at all …”
“But, I’m in thirties and I start studying programming from the beginning now … it’s too late!
Of course I denied the idea, but it was burned into my brain.
“Perhaps, this may be my vocation ?”
“A fateful work that I must complete during my life …”
“Maybe … this is it?”
“But, if I start a work that is completely new to me from now, I won’t be able to live on it. ?“
“But, well, just studying will be fine. ?It may be useful for my current work.”
I persuaded myself so and bought an introduction to programming such as “The first step to programming” at a near bookstore and returned home with a feeling of ??excitement in the evening of that day.
I have optimistically thought that if this was my real fateful vocation, an old man like Dumbledore would appear in my dream and give me an advice like “Go to the east, Harry.” when I was in the crunch.
The above story is the beginning of ROBOmind-project.
I started studying programming after coming home everyday from that day.
At the same time, I started studying about AI and especially about Natural Language Processing that I needed as a technology for “Program that automatically makes stories” that I wanted to develop.
While I was studying about them, I noticed that I had been mistaken about them.
I had reckoned that a technology that understands meanings of sentences was already developed because AI technologies such as machine translation, automatic summary of long sentences had been already developed at that time.
“Stories will be made forever if I input words automatically and meaningfully to story patterns that I think by using that technology.”
“Let’s make it soon and show it to my colleagues.”
“They will laugh if I name characters our boss’ or president’s name.” I was chuckling at myself thinking about those things.
But I noticed that “understanding meanings of languages” which I thought very important was the most difficult part of Natural Language Processing and hadn’t been realized yet.
Such as machine translation only found out similar sentences and applied them to original sentences without understanding meanings of the words.
Since it translated without thinking about meanings or context of the original sentences, its translated sentences didn’t get across to human beings.
This situation stays the same then and now.
Well, it was hard from here.
“I thought I made everyone laugh by making funny things, though …”
“I don’t want to waste what I have done. ?If the technology doesn’t exist in this world yet, I have no choice but to make it by myself.”
I had come to a conclusion.
Though “understanding meanings” was a simple words, I didn’t know where I should start.
Therefore I decided to research related technologies widely such as brain science, cognitive science or psychology.
What is “meaning”? ?What is the purpose of human being’s talk? ?Why don’t animals talk?
What is a memory?
What is consciousness?
What is a mind … ?
But the more I researched, I found that those basic things hadn’t been understood yet.
“Human beings talk naturally though no one understands about those things.”
“Then it is faster that I observe how I usually talk and think than I study with books.”
I thought so and my research style had been settled that I keenly observed my thought that had been processed unconsciously.
I started to think that I wanted to concentrate on this research if possible because I haven’t had enough time for studying after coming home from office by then.
In this way, I decided to retire from the patent office when I was thirty-two years old.
Though I had noticed that I needed to realize things that was the same as human mind and consciousness in computers to make a program that understood meanings of languages as a human being did, I seemed to have seriously thought that I would be able to make such a program within one year after the retirement if I concentrated on the research.
Then I started my retirement life studying programming in the morning, and studying about brain, consciousness and languages, etc. in the afternoon.
Sometimes I had opportunities to present my research to experts but my idea wasn’t agreed easily and I always got advises that the same kind of research by others had been failed.
I found myself spending more than two years after the retirement, and my deposit decreased and I started to have a feeling of frustration.
“How long am I going to continue such a thing?”
At that time, finally I had come to understand that it would take longer time than I expected and that I won’t be able to continue my research without working.
Broker (in Japanese “Sedori”)
Amazon Japan was opened in 2000 and it started a market place where anyone could sell books on Amazon site in 2003.
Broker appeared in such a situation.
Broker was an Internet business that buying books that would sell for high prices on Amazon site from used bookstores.
In my hurry to find a job, I jumped at this broker.
I choose not to get employed but to start my own business that I could use my time freely.
Although I wasn’t originally interested in starting a business, I had come to understand fun of the business through buying and selling books by myself and being thanked by customers.
Also I had come to read business books that I hadn’t read until then.
I knew the word “passive income” from those books for the first time.
They said that there was a way I could get income without working.
They said dreamlike thing that if I made a system of passive income I could retire early.
I thought “this is what I should do!”
I needed to earn money for living to continue my research, but then I couldn’t have enough time for my research if I work for living.
I thought that I could concentrate on my research if I retired early.
I really think that I was too optimistic.
Therefore, I decided to adjourn the research and concentrate on business for a while to retire early.
First, I had to get down to broker.
There were so many things to do for broker such as buying, getting books up on Amazon site, sending e-mails to customers, packing, shipping and revising prices of books.
Revising prices of books was an operation that I changed prices of my books to the lowest, since the lowest price book was bought first on Amazon site.
A series of those operations were pretty heavy duties.
Therefore I made a program that automatically carried out those operations.
The program was more convenient than I expected, so I decided to sell it since I thought it was waste to use it only by myself.
It was half a year later since I started a broker.
Although I was released from everyday broker operations thanks to my broker program, I thought I had to develop a program that sell well more than the broker program because “Broker” hadn’t been known among the general public yet and the broker program hadn’t sold well.
At the time, day-trade that repeated stocks transactions many times a day had become a fad.
Day-trade had grabbed the spotlight at a dash thanks to Mr. B. N. F who earned over two billion yen a day with an incident of mistaken order of J-COM Co., Ltd. stocks.
In such a situation, Rakuten Securities, Inc. released API that distributed stocks prices data in real time.
In other words, we had come to be able to get daytime stocks prices by a program in real time.
I thought “that is my next target!”
It’s an automatic stocks transaction system that we can day-trade automatically.
I set trading rules by using technical index and optimizing with AI machine learning.
In this way I released a fully automatic stocks transaction system.
The system seemed to be long-expected for office workers who couldn’t day-trade due to their day-time work even if they were willing to do, and became the most popular system at a major ASP as soon as its release, and the sales in the first month of the system exceeded twenty million yen.
I experienced a real fun of business or marketing at this stage.
When I released products that matched the trend of the times and controlled emotions of the public by marketing, the products sold like fun.
This year I had incorporated my business due to abrupt sales increase.
It was “ROBOmind, Inc.”
It was on 26th October 2009.
Sales of my stocks transaction software had decreased after that because a number of software such as automatic FX software by others were released due to coming up of automatic transaction boom.
At the time, “Broker” had become a fad not only in the Internet community but also in the public because Horiemon had introduced “Broker” or a famous entrepreneur practiced a big campaign with “Broker cram school”.
Therefore, I decided to renew my broker software and name it “Sedoraku” and rerelease.
Also, sales of “Sedoraku” increased at a dash because a certain famous entrepreneur mentioned in his blog that he was using “Sedoraku”.
But I needed to restrict the number of users since I had handled software development, support, selling and marketing by myself and I had felt my physical limitations with handling them all by myself.
At that time I met Mr. Nagao who was a representative of Surprise Corporation and who introduced “Sedoraku” aggressively to the public, and I decided to outsource operations of “Sedoraku” to him.
I was able to concentrate on development and released new systems as a series of “Sedoraku” once two or tree months. ?The number of users had increased accordingly and “Sedoraku” had achieved a dominant share of the broker market and the number of user had become over one thousand.
In this way, outsourcing of operations of “Sedoraku” was completed in 2013.
Also, I sold out my stocks transaction software to other company at the same time, and I became free from business completely.
I was able to realize my early retirement since I was supposed to receive a percentage of sales of “Sedoraku” every month.
Restart of ROBOmind-project
It’s been nineteen years in 2018 since I suddenly conceived of and started this project on my thirties birthday.
Although I experienced several pinches in the meantime, I was able to continue the project thanks to the day-trade boom or the broker boom.
I had been getting help from strange lucks.
Is this what we call a vocation?
Dumbledore hasn’t appeared in my dream yet, though.
It’ been already four years in 2018 since I restarted ROBOmind-project in 2014.
Rough agendas have been in sight but a necessity of huge operations has come in sight instead.
In 2018, ROBOmind-project renews its website to open contents of the project widely and to recruit researchers and developers widely.