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Fujitsu sets out to restore trust in technology

Trust in technology, how to recapture it, and how to ensure AI doesn’t overstep its bounds were the big messages on the opening day of Fujitsu Forum in Tokyo

At Fujitsu Forum in Tokyo, the firm’s senior leadership has been discussing the theme of trust in technology in an increasingly unstable and changing world, and reflecting changes in Japan as the new Emperor Naruhito begins his reign with leadership alterations of their own.

In a keynote address, Fujitsu president Tatsuya Tanaka said trust “is the keyword” for 2019 as Fujitsu continues its mission to bring “happiness and wellbeing to people through technology”.

“We are in midst of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Innovative technologies and services are emerging. Only a decade ago, what was only a dream is becoming a reality, and we believe this will further accelerate,” said Tanaka.

“All of us are experiencing one of the most exciting eras in the history of mankind. However, we need to ask how do we feel about what is happening around us.

“There is this ambiguity that surrounds us. The global landscape is becoming quite unstable. Different types of anxiety are emerging, for instance, will AI [artificial intelligence] really make people happy, and how do we overcome the challenges of cyber security?

“In the midst of this, we ask ourselves what will be needed to promote digital transformation among businesses, and what is needed for people around the world to feel safe? Our answer to these questions is trust towards technology, and technology to underpin trust,” he added

Having previously announced a number of key changes as part of a services-oriented restructure at the Munich leg of the Fujitsu roadshow in November 2018, Tanaka also revealed he will be stepping aside to become chairman of the board, and handing over the reins to Takahito Tokita, a 31-year company veteran who until recently led its London-based Global Delivery Group.

Elaborating on his predecessor’s vision for restoring trust in technology, Tokita set out three key priorities for Fujitsu over the coming months.

Out of these, the most critical will be to ensure people can have confidence in even the most complicated digital transactions – for example, by increasing the transparency and explainability of how its Zinrai AI platform processes data and reaches its conclusions.

Secondly, said Tokita, the firm will continue and refocus on its decade-long mission of Human Centric Innovation, recognising that technology must ultimately be used for the good of people.

Earlier in 2019 it announced an in-house AI Commitment for the ethical regulation of its AI, which will be updated as society develops its own AI guidelines, such as those of the AI4People forum, which have been taken up by the European Commission.

Finally, he said, Fujitsu will continue to undergo its own digital transformation, being more active around reading the market landscape to make more proactive developments, making itself more dependable, and adopting a more global stance to reflect the fact that digital services cross national borders far more easily than humans do.

“I’d like to make sure Fujitsu will underpin the trust of our customers’ businesses, a future where people can believe and trust technology. This is the kind of future we want to contribute to,” said Tokita.

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