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- Atsuko Oka, Executive Vice President, Head of Research and Development Planning, NTT Corporation
NTT laboratories are engaged in research and development (R&D) of new technologies to solve social issues in collaboration with NTT Group companies and other partners in various fields. We interviewed Atsuko Oka, executive vice president and head of R&D Planning, NTT Corporation, about her approach to R&D and attitude as a top executive striving to create a “smart world” in which people can enjoy the benefits of technology effortlessly.
- Takehiro Moriya, NTT Fellow, NTT Communication Science Laboratories
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, remote work, for which image and voice communication using personal computers and smartphones plays a vital role, has become commonplace. NTT Fellow Takehiro Moriya has been engaged in research on speech- and audio-signal coding for about 40 years to improve and innovate communication and quality of life. We interviewed him about the changes in technology development in the field of speech- and audio-signal coding and his attitude as a researcher.
- Kohki Shibahara, Distinguished Researcher, NTT Network Innovation Laboratories
Over the last 40 years, various innovations in technology have improved our communications infrastructure, but it is becoming clear that the transmission capacity of current optical fiber technology will eventually reach its physical limits. In this interview, Distinguished Researcher Kohki Shibahara comments on the next generation of optical transmission technology that will overcome these limits, in particular, a dense space-division multiplexing based on a new kind of optical fiber that will enable a dramatic scale-up from the current terabit-class to petabit-class capacities.
Feature Articles: Efforts to Implement Digital Twin Computing for Creation of New Value
- Latest Developments Concerning Grand Challenges to Implement the Digital Twin Computing Concept
One of the major pillars of the Innovative Optical and Wireless Network (IOWN) being promoted by NTT is the concept known as Digital Twin Computing (DTC), which aims to enable future predictions and optimization by combining the real and digital worlds, and NTT has set grand challenges as ambitious research and development goals to implement DTC. In this article, our efforts toward the common use of digital twins and our recent activities to achieve these grand challenges are introduced.
- Applied Neuroscience Technology for Enabling Mind-to-mind Communication
This article introduces the following four technologies we are developing that apply neuroscience for creating a world in which people with different sensibilities can understand and respect one another: (i) technology for decoding the sense of discomfort or satisfaction from electroencephalogram data, (ii) technology for making brain states containing sensory information perceptible as representations in the brain, (iii) neural-coupling technology for enhancing mutual understanding, and (iv) mental-image-reconstruction technology for reproducing the images in the mind.
- Creating “Shido Twin” by Using Another Me Technology
“Cho Kabuki 2022 Powered by NTT,” a kabuki play sponsored by Shochiku Co., Ltd., is the first social implementation of Another Me, a technology for creating a human digital twin that reproduces the appearance and internal aspects of a real person while acting autonomously. We created a digital twin of the star of Cho Kabuki, Shido Nakamura, and call it “Shido Twin,” which performed in the play alongside virtual diva Hatsune Miku. This article overviews this initiative and describes the main technologies behind Cho Kabuki 2022, i.e., automatic body-motion generation and deep neural network-based text-to-speech synthesis.
- Digital Twins for Streamlining Road-traffic Flow
We are studying the use of digital twins to optimize traffic flow so that traffic congestion will not occur. To reproduce current real-world traffic flow and predict future traffic flow using digital twins requires traffic-demand data with fine granularity in time and space. Due to recent increasing activity to create smart cities, we can now obtain cross-sectional traffic-volume data for short time intervals of five minutes, but such measurements are still only being taken at a relatively small number of locations, so spatial granularity is large. In this article, we introduce our OD (origin-destination)-estimation technology that uses cross-sectional traffic volume on arterial roads to interpolate such fragmented cross-sectional traffic data to generate realistic traffic-demand data.
- Research and Development of Co-simulation Technology for Attaining Inclusive Sustainability
To achieve inclusive sustainability, policies must be drafted and evaluated with an understanding of the interactions among the environment, economy, and society. To address this issue, NTT Human Informatics Laboratories is reproducing the environment, economy, and society on computers and using these simulations to evaluate policies. This article gives an overview of a co-simulation technology that will enable multiple simulation models to work together to achieve this goal. It also introduces prototyping of policy evaluation and discusses future prospects for this technology.
- The Future of New Technologies of NTT Envisioned with Sci-fi Imagination
Science fiction (sci-fi) is sometimes a rehearsal of the future, and it gives us ideas to prepare for that future. The future of the technologies “Another Me” and “mind-to-mind communication,” which NTT has been researching and developing, are depicted by NTT Human Informatics Laboratories, sci-fi writers, and WIRED Sci-Fi Prototyping Lab—the research institute of the technology and culture magazine WIRED JAPAN. Thus, what are the results of their depictions?
Feature Articles: Platform Technologies Supporting Data Governance
- Data Governance for Achieving Data Sharing in the IOWN Era
There is a move around the world to tighten the handling of data, but there is also a move to establish technologies and rules for processing data safely to accelerate data sharing. After surveying global trends that are having an impact on data sharing, this article describes the concept behind data governance for controlling data so that data owners can safely share their data with others and describes the requirements for data governance in the IOWN (Innovative Optical and Wireless Network) era.
- Trusted Data Space Technology for Data Governance in the IOWN Era
We describe the components of the Trusted Data Space, the data-distribution infrastructure that will support society when the Innovative Optical and Wireless Network (IOWN) is widespread and all information is used by digital twins and artificial intelligence. We also describe a group of technologies (data sandbox technology, secure computation technology, secure matching technology) for achieving governance over data processing by conducting calculations in an encrypted state.
- Secure Optical-transport-network Technology in Anticipation of the Quantum Computer Era
In the January 2022 issue of NTT Technical Review, we introduced the secure optical transport network for enabling secure optical transport even in the era of quantum computers. In this article, two concepts, cryptographic agility and Multi-Factor Security, which are key factors in the transition from current cryptographic techniques to quantum-resistant cryptographic techniques and need to be considered in the era of quantum computers, are explained, and our efforts to incorporate these concepts into secure optical transport networks (i.e., elastic-key-control technology and disaggregation technology for cryptographic processing) are introduced.
- Security Transparency Assurance Technology for Analysis and Visualization of Software Components
Cyberattacks targeting the software supply chain—the process of developing, providing, using, and updating software—has been increasing. This article discusses trends in supply chain security risks and research and development of security transparency assurance technology to identify information on software components to address such risks.
- Early Deployment and Popularization of IOWN Technologies as Targeted by IOWN Product Design Center
The IOWN Product Design Center aims for early implementation and popularization of Innovative Optical and Wireless Network (IOWN) technologies. Through these activities, the center plans to experimentally demonstrate how IOWN will create new value in various industries by combining multiple IOWN and commercial technologies. The efforts of NTT laboratories to demonstrate a combination of IOWN technologies, including fundamental technologies that support data governance, are described in this article.
- A Concept of Introducing Magnetic Attraction Structure into Optical-fiber Connector
High-density on-board optical connectors are necessary for next-generation optical interconnects such as co-packaged optics in datacenter networks. To break through the size limitation of current optical connectors, we proposed the concept of introducing a magnetic attraction structure into an optical-fiber connector. We previously developed simplex and multi-fiber connectors on the basis of this concept. This article reviews the design and fabrication results of our developed multi-fiber magnetic connector, which provided low-insertion losses comparable to those of conventional multi-fiber push-on connectors while achieving space-saving connection.
Global Standardization Activities
- ITU-T Study Group 16 Meeting Report and Recent Development in Standardization of Immersive Live Experience Technologies
The recent meeting of the International Telecommunication Union - Telecommunication Standardization Sector (ITU-T) Study Group (SG) 16 was held in October 2022, with the new management members. An SG vice-chairman and two Working Party chairmen were appointed from Japan. Regarding immersive live experience, four draft documents including one new work item were discussed, and the definition of the descriptor of haptic information was added to one of the documents during the meeting. In the meeting, a Correspondence Group on Metaverse was held and sent a liaison statement to the Telecommunication Standardization Advisory Group (TSAG) asking for TSAG”Ēs decision on whether to start a Focus Group on Metaverse. With the newly appointed director of the Telecommunication Standardization Bureau, Mr. Seizo Onoe, a positive cycle of technology development and dissemination is expected by incorporating industry into the standardization activities of ITU-T.
Practical Field Information about Telecommunication Technologies