Toshiyuki Zamma presenting Society 5.0

AUA Hosts a Seminar on Japan’s Future Digital ‘Society 5.0’

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YEREVAN, Armenia – On January 31, 2020, the American University of Armenia (AUA) hosted a seminar on “Future Society Realized by ‘Society 5.0’: Introduction to Japan’s Experience and Efforts” co-organized by AUA and the Embassy of Japan in Armenia. The seminar was delivered by Toshiyuki Zamma, executive advisor to the chief information officer of the government of Japan, who is responsible for the IT strategy for public services. The event was moderated by Dr. Vache Gabrielyan, dean of the Manoogian Simone College of Business and Economics.

Proposed for Japan in the Fifth Science and Technology Basic Plan, the ‘Society 5.0’ is a visionary model coming after the current information society (4.0). In ‘Society 5.0’, big data derived from sensors in our physical spaces are accumulated in cyberspace, analyzed by artificial intelligence (AI), and employed to benefit society in various ways.

“The topic of your presentation is very important for us at the American University of Armenia. We want to learn how to create possibilities within our information society to connect with the humanities/human dimension. We are exploring ways of developing the curriculum and learning experiences for the next generation of students,” mentioned AUA President Dr. Karin Markides during a conversation with Zamma.

The seminar focused on the Japanese government’s efforts and challenges in IT policy-making from the perspective of its past experiences in economic growth. Zamma presented Japan’s practice in digital government, building/designing smart cities, smart moving patterns, one-stop services, and others. He also highlighted the importance of “Kaizen” – improvement or change for the better – in innovation and the role of the Japanese government in the digital era.

“In this discussion, I introduced not only some success cases, but also failures and mistakes. I cannot teach how to succeed, but I can advise what mistakes not to make. I ask my international friends and colleagues not to make the same mistakes, instead to make other mistakes so that we can learn from them,” noted Zamma.

During the Q&A session, the attendees had the opportunity to ask questions on a number of related topics, including the use of traffic cameras for public good, geospatial data collection and usage, digital twins, public-private partnerships, cybersecurity, and the utilization of big data and application to academia.

Founded in 1991, the American University of Armenia (AUA) is a private, independent university located in Yerevan, Armenia, affiliated with the University of California, and accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission in the United States. AUA provides local and international students with Western-style education through top-quality undergraduate, graduate, and certificate programs, promotes research and innovation, encourages civic engagement and community service, and fosters democratic values.