March /2017
(Panoramic View Reports)
Panoramic View of the Systems and Information Science and Technology Field (2017) /CRDS-FY2016-FR-04
Executive Summary

Systems and information science and techology is a general-purpose fundamental technology, and it produces various effects in diverse fields as well as accelerates innovation in different areas. It will improve social systems in terms of social infrastructure such as energy, traffic, administration, and the civil service, and realize more highly efficient and higher value-added industries, which affect not only information/communication industries but also manufacturing industries as well as the service industry, agriculture, etc. Further, it will also make a significant contribution to the development of science and technology in other fields such as nanotechnology, life science, etc.

The result of R&D in the field of systems and information science and techology urges reforms in wisdom utilization, education/research, industrial structure, and the social system, and highly evolves agriculture/forestry/fisheries, manufacturing industry, medical care, elderly care, commerce, information/communication /financing/ insurance, traffic/logistics, energy, public service, education, and science. For this purpose, a mechanism for accelerating social application is also important.

In addition to producing world-class fundamental technologies, we will need a strategic scenario which will have a great impact as a social value. In this respect, it will be difficult to generate a social value only by means of fundamental technologies, and it will be important to pursue R&D towards the creation of social value and social application (solution) including the integration of multiple technologies and system architecture models, with a focus on strong fundamental technologies.

Based on the above consideration, we decided to look at the situation in this field from the viewpoint of two layers composed of a Base Layer and an Emerging Layer. The Base Layer pays attention to R&D intended to generate world-class fundamental technologies based on an established academic discipline. The Emerging Layer on top of the Base Layer pursues R&D to generate a great impact as a social value, with a focus on strong fundamental technologies generated from the Base Layer.

The target set up for the social value pursued through the Emerging Layer will be directly connected to the vision of a society for which our country should aim for. Therefore, toward the realization of Society 5.0, a Super-Smart Society laid out as a goal in the 5th Science and Technology Basic Plan, the Emerging Layer will be an important area of study to achieve the goal through the establishment of the role (mission) to be carried out in this field and of the specific objective that needs to be attained in order to carry out the role on the basis of appropriately understood trend in technologies, society and economy. The six categories for R&D and important themes for R&D as established in the above classification are as follows:

-Wisdom computing
It realizes sustainable activities for creating high-quality life and intellectual resources by promoting “a reform in utilizing wisdom”, e.g., promoting intellectual creative activities and accelerating scientific discoveries and their social application, etc.
Important themes for R&D: Consensus building/mechanism design, ELSI and social acceptance, interaction, Knowledge Platform.

Toward the world of REALITY 2.0, it builds up a platform that will allow us to componentize/unify social functions and create services, and will contribute to the creation of new business activities and a sustainable society.
Important themes for R&D: Construction of a service-shifting technology and a service platform.

-Social System Design
It pursues the enrichment of social infrastructure through the realization of design, structure, monitoring, operation, control, visualization, simulation and appropriate system design for the stable behavior of a more and more complicated social systems. We made it an independent category because, while the movement toward a larger-scale/more composite/more complicated social system progresses to a high degree, the need for a Social System Design incorporating IT in the system has been increasing.
Important themes for R&D: Social infrastructure operation, design of rules and processes

-Big data
Through the collection/analysis of an enormous quantity of data and precise grasping/prediction of real-world phenomena, various social issues can be solved, and a safe, secure and highly productive society will be realized.
Important themes for R&D: Artificial intelligence technology (machine learning, image/video analysis, natural language processing), new computing paradigm.

By realizing highly autonomous machines and close interaction between machines and humans, robotics will contribute to the formation of a new society that will bring a safe/comfortable and high-quality life. By combining it with IT technology, expansion of the application scope through autonomation of robots and incorporation of such technology in various services through networking and systemization are gaining ground. For this reason, we decided to describe the technology in relation to the Emerging Layer.
Important themes for R&D: Soft Robitics contributing to the expansion of utilization area, systemizing technology that will promote its application to various services by linking it with artificial intelligence.

Security consists of technologies for utilizing various components, devices, systems, data, information, etc. Security will continue to provide safe/comfortable services and to promote the development of new business activities. Important themes for R&D: Domestic production of security measures based on actual data and systems, R&D of security technologies responding to IoT.