Insights on Global Warming: Findings from the Japanese Antarctic Research Expedition
Takanobu Sawagaki, Professor
Department of Policy Science on Society, Faculty of Social Sciences
Professor Sawagaki is a specialist in glacial geology and has been involved in Antarctic ice sheet research for many years. On his first expedition to Antarctica (1992 to 1994), he discovered curious landforms which suggested the possibility of water drainage beneath the ice sheet. Recently, his discovery has confirmed that liquid water actually exists and flows below the ice sheet. He and his colleagues continues to investigate how much Antarctic ice is melting according to the water under the ice sheets.
The wintering members of the Japanese Antarctic Research Expedition are a small group of select specialists. “Observation of the aurora, measuring the atmosphere, counting the penguin population… We conduct these research projects to uncover the secrets of the polar environment and ecosystem. In the extremely tough conditions in Antarctica, it's imperative that we work closely together to maintain the continuous operation of Syowa Station facilities,” he emphasizes.
On his fourth expedition to Antarctica (2021 to 2023), he served as a wintering station leader, and mostly committed to operational safety management. Talking about his vision for the future, he says, “Currently, the present state of the Earth is regarded as almost at a ‘climate tipping point.’ I hope that many people will learn about the activities of the Japanese Antarctic Research Expeditions, then I would be happy if such knowledge inspire them to take concrete actions.”
Is it possible to have a natural conversation with AI? The potential of speech recognition technology
Katsunobu Itou, Professor
Department of Digital Media, Faculty of Computer and Information Sciences
Speech recognition is a technology used in such applications as vehicle navigation and Siri. It analyzes the speech content of humans and turns it into text. Data processing for both language and sound are necessary for speech recognition. Prof. Itou is primarily engaged in research on statistical language models. The currently popular ChatGPT makes use of this technology. Prof. Itou has been conducting research in this field since the 1990s, and at that time he created a speech recognition toolkit that anyone can use. The tool has been used in many research projects across a long time. In his research, Prof. Itou emphasizes the idea of “doing what no one else can do, and being a pioneer.” And in recent times, he has expanded his field of expertise from “language” to “sound.” Speaking on the future, he says, “If data is accumulated and research advances, humans may be able to have natural conversation with AI, just like we’d have with our family or friends.”
Fly Easily with Small Aircraft
Gaku Minorikawa, Professor
Department of Mechanical Engineering, Faculty of Science and Engineering
Professor Minorikawa of the Department of Mechanical Engineering, Faculty of Science and Engineering, engages in research for the practical application of lightweight sports aircraft from the conceptual design and electrification to the development of support equipment for safe flying. He make great efforts to establish the Course of Aviation Technology and also leads the Hosei University Urban Air Mobility Laboratory. He focuses on training technicians in order to achieve the dream of “Bringing the skies closer to the hearts of the Japanese people.” In 1929, Hosei University was first in Japan to establish an aviation laboratory, and that dream of the skies has clearly been passed on.