The University of Tokyo, Dentsu Public Relations, and Hotto Link reveal conclusions
of legislator survey on AI-identified social issues
Tokyo, Japan (July 27, 2018) – The results of a joint AI research project and legislator survey by the University of Tokyo, the Corporate Communication Strategic Studies Institute of Dentsu Public Relations Inc. , and Hotto Link Inc. (TYO: 3680) have been announced, with implications for the shaping of public consensus and public policy.
The researchers used artificial intelligence (AI) to analyze a big data sample of Twitter posts from July 2017 and identify issues relating to social innovation, defined as “issues which, if solved, would bring major changes and improvements to society, the economy, and people’s lifestyles.” The program found a total of eighteen such issues, and these formed the basis of a survey conducted among legislators belonging to the National Diet of Japan. Respondents answered questions about their awareness of the issues identified and their perceived need for the relevant information required to address these challenges, as well as what kind of information is necessary when considering policies on innovation and what sources of information they currently use.
One notable finding was that unlike topics which are prominently discussed in particular communities, issues that are commented on less frequently and are more broadly scattered across social media are not well recognized by legislators, who tend not to notice these voices. Additionally, legislators indicated that they felt little need for information of the kind that would be critical to addressing these types of latent, broadly dispersed issues.
When asked about their approach to innovation-focused public policy, while approximately 80 percent of legislator respondents expressed a desire for fact-based evidence, a slightly greater proportion felt that the necessary information was lacking at the present time.
Overall, the results suggest that in order to create the right conditions for addressing issues relating to social innovation, it will be crucial to pick up on the public’s concerns through the analysis of big data and other sources, and further to present these issues to the government together with persuasive supporting evidence.