About Konica Minolta

Giving Shape to Ideas

Use of Artificial Intelligence

Basic Policy

Konica Minolta’s management vision is “Imaging to the People,” and the company has been striving toward the goals of “supporting people to achieve their own purpose” and “realization of a sustainable society.” To achieve this vision, the company has been actively using AI in the development of products and services, as well as in its corporate activities, including R&D, manufacturing and sales. However, the inappropriate use of AI can cause various problems, including privacy or human rights violations.

Against this backdrop, Konica Minolta established the AI Policy to share an understanding of the appropriate use of AI throughout the group and unite all its members in actively using AI to contribute to creating a better, human-centric society, to fulfill its responsibility as a global company.

Konica Minolta’s AI-Based Innovations

1. Imaging IoT that combines IoT and AI with optical devices and image sensing technologies

Leveraging its proven track record of developing information and medical devices capable of high-speed image processing, coupled with its strengths as a manufacturer, Konica Minolta incorporates low-power-consumption, high-speed AI functions on the edge side (e.g., embedded devices and on-premises servers). In the field of human behavior analysis, the company has achieved both high-precision image recognition and high-speed processing capabilities that enable humans to be detected in static images, as well as estimation of 2D human pose. Also, in the field of visual quality inspection, the company provides various solutions to resolve customers’ problem by finding defects in static images. These capabilities are used in the following solutions.

HitomeQ Care Support service for care facilities
A sensor mounted on the ceiling detects a resident’s movements such as waking up, getting out of bed, falling from the bed, and stumbling, and sends a notification along with footage to the smartphones of care staff.
Go Insight shopper behavior analysis service
A camera mounted on the ceiling of a store collects data on shoppers’ behavior at the shelf, including their attributes, items they pick up, and how long they stay at the shelf, to gain customer insights.
Box Defect Detection solution
The solution locates all defects and anomalies of the delivery boxes running on a production line, identifies their size and severity and issues commands to the separator on the production line to send the defective box to the washer or out of the line instantly.

In this way, Konica Minolta encourages the use of AI for creating diverse values and realizing a society where people can pursue motivation and satisfaction in life. The company is also committed to the appropriate use of AI by focusing on safety to avoid the potential negative impacts of AI on society and people.

2. Konica Minolta’s R&D and product development using AI

Konica Minolta has introduced a data science approach to boost efficiency and innovation in the process of developing materials and functional chemicals, which conventionally requires much experimentation and trial production. In the development of high-polymer composite materials, the company has adopted the methodology of Materials Informatics. This requires the minimum amount of experimental data only, which is effectively combined with the structures and functions of chemicals using AI to drastically reduce the development period.

Konica Minolta also utilizes deep learning and other machine learning technologies for the development of various image recognition solutions. For example, the company has developed a solution to help doctors read chest X-rays by having AI analyze its proprietary database, recognize the clavicles and ribs, and then make these bones less obvious on radiographs.

Machine learning such as deep learning requires an enormous amount of sample data. Konica Minolta takes all possible measures to avoid improper use and leakage of personal information in handling these data sets. The company is also aware of the risk of some bias in its data sets and the consequences of machine learning, and is committed to preventing any discrimination from arising in society.

3. Digital employees, Ieyasu and Litera

Two digital employees are working at Konica Minolta. One of them is named RPA Ieyasu, which performs automated tasks using the Robotic Process Automation (RPA) system for human employees. Like human employees, RPA Ieyasu has its own employee ID and other system ID cards, and works in several locations. The other is a chatbot named Litera, which uses a service from Microsoft. Litera answers questions from members of the Konica Minolta Group in Japan about IT services 24/7. In order to promote digital manufacturing, the company assigns data scientists to its factories to effectively use AI in the production processes.

Everyone at Konica Minolta has opportunities to use AI. For this reason, the company strives to share the issues and values that underlie its AI Policy with all its members and encourage the appropriate use of AI, with a view to fostering human resources who can improve society, as well as AI specialists.

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