What would history be like if we used artificial intelligence algorithms in politics? Is artificial intelligence (AI) our fatal mistake? Masahiko Shimada, a Japanese writer, Professor at Hosei University, answered these questions in his lecture on artificial intelligence.

Today information search and routine tasks are becoming increasingly automated - so they are becoming less and less time- and effort-consuming chores, said Masahiko Shimada. In Hong Kong there is a finance firm working solely with AI.  AI can be a powerful tool in politics, as big historical data would avoid repeating the same mistakes of the past, Masahiko Shimada says.

Automation can greatly affect job market by reducing jobs as many jobs face the risk of computerization. Machines can already do many forms of routine manual labour, and are now able to perform some routine cognitive tasks too. As a result, says Masahiko Shimada, it can gradually deteriorate our physical and cognitive capacities. “Less routine and effort-consuming tasks do not bring happiness. Quite on the contrary, it could make our life dull and boring”, — said the writer.

Will humans be replaced by artificial intelligence? Chances are we will, said Masahiko Shimada. Science-fiction films and books about how machines acquire free will are not must read and see. The danger is in the advent of a machine to obtain exclusive control over information, technologies and consequently power. “If we make artificial intelligence Indian-, Chinese-, Russian- and Japanese-like, we could maintain balance”, — said Masahiko Shimada. 

During the question and answer session that followed the lecture, he told that artificial intelligence had long before stirred his interest in literature. Now he is going to publish a book in Japan on how to advance a human genetic code.

Students in Japanese studies are far from not knowing Masahiko Shimada’s books  - they study them at their classes on Japanese literature and culture. The University and JTI, with support of the Consulate of Japan in St Petersburg, arranged the lecture, which consequently was visited by the honoured guests, among them were Mr Masanori Fukushima, a Consul-General of Japan in St Petersburg, Deputy Rector for International Affairs Sergei Andrushin, and top managers from JTI. 

The lecture of Masahiko Shimada was the second occasion when SPbU students could meet with the Japanese writers at the University: last year they met Shiho Tanimura.

About the writer:

Masahiko Shimad is one of the most notable Japanese writers, Professor of Hosei University, chairperson of the Japanese Union of Writers, winner of several awards in literature. In 1984, he graduated in Russian language from Tokyo University of Foreign Languages.  Author of over 50 works in various genres. In Russia he is mostly popular as Boris Akunin, his friend (as Masahiko Shimad calls him), populirises his prose.