Research themes at Sony Computer Science Laboratories (Sony CSL) have changed every 10 years. In its early years (1988-), its research focused on studies on next-generation computer systems, including operating systems, the Internet, and artificial intelligence. In the next decade (1998-), research expanded into diverse domains, including systems biology, econophysics, and human-computer interaction, where human-centric approaches were taken. Since 2008, research areas haves begun to get even more diverse, encompassing an agenda for all of humanity, including health, food, and energy. At present, research at Sony CSL can be categorized into four major areas:

Planetary Agenda

We call issues that need to be addressed as common challenges for all humankind, such as energy, food, and the environment, the "Global Agenda," and we have endorsed research that could lead to breakthroughs in such areas. Today, the Global Agenda is becoming more and more important, while requiring approached to address issues on a planetary scale, such as global climate change and biodiversity crisis, which go beyond the benefits to human society. At Sony CSL, the research on building a sustainable society and ecosystem within the limits of environmental capacity is now called the "Planetary Agenda," and we are taking actions in this direction.

Dr. Masatoshi Funabashi, senior researcher, advocates " Synecoculture™," an agricultural method that grows useful plants while utilizing the inherent self-organizing capacity of the Earth's ecosystems in a multifaceted and comprehensive manner. The goal is to realize biodiversity ("augmented ecosystems") and ecosystem functions beyond the natural state through human intervention, and to build a comprehensive cultural sphere called Synecoculture.

Sony CSL also has other initiatives. The Open Exchange Systems (OXS) project aims to realize a sustainable energy society based on renewable energy, and conducts research, development, and demonstration of decentralized and highly scalable energy systems. The Space Optical Communication (SOL) project aims to provide Internet connectivity anywhere on earth and to make information such as remote sensing data from space available in real time. By using optical disk technology, the project is working on the research and development of optical communication systems that can be used on small and nano-satellites, and their implementation in society.

Human Augmentation

Human augmentation is an area of research that aims to replenish, enhance, and extend the capabilities of human beings by the use of science and technology. The scope of "augmentation” can be thought of not only in terms of intellectual capacities, but also in terms of the amplification of cognitive capacities, physical capacities, the sense of existence, and physical systems (health). In addition, it is open to Diversity & Inclusion initiatives.

Dr. Jun Rekimoto, Deputy Director of Sony CSL and Director of the Kyoto Laboratory, has proposed the concept of "Human Augmentation," focusing on the area that should be called the fusion of humans and technology. The scope of "augmentation" is not limited to the intellect, but extends to the senses, cognitive abilities, physical capabilities, presence, and physical systems (health). In addition, the Kyoto laboratory is reexamining the meaning of " fulfillment" for people and society, and to explore avenues for the development of new technologies that benefit all people.

Dr. Shinichi Furuya, senior researcher, aims to create a society that can achieve "sustainable cultural development" by researching, developing, and deploying mechanisms that create synergy between art and science through science and technology. He's also working to understand the mechanisms that underlie the acquisition and loss of high-level sensorimotor behaviors.

Dr. Ken Endo, also a senior researcher, is advancing the understanding of human body knowledge and the co-evolution of the body, intelligence, and technology by updating the body with technology. He is also working to change the way people think about the body and disabilities by developing and promoting the powered robotic limbs and sports prosthesis for top athletes as social implementations.

Dr. Ai Koizumi , researcher, is working on the construction and dissemination of technology that can predict the onset of TSD and lead to appropriate prevention, aiming for a society with no mental barriers.

Cybernetic Intelligence

Sony CSL aims to make real-world systems and processes intelligent based on AI and data analysis in the research area of cybernetic intelligence.

The research in econophysics promoted by Dr. Hideki Takayasu, fellow, paves the way for the analysis of vast amounts of complex and intricate data by making the most of the perspectives and know-how of physics. Data analysis research which has succeeded in improving yield in semiconductor factories, not only solves problems of economic activities in manufacturing, but also shows just how versatile big data analysis is in the real world. We are developing this and are currently working on research to construct theoretical physics in artificial intelligence.

The research of Dr. Takashi Isozaki, Senior Researcher, on causal information analysis begins with basic theory that combines statistical science and thermodynamics to enable the identification of causal relationships from big data sets, and includes the application of thermodynamic approaches to devise new methods and algorithms. This suite of technologies, name CALC, has been developed to analyze various real data inside and outside of Sony.

Fundamental Science

Since 2008, Sony CSL has been advocating "Open Systems Science" as an approach to science targeting open systems, instead of the conventional approach targeting closed systems. This includes computer science, brain science, artificial intelligence and artificial life, etc. The basic research conducted at Sony CSL aims to contribute to humanity and society by creating new research areas and research paradigms with its results, and creating new technologies and new businesses.

Dr. Frank Nielsen, fellow, is building cutting-edge machine learning theory through his work in computational information geometry, which combines computational geometry and information geometry, and visual computing, which combines computer vision and machine learning.

Dr. Kenichiro Mogi, senior researcher, is working to investigate the question of how consciousness emerges from neural activity in the brain.

Dr. Lana Sinapayen, researcher, studies artificial life and artificial intelligence. In particular, her work is concerned with what definitions of the concepts of "life" and "intelligence" would be most useful to implement within artificial systems.