Machine Learning Tokyo launched as a nonprofit organization

On Septeber 25 more than 100 people joined us for our Machine Learning Tokyo Launch event as a nonprofit organization at Mistletoe of Tokyo, celebrating the team, our contributors, the community and our partnership with Mistletoe Japan, Inc. 

Serial Entrepreneur and Investor Taizo Son joined us for an inspiring fireside chat, talking about wonderful endeavors like VIVITA, Inc. and sharing his thoughts on supporting “crazy ideas” that change the world for the better.

AI ecosystem support

Artificial Intelligence is a transformative technology that is changing everything we know – from business to education and healthcare, it is changing our every-day lives. We see Machine Learning algorithms in face and speech recognition software to unlock your phone or get help from a virtual assistant, we see Deep Learning algorithms help Radiologists with the diagnosis of cancer, we see optimized search and recommendation engines that support our decision making process. The demand for AI talent is growing and exceeding supply. For the past 2.5 years Machine Learning Tokyo has been supporting local AI engineers and researchers, companies and Universities to explore Machine Learning and Deep Learning.

Machine Learning Tokyo (MLT) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to democratizing Machine Learning and supporting the AI ecosystem in Japan. It was founded by Suzana Ilic and Yoovraj Shinde in July 2017 and established as a Tokyo-based nonprofit 一般社団法人 in May 2019.

MLT is all about open source, open education and open science. The organization is volunteer-driven and consists of a core team of ML Engineers and Researchers, 40-50 active contributors and 3,500 members in Tokyo. MLT held more than 50 technical Deep Learning workshops, talks and study sessions and provided more than 250 hours of study and implementation for free. These efforts support highly skilled engineering talent who work for Japanese Startups and corporates in Machine Learning and Data Science.

Some of the world’s leading Deep Learning experts have been invited as speakers for the MLT community, among them Anima Anandkumar (ML Research Director, NVIDIA), David Ha (Research Scientist, Google Brain Tokyo) and Francois Chollet (Kreator of Keras, Google AI) with an audience of around 500 people. Most talks have been co-organized by MLT and the University of Tokyo.

Partnership with Mistletoe Japan Inc.

We are excited to announce that Mistletoe Japan is supporting MLT with 1.5M Japanese Yen to grow our community and establish a nonprofit organization. Serial Entrepreneur and Investor Taizo Son (Mistletoe Japan Inc.) has been supporting a wide range of impactful initiatives and startups in Japan – innovative and out-of-the-box endeavours spanning healthcare, education, high and deep tech, art and design and more. We are grateful for the support of the machine learning community in Japan and we look forward to working together.

Mistletoe Japan, Inc. is a Collective Impact Community with the mission to re-create a sustainable human-centered future using technology. The community is made up of those who lead the forefront of the global startup movement including entrepreneurs, investors, researchers and visionaries, with the mutual goal to solve global social challenges that humanity will face in the near future. Main activities range from startup investment, research & development, joint ventures to ecosystem development. 

Future directions

In addition to educational efforts with organizing workshops and talks, MLT started working on AI projects for Social Good. One of our teams works on Agritech. People in rural areas of Japan are getting too old or sick to take care of the fields and crops. They are not able to maintain those anymore and with that, precious knowledge that was built up over generations gets lost. Our first project is a suspended robot, powered by a neural network run on a microcontroller, to automate a wide range of agricultural tasks.

“It’s incredible how active our community and contributors are and how much time and effort they put into creating and building for Social Good in Japan. I’m proud of all teams, they are so diverse, collaborative and motivated to make a change,“ says MLT Founder Suzana Ilic.

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Suzana Ilic, Founder and Director

Workshops and talks:

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