2022 Activity Report vol.15:Japan Advanced Institute of Science & Technology

Activity Report of Open Application Program 2022 vol.15 (Course B)

Human−AI Communication, Co−Learning, & Collaborative Intelligence (HA3CI)

Report from Japan Advanced Institute of Science & Technology (JAIST)

Through the JST Sakura Science Exchange Program, ten students and two faculty members from the School of Electrical Engineering and Informatics of Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB) and the Faculty of Computer Science of the University of Indonesia (UI), Indonesia were invited by Associate Professor Sakriani Sakti to have short−term visits at her research laboratory, the Human−AI Communication, Co−Learning, and Collaborative Intelligence (HA3CI) Research Laboratory of the Japan Advanced Institute of Science & Technology (JAIST) from January 5th to 25th, 2023. The aim of this program is to perform JAIST−UI−ITB collaborative research activities on the development of artificial intelligence in spoken language processing that supports human−to−human or human−to−machine communication.

UI and ITB are well−known universities and are ranked as the top three universities in Indonesia. Several UI and ITB students applied to join JST Sakura Science Program. Among the applicants, we selected top students based on their (Curriculum Vitae) and transcript. As a result, we invited one faculty member, 1 MSc student, 4 BSc students from ITB, and one faculty member, 2 MSc students, and 3 BSc students from UI. So in total, we have two faculty members, 3 MSc students, and 7 BSc students. For JAIST to accept student exchange, we need to have a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and a Memorandum of Agreement on Student Exchange (MoA). At that time, there was only JAIST−ITB MoU and MoA. So we processed the JAIST−UI MoU and MoA as well and completed it at the end of November.

Research Activities

The Indonesian students and faculty members arrived at Komatsu Airport on January 5th in the afternoon. We picked them up at the airport and brought them to JAIST directly. Upon arriving at JAIST on January 5th, 2023, they had several orientations about JAIST and daily life in JAPAN, as well as how to use computing servers and security policies for research purposes (such as "JAIST Cyber Security Online Orientation for Newcomer"). In the evening, we then guided them to their accommodation which was very close to JAIST.

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The Indonesian students and faculty members arrived at Komatsu airport.

On the next day, we had the first research meeting to discuss each student's research topic related to artificial intelligence in spoken language processing. The topics vary from self−supervised learning, machine speech chain, automatic speech recognition, and text−to−speech synthesis to speech translation. During this research study, each student had their desk work complete with a monitor, keyboard, and Surface notebook. They were also to access GPU machines at JAIST and HA3CI Labs. The target up to January 7th was to let the students familiar with JAIST and HA3CI Labs research environment.

As most of the participants are Bsc students, they don't have any experience in performing scientific research. Here, in the JST Sakura Science program, the students could learn how to perform research on the development of artificial intelligence in spoken language processing, starting from developing the baseline and the proposed approach until presenting their research results. The target for the first half of the program (January 8th–14th) was to develop the baseline systems, and the aim for the second half of the program (January 16th–22nd) was to perform the novel proposed system. Each week, we had two types of meetings. First is the individual progress reports, where the meeting was held individually for each student with all faculty members. This was done to discuss the progress and solution if there were any problems. The second one is the group research meeting (all students together), where the students share their results with the group. Other than that, we let students perform research at their desks, but of course, they are allowed to consult with any faculty members anytime or ask questions via emails or Slack if they have questions or problems. All students were very enthusiastic about performing research at JAIST.

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Daily research work
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Weekly progress report (individual)
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weekly research meeting
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Final talk at JAIST−UI−ITB Science Hub Symposium

In addition to their activities at Sakti−Lab, the students had a chance also to visit other research laboratories, which were the research laboratories of Professor Masashi Unoki (Unoki−Lab) and Associate Professor Shogo Okada (Okada−Lab) in the Graduate School of Information Science. They received several introductions to research activities in those research laboratories. Unoki−Lab is working on several research themes, including multimedia information hiding, auditory information processing, and speech signal processing, while Okada−Lab is working on several research themes, including social Signal Processing, human behavior analysis, and affective computing. Everyone enjoyed the experience and gained more knowledge.

On January 23rd, we had the JAIST−UI−ITB Science Hub Symposium. The aim was to form a science hub−full−fledged collaborative research between researchers and academia at JAIST, UI, and ITB. During this event, the Dean of UI Faculty of Computer Science: Dr. Ir. Petrus Mursanto, M.Sc, and the Dean of ITB School of Electrical Engineering and Informatics: Dr. Tutun Juhana, ST., MT, came to Japan and attended the meeting. In this event, all students of the Sakura Science Program presented the research results that they had conducted during their stay at JAIST. Although they only had a very short period to perform research work, they worked really hard, and they could accomplish some good results. The symposium ended with a ceremony to provide each student with a Sakura Science Program certificate.

Cultural Learning Activities

After they completed the target for the first half of the program, the Indonesian students and faculty members had a chance to learn Japanese traditional culture and history on January 15th. We visited Kanazawa Castle and Higashi Chaya District. Kanazawa Castle was the headquarters of the Kaga Domain, ruled by the Maeda clan until the Meiji restoration in 1871.

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Cultural learning at Kanazawa castle.

After they completed the program, they also had a chance to visit the National Museum of Nature and Science, one of Japan's most significant science museums in Ueno Park, Tokyo. The museum is home to over 25,000 exhibits that explore everything, including outer space, dinosaurs, Japanese ecosystems, and even the world's latest advances in technology. The museum also has exhibitions on pre−Meiji science in Japan. We visited the museum on January 24th before they returned to Indonesia on January 25th.

Closing Remarks

Although 20 days was a short time for performing research work, given that most students didn't have any experience in advance, still, they succeeded completed the baseline and their proposed systems which were very satisfactory. After this, they will continue their work in Indonesia, and we will continue with the weekly online meeting until March 15th, 2023.

Overall, it was an excellent program for both Japan and Indonesian side to have collaborative research activities. Various discussions during their stay may also lead to further deepened collaboration between universities. Therefore, we would like to express our gratitude to JST Sakura Science Program for providing us with this invaluable opportunity. We hope we can have other opportunities to join the JST Sakura Science Program in the future.