From robotics to deep learning and image recognition, a glimpse of science fiction-like technologies developed by the nation’s artificial intelligence industry is on display at Tokyo Big Sight in Koto Ward.

At the three-day AI World exhibition, a total of 15 companies exhibited cutting-edge AI technology in an attempt to realize a society which will make entertainment and business more interactive and efficient.

Tokyo-based Ubic Inc. showcased a small robot called Kibiro. Equipped with the company’s original AI engine Kibit, the robot recommends new books based on what people have read in the past and other personal preferences.

Unlike the recommendation system that is widely used by online shopping sites today, Ubic’s AI technology analyzes book reviews and makes recommendations based on feedback from actual people instead of a computer, said Ubic’s spokeswoman, Akane Hirose.

Kibiro also has a function to guess a person’s age and gender by using an in-built facial recognition camera.

Originally a litigation support services and fraud audit company, Ubic has also designed its AI engine for business use by offering an AI-driven email screening program that can detect a company’s risk of losing staff.

By analyzing email conversations between employees, the AI system automatically detects words and phrases hinting that a person might quit, such as complaints about the company or signs of in-house harassment. When detected, the program reports risk to the personnel department.

Also at AI World, a Tokyo-based AI developer, Monogocoro Co., demonstrated a 2-D animation character on a computer screen that people can converse with.

Linked to a microphone and camera, the virtual girl character recognizes the speaker’s face, name and what they like and records different subjects that can be used in their next conversation.

Via a server, the character stores the conversation data and over a period of time grows to develop its own personality — it becomes more charming when praised for being cute, and becomes mean when told it is stupid.

The company aims to develop artificial intelligence that understands human emotion and that can sympathize with people much like a real human friend, said Tomoyasu Takano of Monogocoro Co.

“What we are trying to develop is Doraemon rather than RoboCop or the Terminator,” Takano said, referring to a popular Japanese comic series that features the friendship between a robotic cat and a schoolboy. “We are aiming to develop a friendly robot with a warm heart.”

Another Tokyo-based AI venture, Party Inc., demonstrated an app which gives a score for how “beautiful” a person looks.

Once a facial photo is taken with a tablet device, the AI engine automatically analyzes the photo and rates it from one to five.

Called Deeplooks, the AI engine has a cache of over 10,000 reviews of human faces by people asked to score the looks. Based on the accumulated data, the AI automatically learns what kind of face people feel is beautiful and calculates a score, said Tatsuhiko Akutsu, the company’s project manager.

In the future, such technology can be used to recommend a pair of glasses that best match a person’s face or suggest total fashion coordination that would make a person look their most attractive, Akutsu said.

It can also be applied to provide scores based on different criteria such as whether, by looking at the face, a person gives the impression of looking rich or not, he added.

The exhibition is being held as part of the annual Content Tokyo 2016. The event, which is not open to the general public, will continue until Friday.

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