National

Tokushima and e-book firm tap AI in experiment to summarize governor's briefings

Kyodo

The Tokushima Prefectural Government and e-book distributor Media Do Holdings Co. have announced the launch of an experiment using artificial intelligence to summarize the prefectural governor’s news conferences.

The plan, announced Tuesday, is part of a bid make more administrative documents available online more quickly.

In the experiment, set to start Monday, a speech recognition system will be used to record remarks at news conferences, with complete transcripts posted on the prefectural government’s website after being checked by officials.

The new system will reduce the time needed to transcribe news conferences from roughly 10 hours to two, and will enable the prefecture to post documents about four hours after the news conferences are held, according to the officials.

People accessing the transcripts online can choose the amount they want to read within a range of 10 percent to 90 percent, and the AI software summarizes the content to meet the preference.

“Government agencies create a lot of documents but most of them are difficult to read. I hope summarized documents will help people familiarize themselves with the government,” Tokushima Gov. Kamon Iizumi said, adding that the move will also help reduce prefectural officials’ working hours.

Media Do President Yasushi Fujita, a Tokushima native, said the firm is developing a service to summarize e-books and hopes to expand the service to governments.