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November 10, 2016

Honda Develops Basic Technologies for Interactive Interface Software that Utilizes Language Analysis Technologies

― Honda language analysis technology for interactive customer service system of East Nippon Expressway Company will be subject to demonstration testing ―

TOKYO, Japan, November 10, 2016 – Honda Research Institute, a wholly owned research and development subsidiary of Honda Motor Co., Ltd., has developed new software, the “Interaction System Tool Kit,” that supports language processing, one result of what Honda Research Institute has achieved through its research in the area of artificial intelligence (AI) technologies. Honda also has started providing the Interaction System Tool Kit to other companies.

The Interaction System Tool Kit is a suite of language analysis technologies that will serve as one of the basic technologies for the AI-based interactive interface. Honda has provided this suite of technologies to East Nippon Expressway Company Limited (NEXCO East) and Nextremer Co., Ltd., an AI venture company headquarters in Japan. On November 19, 2016, NEXCO East and Nextremer will begin demonstration testing of an interactive customer service system that utilizes the Interaction System Tool Kit provided by Honda.

A typical interactive interface system requires language analysis technologies that enable the system to recognize the same meaning even when it is articulated with different words and expressions depending on the person. The Interaction System Tool Kit packages such language analysis functions to enhance versatility so that it becomes easier to divert them to various systems, which make it possible to reduce the development workload. The Interaction System Tool Kit was developed based on technologies Honda has cultivated and amassed in the area of robotics that includes research and development of ASIMO, Honda’s bipedal humanoid robot.

NEXCO East and Nextremer will conduct demonstration testing of an interactive customer service system that utilizes the Interaction System Tool Kit. The interactive customer service system which will be installed at the Takasaka Service Area (SA) on the Kan-Etsu Expressway (outbound) is equipped with an interactive interface software, MINARAI, developed by Nextremer. This software features an ability to realize more sophisticated dialogue by amassing intelligence from learning various dialogues. For this particular MINARAI software to be used in this demonstration testing, the Interaction System Tool Kit provides the language analysis function and contributes to the realization of dialogues with greater accuracy.

For more than 10 years since its establishment in 2003, under the principle of “Innovation through Science,” Honda Research Institute Japan has been conducting research and development in various technology and science areas that go beyond the framework of mechanical engineering, including artificial intelligence, genomics and nanotechnology/materials science. The Interaction System Tool Kit is one of the achievements Honda Research Institute Japan has made in on-going process of the research and development of AI. Following this first case of the sharing of these technologies to NEXCO East and Nextremer, Honda Research Institute expects these language analysis technologies to be utilized as basic technologies behind the interactive interfaces of various industries and companies.

Honda has been strengthening the development of AI technologies and will further accelerate open innovation beyond the boundaries of industries by continuing collaborations with companies of all sorts.

<About Honda Research Institute Japan Co., Ltd.>

Established: January 2003
Headquarter location: 8-1 Honcho, Wako, Saitama, Japan
Representative: President & CEO: Hiroshi TSUJINO
Business: Research and development of advanced scientific technologies

<About East Nippon Expressway Company Limited>

Established: October 2005
Headquarter location: Shin-Kasumigaseki Building
3-3-2 Kasumigaseki, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, Japan
Representative: President & CEO : Hiroshi HIROSE
Business: Management, operation and construction of expressways, service area (rest area) business, and other related businesses in the eastern part of Japan, including Tokyo

<About Nextremer Co., Ltd.>

Established: October 2012
Headquarter location: To-seimitsuiseimei Bld.10F
1-30-13 Narimasu, Itabashi-ku, Tokyo, Japan
Representative: Representative Director, CEO: Hisahiro MUKAI
Business: Development/Providing services of interactive engine that utilizes AI,Open innovation (joint development/research with other companies)