Chiba City Museum Experimented ICT for Foreigners
Chiba City Museum of Art, Chiba, started a demonstration experiment to apply ICT (Information Communication Technology) to assisting foreign visitors, January 4. The idea is to help visiting foreigners get around touring and shopping in Chiba with the 2020 Tokyo Olympics/Paralympics in mind.
The museum issued IC cards for foreign visitors to simply hold up the card to enter the museum without the ticket. The tablet terminator placed at the corner of the showroom shows legends of the displays in five foreign languages including English and Chinese to guide the foreign visitors.
Chairman Hiroaki Nishi of the Omotenashi ICT Council comments:
"The ICT system is an excellent idea not only to help foreign visitors get acquainted with Japanese arts but to have them experience Japan's high-level information communication technology this way."
The demonstration experiment will continue on till March next year to collect and analyze data on the utility of the system.
The advance of AI technology is really remarkable in every walk of life in Japan, AI-based gimmicks being put to practical use.
In areas of translation/interpretation, in particular, AI-driven devices are actually threatening human interpreters, offering multi-lingual instantaneous interpretation available in a matter of seconds.
In some cases, translation services are seriously affected by the so-called machine translation which was worthless a few months ago is now good enough to take the place of mediocre human translators.
But, then, ICT, applied as in the case of the Chiba City Museum, certainly benefits the needy. This year-long demonstration experiment should yield practical data with which to help improve the language-deficient social environment in Japan.
In a few years' time, many of us will be carrying one of those language-assisting tablets side by side with the iPhones - you never know. (Nathan Shiga)