Changing the Future with Blockchain and Artificial Intelligence

THE NEW CONTEXT CONFERENCE, an annual conference hosted by Digital Garage and Joi Ito, Co-Founder of Digital Garage and current Director of MIT Media Lab, will take place on July 5-6th. From 2005, the conference has covered seminal topics surrounding internet business and technology. This year will be the first conference organized by DG and its newest Open Innovation R&D Initiative “DG Lab”.

DG Lab puts its focus on 5 sectors, all of which we believe are technologies to play a crucial role in our life: Blockchain, Virtual Reality/ Augmented Reality, Artificial Intelligence, Security and Biotechnology. By partnering with domestic and foreign companies who possess high level skills in each respective field, Digital Garage aims to become a pillar of new business- product and services.

THE NEW CONTEXT CONFERENCE 2016 TOKYO, will focus on two major themes: Blockchain and Artificial Intelligence, and how these two upcoming technologies will change our way of conducting business. We have invited speakers from all over the world to come together and discuss, question and explore the exciting possibilities these two technologies present.

Kaoru Hayashi, President and Group CEO, Digital Garage, Inc.

  • Organizers: Digital Garage, DG Lab
  • Cosponsors: Digital Garage,
  • Dates: July 5th (Blockchain), July 6th (Artificial Intelligence) , 2016
  • Location: Digital Garage Headquarters 9F Event Space, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo *
  • Host: Joi Ito
  • Target Audience: Those interested in the potential of internet business and technology
  • Registration Fee: Two day ticket 78,000 JPY/ One day ticket 48,000 JPY
  • On the evening of July 5th, Digital Garage will be hosting a reception party at the location of the conference. All attendees Day 1 and Day 2 are cordially invited for purposes of networking. Please note that Digital Garage will not be hosting any such reception party for the evening of July 6.
  • * Important Note: Change of Conference Venue
    As we had originally planned to host the conference at the Garden Terrace Kioi Conference Hall, due to construction and technical difficulties at the Garden Terrace Kioi site, to avoid any incidents on the day we have decided to switch the venue to Digital Garage Headquarters Event Space. We are very sorry for any inconvenience this switch may cause you.
Open Innovation Platform for the Next Generation of Digital Business

In such a technologically advanced society like ours, the wave of Open Innovation arose from the Internet. It not only expands in the software industry, but also in the hardware industry. This wave is now growing rapidly in many technologies fields such as biotechnology.

Being agile and flexible to these diverse social changes, as well as having our business grow by incorporating cutting-edge technology, Digital Garage will launch “DG Lab”, our R&D organization, in order to plant seeds for our next business pillar. At DG Lab, we will focus on the following 5 areas: Blockchain, VR/AR, AI, Security, and Biotechnology. We will collaborate with our portfolio companies inside and outside of Japan, in hopes of creating new products and services that have the potential of becoming DG’s next business pillar. Engineers and designers who are passionate in the leading research developments will gather to DG Lab, striving together to develop through active discussions. With the image of the next “Bauhaus of technology” in mind, we hope that DG Lab become a global platform where new chemical change happens with design × data × technology were all organically connected.










With a heavy focus on Blockchain, a fundamental technology of the Bitcoin which has attracted much attention. Outside the realm of digital currency, it is expected that blockchain will come to play a crucial role in various aspects of the current financial system: banks, contracts, the buying and selling of real estate among. This conference aims to highlight such changes that blockchain will bring to our near future, as we have invited experts from both domestic and abroad to share their expertise in the industry and discuss its future technology trends.

This year’s line up of speakers include Adam Back, PhD, President & Co-Founder of Blockstream- a company credited in developing emerging technology- Sidechains, Michael Casey, former Wall Street Journal reporter and newly appointed Senior Advisor at the MIT Media Lab Digital Currency Initiative and Naoyuki Iwashita head of Fintech Center at the Bank of Japan. In addition, educators such as Jun Murai, Dean & Professor at SFC Keio University will discuss on the impact Blockchain has on the internet; high level engineers will discuss their work in the engineering realm as they spread the use, education the use of Blockchain technology.

Kaoru Hayashi

Greetings from President and Group CEO of Digital Garage

Joi Ito

Opening Remarks from Co-Founder of Digital Garage and current Director of the MIT Media Lab

Speech: Adam Back (Blockstream)

The possibilities of blockchain and the development of sidechain applications.

Focused on the future of cutting edge application development suing blockchain technology.

Speech: Thaddeus Dryja (Lightning Labs) The Lighting Network: Scaling blockchains to new applications
Speech: Ryan Shea (Blockstack) Blockstack and the Applications of Blockchain Technology
Panel: Joi Ito / Adam Back / Thaddeus Dryja / Ryan Shea / Jonathan Hope

The rapid rise and importance of blockchain, are by some, compared to as the same level as the rise of the internet. Sesson 2: Historial Position of Blockchain focuses on the impact blockchain has on the internet, and discussions on blockchain's future postioning.

Speech: Jun Murai (Keio University) IoT: Internet of Trust
Panel: Joi Ito / Jun Murai / Adam Back

From the domestic and international standpoint, discuss how blockchain will change the current financial system.

Speech: Michael Casey (MIT Media Lab) Impact of blockchain on financial institutions.
Speech: Naoyuki Iwashita (Bank of Japan) Impact of blockchain on financial institutions in Japan.
Panel: Joi Ito / Naoyuki Iwashita / Michael Casey / Oki Matsumoto / Ritsu Ichihashi

Blockchain technology has developed as much as it has in the few short years thanks to the hard work of many core developer and engineers. This session emphasizes the engineering community within this space.

Speech:Nicolas Dorier(Metaco SA) About the spread of ideas and their execution in the Bitcoin developer community
Panel: Joi Ito / Adam Back, PhD / Nicolas Dorier / Thaddeus Dryja

The last session will discuss how research institutions, educational institutions will play the role in the development of blockchain technology.

Speech: Neha Naura (MIT Media Lab)
Speech: Shin’ichiro Matsuo, Ph.D. (MIT Media Lab) Academia makes blockchain technology healthy
Panel: Joi Ito / Jun Murai / Neha Narula / Shin'ichiro Matsuo, Ph.D. / Pindar Wong

The evolution and possibilities Artificial Intelligence brings has become a topic of discussion in various fields. As we have seen with AlphaGo, developed by Google, the capabilities and application that AI offers has exceed even the leading experts of the field. Per this conference, we have invited thought minds of this new and exciting field to speak on the impact AI with give in vast industries, understand the technology and how to can implement AI hereonforth.

The evolution of Artificial Intelligence has caused major waves in numerous fields. To date AlphaGo, developed by Google has given a glimpse of what could be- as it’s technologies in certain applications have exceeded the capacities of its human counters. For this conference we have gathered a line up of speakers that are at the forefront of numerous fields already heavily impacted with AI technology as they come together to discuss and debate on how we should face it’s budding effects.

Kaoru Hayashi

Greetings from President and Group CEO of Digital Garage

Joi Ito

Opening Remarks from Co-Founder of Digital Garage and current Director of the MIT Media Lab

Speech: Hiroaki Kitano (Sony Computer Science Laborataories, Inc.)

Introducing the cutting edge examples of iAI-drive interactive agents: technologies to realize user interface as if we are communicating with a person.

Speech: Joshua Lachter (ASAPP) Transforming customer contact through AI
Speech: Kazutaka Yonekura (Al+) A.I. in Love
Panel: Joi Ito / Hiroaki Kitano / Joshua Lachter / Kazutaka Yonekura

AI applications have penetrate the life science and helathcare fields. In this session will discuss the kinds of changes AI will bring to these areas.

Speech: Yuki Shimahara (LPixel) Image diagnosis systems using AI technology.
Speech: Koichi Nakamura (Idein) The challenge and prospect of Data Intensive Discovery using sensor data
Panel: Hiroaki Kitano / Yuki Shimahara / Koichi Nakamura

Introduce state of the art automobile, robotics field techonology with advancements from AI applicaitons.

Speech: Ichiro Otobe (ZMP) The self-driving technologies of ZMP
Speech: Fumitaka Yamasaki (iXs Research) Robots and AI for specialized uses.
Panel: Joi Ito / Fumitaka Yamasaki / Ichiro Otobe

AI technology has advanced to a level on par with the human brain. In this session will use "Hardware", "Conciousness" as keywords as we introduce research on AI keeping the two base words in mind.

Speech: Takeshi Fukuda (IBM Japan) Cognitive Technologies - illustrating future -
Speech: Motoaki Saito (PEZY Computing) Creating the most powerful technology platform and a singularity point by AI and the next generation supercomputer
Speech: Ryota Kanai (ARAYA Brain Imaging) Establishing Artificial Consciousness
Panel: Joi Ito / Takeshi Fukuda Motoaki Saito / Ryota Kanai

In an age where AI is widely accepted in our lives- rules and governance that only applied to human society should be converted to computers. In the final session, we will discuss how humans and AI co-exists.

Panel: Joi Ito / Alex “Sandy” Pentland / Hiroaki Kitano / Koichi Nakamura


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