December 19, 2017 / By Tiffany Fox
Japanese game developer Cygames, Inc. announced today that it has established a memorandum of understanding on joint research with the Center for Research in Entertainment and Learning (CREL) at the University of California San Diego Qualcomm Institute.
Cygames Chief Technology Officer Eitoshi Ashihara and Prof. Shuichi Kurabayashi, director of Cygames Research, visited UC San Diego last month to establish a memorandum of understanding with Prof. Shlomo Dubnov, the director of CREL, and Prof. Ramesh Rao, the director of the Qualcomm Institute.
This memorandum was established to promote academic collaboration between Cygames and CREL to create an x-reality (mixed, blended, augmented reality) lab for long-term basic research and shared instrumentation and to offer innovative content to entertain game players worldwide. Together, Cygames Research and CREL will collaborate to create artificial intelligence (AI) technologies that can be incorporated into Cygames’s game titles, as well as joint research focusing on mixed reality technologies that utilize smartphones and deep learning technologies for computer-generated/sound media. The collaboration will also include joint seminars and research conferences, publications and mutual visits.
“I consider it a great honor for Cygames Research — just two years old — to be able to engage in this sort of initiative with a world-class research university like UC San Diego,” said Kurabayashi. “Prof. Shlomo Dubnov, director of CREL, has been involved with joint research at Keio University [in Tokyo] for over a decade. Now that we have established this memorandum, we will be able to work together more deeply and actively, as well as develop innovative new forms of computer entertainment. I hope that this joint research will serve as a means for students, faculty, and staff of UC San Diego, as well as others in American academia, to become more familiar with Cygames, Inc.”
“The beauty of this agreement is that includes both aspects of creativity and technology,” said Prof. Dubnov. “As games become all-encompassing, interactive and social experiences, they will require increasingly creative content, which will allow students from the Humanities at UC San Diego to be trained in aspects of production related to games in regard to sound, visuals and storytelling. On the technology side, Cygames needs to be able to create virtual avatars, which requires computers to recognize gestures, machine listening, vocalization and mapping of objects. We have a big joint interest in developing applications of deep-learning and machine learning in general.”
Added Prof. Rao: “We are pleased to be able to provide the infrastructure, collaborative environment and researchers necessary for a project of this kind, which is so appropriate, given our focus on educational initiatives.”
CREL focuses on grassroots creativity and learning while promoting research that combines artificial intelligence with interactive and participatory media to allow people to be more creative, informed and make better decisions in educational as well as entertainment environments.
CREL’s researchers comprise of UCSD faculty across all divisions on campus, including the arts, engineering and social sciences. CREL has supported graduate student research through UCSD Graduate division and research gifts from industries and academic organizations.
About Cygames Research
Cygames Research is a research institution that was established to help meet the technical challenges of the Cygames mission to be the best in entertainment. The institution cooperates with a variety of public, private, and academic entities to advance technologies that will impact the entire games industry and society at large. Aiming to position itself as a leader in next-generation information technologies, Cygames Research publicizes its research in Japan and beyond.