Society 5.0: Shaping the smart society of tomorrow

The pace of digitization is rapidly accelerating and transforming our daily lives impacting among other things, the way we work, live, travel and access medical care.

As early as 2016, Japan launched an initiative called Society 5.0 in response to the social challenges and inequalities facing Japanese society, including the aging of its population.

Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise (ALE) solutions have already proven themselves in the Hokkaido Municipality to facilitate access to city services for older residents. Thus, with more than 11,000 telephones connected to the Rainbow interface, ALE allows these people to stay informed by giving them access to local information, such as the directory of public services, timetables for mobility shuttles and news. regarding crime prevention.

More ambitious than Industry 4.0, Society 5.0 uses technology to shift gears and blur the line between cyberspace and physical space.

Society 5.0 wants to be at the base of the emergence of “super smart societies” whose objective is to set up a sustainable and inclusive socio-economic system, thanks to technologies such asartificial intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT), robotics and big data.

Human-centered

The global health crisis has allowed a re-humanization of the world. It forced us to refocus on the community for many aspects of daily life. While in Industry 4.0 digital progress was driven by technology, it is people who are at the heart of progress in the Society 5.0 project.

This human-centered approach sees technology, society and nature working in harmony to ensure economic development while providing solutions to social challenges.

Inclusive approach

Access (or lack of access) to technologies can reinforce social inequalities. This “digital divide” must be bridged by governments and institutions responsible for digital accessibility issues.

Inclusion and accessibility are key aspects of our business. CSRallowing access to certain opportunities by going beyond geographical limits intends to reduce this “digital divide” and facilitate the use of technology for all.

For example, in South Africa, the city of Tshwane has provided access Wireless free to its citizens in order to allow those who do not have internet access at home to be more independent, improve their computer skills and stimulate job creation while reducing the pressure on municipal services from the city.

Similarly, in Peru, government institutions are deploying WLAN solutions for public Wi-Fi that will enable 360 ​​villages in six rural areas to have a reliable connection and benefit from distance learning solutions.

Inclusiveness and fairness are prevalent values ​​in Society 5.0. The necessary goods and services are provided to the people who need them, when they need them. It is, however, a balancing act!

The demand for energy is increasing, but we must also reduce our emissions; the demand for food is increasing, and we need to increase production; the population is aging, and we must limit the costs associated with an aging society. These examples illustrate the correlation that links economic development to the social challenges addressed within the framework of Society 5.0.

Give yourself the means to success

Society 5.0 is not approached in one and the same way. Each region has its own issues and specific socio-economic constraints to consider.

However, the strategic networks, which provide a bandwidth raised to cities and their outskirts, are the catalysts of digitization, because this is the key to a fully connected world.

In the 5.0 concept, ICT is based on an autonomous and secure multi-service network. Metro area networks (MPLS) have been widely deployed over the past few decades, but there are also newer, more cost-effective solutions using enterprise networks with SPB (Shortest Path Bridging).

For example, the French metropolis Metz Eurometropolis modernized and simplified the management of its existing metropolitan network infrastructure using the SPB in order to ensure the continuity of essential services and to develop new services such as Wi-Fi connection, mobility and the telework for 3,000 agents and visitors. Today, many public services and approximately 200 job profiles use this network and communications, including several essential services such as the municipal police and the vaccination center, requiring uninterrupted operation.

Technologies such as UCaaS, CCaaS and CPaaS make it possible to connect citizens and employees by giving them access to connected services, thus facilitating their daily lives.

Examples include Wi-Fi or telemedicine services in remote areas that until now had no internet access. By connecting to hospitals via telemedicine and offering remote consultations, lives could be saved. There is also e-learning, which allows students with physical disabilities to take lessons from their homes. By adding location and needs tracking services, the number of uses could be multiplied exponentially.

Companies in collaborative mode

Companies have a major role to play in the development of Society 5.0, but they must take a collaborative approach. The objective is to create shared value, which combines commercial success for companies and social progress for citizens.

The partnerships initiated between industries, universities and governments will participate in the construction of digitally inclusive societies, the creation of a stronger and more resilient economy and above all, the training of the workforce of tomorrow.

All stakeholders must also commit to change. Any resistance would stifle the innovation needed for lasting change.

Sustainable development

The notion of sustainable development is essential to Society 5.0, it is the yardstick of its success. In all sectors of activity, including public administration, transport and health, everyone must strive to use advanced technologies while minimizing their environmental impact.

For more than 100 years, Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise has adapted to many technological changes, and today we are more focused on the future than ever. With initiatives like the GoGreen program, ALE is committed to protecting the environment and ensuring a sustainable future for all. In recognition of this commitment, ALE has also received the silver medal of the EcoVadis 2022 ranking.

Communication Ecology

Today, Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise R&D teams are working on communication and collaboration solutions to support the implementation of the Society 5.0 project. The vision is to develop a “communication ecology” using artificial intelligence in particular.

The goal is to channel the ever-increasing flow of increasingly diverse information, which binds individuals in a society or organization to the digital sphere through contextualization. Aware of the harmful consequences of the stress that this can generate, ALE develops methods to reduce the volume of information to be processed and the potential burn-outs resulting from it.

At a first level, contextualization makes it possible to analyze the content of information in real time by taking into account previous interactions and thus obtain an overall picture of the current situation and the objectives targeted. In the process of contextualizing information, AI and ML are paramount. Let’s take the example of searching for the acronym LBS. In a technology context, LBS stands for Location Based Services. In a medical context, for a doctor, this means “low glycemic index” (Low Blood Sugar) but in the United Kingdom, this acronym corresponds to a unit of weight, the pound. As the system is able to take particular situations into account, it can offer the user a much more appropriate response. Receiving adequate information helps reduce user stress and improve well-being at work and at home.

Since only relevant information is stored, and we use algorithms aware of the concept of consumption, using less computing power, the energy footprint of these systems is considerably reduced. AI and ML consume a lot of energy for computation and storage, and while developers of AI tools care about performance and cost, they don’t yet consider the energy consumption of the algorithms used.

Fortunately, some of them are already working on applications capable of automatically managing their energy consumption. A prime example is contextualization, which reduces energy consumption by automatically focusing on the right research topic: Using contextualization provides new real-time analytics, known as social graphs, to build a picture of the effectiveness of social policies, to anticipate future trends and to correct inadequacies.

One of the first lines of research developed by Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise concerns the identification of suffering or harassment at work. The “ecology of communication” is a holistic and self-reinforcing approach. For example, the simplification of exchanges between humans and machines, down to their terminology and grammar, makes these exchanges more accessible to a diverse population and requires less energy. This reduces the complexity of interactions and operating costs of devices making them more affordable and secure.

The communication ecology can also be mapped using graphs (sociograms) that visualize data, such as the number of people working on a given project, or the workload of a particular team. This data can be analyzed to more easily identify those at risk of being overworked and more exposed to stress, and enable informed action to be taken to rectify the situation and protect employee well-being.

Many of the technologies necessary for the development of Society 5.0, such as IoT, AI and robotics, are already there and are paving the way for the future. However, reliable networks, collaboration, communication and, above all, a real desire for change will be the essential ingredients to realize this digital utopia to its full potential.

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Society 5.0: Shaping the smart society of tomorrow


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