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Professor Hiroyuki Ito

 
Hiroyuki Ito
Hiroyuki Ito

Representative Director Crypton Future Media, Inc., producer of Hatsune Miku
With a name derived from the Japanese phrase "mirai kara kita hajimete no oto" ("the first sound from the future”), Hatsune Miku is a virtual idol who will sing with a synthetic voice when a user inputs lyrics and a melody into a computer. Hatsune Miku has held live concerts not only in Japan but overseas as well, swaying the hearts of a multitude of fans. Hiroyuki Itoh, Representative Director at Crypton Future Media Inc., the company which created the Hatsune Miku synthetic voice software that is the cause of this sensation, has joined KCGI as a professor. Professor Itoh, who continues to develop the software which produces the computerized voices, offers the following message for the young people who will lead the IT industry of the future. "The frontier of the information revolution of which we are only midway through is vast without limit and your future prospects spread before you without limit. I ask that you dedicate yourselves to your studies with this concept firmly in mind."
The world of "Hatsune Miku" that brought about a revolution in speech synthesis
Crypton Future Media is neither a video game nor an anime company. Although we are involved with making music, we are also not a record company. Because we made the hobby of computer music into a business, I think of us as a "sound seller." Hatsune Miku was first offered for sale in August 2007, but I believe that the software became a chance for people to get involved in a creative activity.
It is said that humanity has experienced three revolutions in its past. The first was the agricultural revolution. Due to this revolution, human beings, who had been forced to be mobile due to their reliance on hunting, produced food systematically and came to be able even to store it and thus began living in fixed settlements. Due to this, societies and states formed, also creating disparities in wealth. It could be said that the development of economics also became a cause of war.
The second revolution was the industrial revolution. Motive power was discovered and the advance of innovations such as the ability to efficiently create identical items gave birth to mass production and mass consumption. This spurred trade and commerce, helping to bring about large-scale wealth. This revolution also caused a "population explosion." In the age of a high birth and high death rate prior to the industrial revolution, the human population was virtually fixed and fluctuations of wealth in society were also slight, but with the industrial revolution the human population rapidly increased.
初音ミク Miku Hatsune
And the third revolution is the information revolution brought about by the value of IT as represented by the internet. Prior to the internet, transmitters of information were limited and monopolistic. Sources of information included media such as newspaper companies, television and radio stations, and publishing companies, but when these groups dispatched information, it was accompanied by a significant cost in terms of facilities and human power. Further, information at this time was low in volume and unidirectional. However, the appearance of the internet has brought about this revolution in information. The way in which information was dispatched has changed significantly.
Crypton Future
Now the internet is an extremely close presence, appearing in the palms of our hands, on our desks, and entering our pockets. Information which can be digitized, such as news, movies, and music, is entirely informationalized, making it possible to easily transmit and store it over the internet. Life and work have become extremely convenient, fun, and comfortable; in an instant you can summon and view your favorite videos and broadcast media. In addition, this information has made it possible for anyone to easily and instantaneously share about themselves with the world via Facebook, Twitter, and blogs, including the tiniest pieces of personal news.

I believe, however, that we are still merely experiencing the prelude to the changes that will occur due to the information revolution. The agricultural and industrial revolutions brought about serious changes to the way human beings lived. The changes caused by the information revolution have not yet reached that level. This is merely a transition period, and the real changes have yet to begin. I believe we will see drastic changes to peoples' lifestyles and the world in 20 to 30 years from now. I do not, however, know what sort of changes these will be. How these will be changed has been entrusted to us and, moreover, the young people who will shoulder the next generation.