Publication of useful plant species potentially introducible to Synecoculture fields in the Sahel

Synecoculture project team in SonyCSL has published online interactive graph interfaces of the useful plant databases, jointly constructed with CARFS and Université de Ouagadougou 1.

Click images to access interactive graph interfaces:

TinaWeb version
Gephi version

Details of the database

The database comprises 837 useful plant species collected from existing literature on the vegetation of the Sahel (shown with blue nodes) in collaboration with CARFS and Université de Ouagadougou 1.

Using the GloBI database, 15396 plant and animal species in total were detected (shown with green nodes) for having known biological interactions on 629 of these 837 species.

Seminar on Synecoculture at the Institute of Complex Systems, Paris Île-de-France

Dr Masatoshi Funabashi, researcher at Sony Computer Science Laboratories (Tokyo, Japan) will give an exceptional talk at ISC-PIF on Friday 14th of December to present his recent work published in Nature: “Human augmentation of ecosystems: objectives for food production and science by 2045”.

During this conference, the author will discuss the fundamental requirements for sustainable food production on the molecular, physiological and ecological scales.

Go to ISC-PIF seminar page

Presentation at 2018 International Symposium on Food Safety Policy and Technology, Taipei, Taiwan

Masa Funabashi gave an invited talk and joined the final panel discussion at the 2018 International Symposium on Food Safety Policy and Technology held on October 11-12, in Taipei, Taiwan.

Title: The challenge and achievement of Synecoculture: Food safety and technology that promote the diversity of social-ecological systems and human-ecosystem health

Food safety entails diverse factors from social and ecological systems involved in food production. The meaning of “safety” is different according to different actors, and the time scale of sustainability, i.e. for consumers, producers, policymakers, next generation, and natural environment. Technological tailoring of these solutions could be highly diverse and require a novel strategy that requires the development of the next generation ICT.
In this talk, I will present the concept, challenge, and achievement of Synecoculture project that has been developed to overcome global agenda such as food security for the growing population and associated massive biodiversity loss, which is difficult to overcome with conventional monoculture-intensive methods of agriculture. 
Based on the field experiments in Japan and sub-Saharan Africa, biological analyses of products and double-blind, randomized controlled trials on humans, we derive essential factors that should be included in the new food safety strategy for increased human and ecosystem health, especially for Asian countries that are facing drastic changes in climate and demography. 
Design of technological supports that should enhance the development of such food production/distribution/safety framework in decentralized society is formalized as “Megadiversity Management Systems (MMS)” and developed under the collaboration of UniTwin UNESCO Complex Systems Digital Campus program. This system is designed to fill the gap between field sensing/monitoring and food quality and aims to provide bold technological support for policymaking that comprehensively promotes human and ecosystem health from field to fork.
Links between scientific facts, essential supportive technologies and political challenges will be addressed from the viewpoint that advocates the conversion to sustainable society during the next few decades, critically before the middle of this century. Particular focus will be put on how to make intelligent use of this planet’s genetic resources, and avoid 6th massive extinction of wildlife triggered by the inappropriate practice of conventional agriculture.

Keynote presentations on Synecoculture and Megadiversity Management Systems

Masa Funabashi gave keynote presentations in the following conferences:

Sweden Foodtech The Big Meet, June 7-8, 2018.

EIICA 2018 Conference “Information, Collective Action, and Big Data: Continuity or Revolution?”, organized by the Departments of Philosophy and Information Science of Sao Paulo State University in June 18-22, 2018.

View presentation movie

Closed alpha version release of Megadiversity Management System (MMS)

We have a pleasure to announce the release of closed alpha version of Megadiversity Management System (MMS) from Sony CSL.
The MMS is an open-source initiative to construct the Content Management System (CMS) coupled with Internet of Things (IoT) extensions.
It comprises basic framework and assets to construct your own CMS-IoT.
In this alpha release, the assets include original PHP framework “Artichoke” v1.0 that can be used to build the CMS as a server-side web application, and related assets such as IoT sensor scripts (such as for Arduino) and Unity library for augmented reality(AR) interfaces.

The MMS was developed in view of managing diverse complex systems in real world with the following cycle:

1. Build the CMS to store relevant big data of a complex phenomenon.
2. Connect with IoT sensors/actuators for the real-time management of the complex system.
3. Construct machine learning/artificial intelligence with CMS-IoT system during active interaction of the management. This recursive process to construct actively adapting management model is termed as “Open Systems Science” in Sony CSL.
4. Contribute to extend the MMS with your code in order to be used and refined by other multidisciplinary stakeholders under open source initiative.

For example, our synecoculture project tackles the management of the complex vegetation for market gardening with the use of MMS, in order to maximize ecological synergy and yield:
[Project description]
[Article of CMS-IoT]

If your project has the following property in the real world system, then MMS could be an ICT solution:

1. You know the general principle to solve the problem, but the real-world management is difficult because the information required is too diverse and massive to be treated by human alone.
2. Your system is difficult to manage with modelling-based approach, because there is interventions from external environment that frequently change the premise of the model. This is a common situation of the complex system management in open field, and MMS can adopt statistical models based on the machine learning of big data.
3. You do not need sophisticated model but rather want to widen your choice of management based on the past record and relevant databases with assistive technology.
4. You have an open-source software with analytical modules and you want to connect it with CMS-IoT for real-time big data analysis and management.
5. You are searching for an interactive interface for data acquisition in citizen science with the use of smartphone and/or AR device.

For the request of free alpha version download and more details of application, please contact the following:

Short presentation movie of MMS on Youtube

Demonstration movie of MMS on Youtube

We are looking forward to your participation in our future open-source community with megadiverse stakeholders.

Sony CSL