2016 Annual Report

Activities in FY2016

Activities in FY2016 (from April 2016 to March 2017 — the second year) include educational and R&D endeavors.

1. Educational Business

The goal of the educational business is to help people who conduct research on the WBA approach on a long-term basis. In the second year, WBAI held the second WBA hackathon and WBA seminars as continued activities.

WBA Seminars

WBA seminars (Japanese site) have been held since before the foundation of WBAI.
In the second year, WBAI held five seminars (in Japanese) with the following themes and speakers:

  • 14th Seminar: May 18, 2016, Neocortical Computational Models beyond Deep Learning
    with Takuya Matsuda (NPO: Einstein), Manabu Tanifuji (Riken BSI)
  • 15th Seminar: June 14, 2016, Evolution, Development, and Learning in Intelligence
    with Nobuyuki Kawai (Nagoya Univ.), Hiroyuki Okada (Tamagawa Univ.) and Tomoaki Nakamura (UAC)
  • 16th Seminar: October 12, 2016, How does AI Acquire Meaning?
    with Ryutaro Ichise (NII), Shinji Nishimoto (NICT・Osaka Univ.) and Yoshitaka Ushiku (Univ. of Tokyo)
  • 17th Seminar: February 11, 2017, Aphasia and Developmental Dyslexia
    with Shin-ichi Aasakawa (Tokyo Women’s Christian Univ.), Masai Kondo (Kyoto Pref. Univ. of Medicine) and Akira Uno (Tsukuba Univ.)
  • 18th Seminar: March 13, 2017, Whole Brain Calculation
    with Jun Igarashi (Riken) and Takashi Morie (Kyushu Institute of Technology)

The Second Hackathon

WBAI held its second hackathon at the Yokohama campus of Keio University for three days from October 8th with the theme of “Communal making of Cognitive Architecture” aiming for higher autonomy. Eleven teams participated in this event and worked on the theme while staying in lodging facilities on campus. As one of WBAI’s educational activities, this event aimed to improve the knowledge and skill of the participants and provide an opportunity for social networking among students and researchers interested in areas such as neuroscience and machine learning. The event received support from Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research on Innovative Areas “Comparison and Fusion of Artificial Intelligence and Brain Science” and MEXT Grant: Post K “The Whole Brain Simulation and Brain-like AI”, as well as additional backing from the Dwango AI Lab (Dwango Corporation).  Prizes were sponsored by Nextremer Co., Ltd., Furuya Accounting Office, and Brains Consulting, Inc.  The products of the hackathon have been published on GitHub.

2. R&D Business

The goal of the R&D business is to support research activities on the WBA approach.


WBAI is actively working to develop research infrastructure such as software and databases to be used in research and make it public. In particular, WBAI is working on a generic software platform for constructing WBA, evaluation methods of AGI, learning environments for WBA, and infrastructure for neuroinformatics.

Generic Software Platform

The generic software platform for constructing WBA supports a mechanism that performs cognitive functions while machine learning modules corresponding to brain parts communicate each other. In particular, platform modules communicate with numeric vector values corresponding to signals transmitted in axons. In collaboration with Riken and Keio University, the effort to create this platform began in 2014. It was named BriCA (Brain-inspired Computing Architecture).  Currently a version in C++ to support a/synchronous communication is under development. Together with the BriCA platform, a language that describes its architecture (BriCA Language) has also been designed and implemented.

Learning Environments

Human-like AGI is expected to learn and acquire skills in a world similar to that in which human beings live.  In cooperation with the Dwango AI Lab, WBAI is working on robot simulators in the virtual world as learning environment for AGI. The software called Life in Silico (LIS), combining the Unity game engine, Chainer ML modules, and Open AI Gym, was used in the second hackathon.

Fig.: LIS: Unity Game Engine + Chainer

Infrastructure for Neuroinformatics

Knowledge of the architecture of the entire brain is required to create artificial general intelligence on the WBA approach. In particular, the knowledge (information) on the parts of the human/mammalian brain, microstructure of the parts, and interconnection between parts (connectome) are all required. WBAI, together with Dwango AI Lab., has begun systematizing the neuroscientific findings to serve AGI development in forms such as whole brain connectomic architecture and neocortical master algorithm.

3. WBAI Activities and Volunteering

WBAI activities like WBA seminars and hackathons have been conducted with non-paid volunteers, except for two paid part-time workers at the secretariat and hackathon mentors to whom honoraria were paid.

Financial Statements for FY2016

The balance sheet and cash flow for FY2016 are presented below (Table 1 and Table 2).
The operations of WBAI have been financially supported by sponsors including private companies. (As of July 2017, it has nineteen sponsors consisting of enterprises and individuals.)  Two of the founding supporters paid fee for five years, as recorded as Advance Received in the balance sheet.
The operating cost includes the subcontractor fees for preparing code for the hackathon and the honoraria for the mentors at the hackathon and speakers at WBA seminars.
The expenses for office personnel have been paid in the forms of subcontracting and outsourcing.  The remuneration is paid to an accountant office.

Table 1: Balance Sheet

Items Amounts (JPY)





1. Current Assets  
Cash and Saving Account 8,004,226
Total Current Assets 8,004,226
Total Assets  8,004,226







1. Current Liabilities  
Accounts Payable – Other 223,938
Advance Received 7,290,000
Withholding Taxes 10,210
Total Current Liabilities  7,524,148
Total Liabilities 7,524,148





Net Assets  
Retained Net Assets at the Beginning of Period 0
Retained Net Assets at the End of Period 422,810
Total Net Assets 480,078
Total Liabilities and Net Assets 8,004,226

Table 2: Cash Flow

Items Amounts (JPY)







Recurring Revenues  
Fees from Regular Members


Fees from Supporting Members


Total Fees


Other Revenues  
Interest Income


Total Recurring Revenues
























Ordinary Expenses  
Operating Expenses  
Total Personnel Expenses


Other Expenses  


Subconstractor Expenses


Travel Expenses




Total Other Expenses


Total Operating Expenses


Administrative Expenses  
Total Personnel Expenses


Other Expenses  
Subconstractor Expenses


Outsourcing Fees




Rent of Space




Total Other Expenses


Total Administrative Expenses


Total Ordinary Expenses


  Net Assets Variation of the Year


Net Asset brought forward


Net Asset carried forward