April 2, 2018
  • Rakuten, Inc.

Rakuten Opens New Research Institute in Silicon Valley

- Creative AI to be focus of research at Rakuten Institute of Technology San Mateo -

Tokyo, April 2, 2018 - Rakuten, Inc. today announced that on April 1 it opened a new branch of its dedicated research and development organization, Rakuten Institute of Technology, at its American headquarters in San Mateo, California.

Rakuten Institute of Technology, which combines creativity and innovation with emerging technologies to fuel the growth of e-commerce, already has research centers located in Tokyo, Paris, Boston and Singapore. The newly formed Rakuten Institute of Technology San Mateo becomes the second such center in the United States and the fifth worldwide.

The Rakuten Institute of Technology San Mateo will focus on the emerging field of Creative AI*1 with the goal of realizing innovative services using advanced technologies. The core areas of research and development will be: 

・Practical applied research on deep learning to understand marketing analysis and consumer behavior in the US market
・Research on natural language processing (NLP) that further promotes the understanding of product information and comprehension of customer product evaluations
・Based on 1 and 2 above, research into Creative AI, in particular its applications in e-commerce, for example in the automatic generation of creatives designed for particular individuals*2 and in automatic generation of product information and marketing content

The Rakuten Institute of Technology proactively collaborates with industry and academia, holding personnel exchanges with educational institutions and conducting research incorporating the latest academic knowledge. The Rakuten Institute of Technology San Mateo will become a hub for collaboration with West Coast universities and Silicon Valley companies actively engaged in researching internet technologies, while at the same time leveraging AI with the aim of providing services tailored to individuals.

Going forward, Rakuten will continue to accelerate the activities of the Rakuten Institute of Technology with the aim of leveraging technology to further improve the convenience of services.

*1 Creative AI is the collective term for the use of AI technology within the so-called Creative Economy – in which the creation of economically valuable content is based on non-repetitive expert knowledge. It includes the creation of paintings, novels, music, movies, news articles, and advertising.

*2 Conventional personalized advertisements display matches with users from previously prepared advertisements, but in advertisement distribution by Creative AI, creatives that match users are dynamically generated.

Outline of Rakuten Institute of Technology San Mateo

Name: Rakuten Institute of Technology San Mateo
Date of establishment: April 1, 2018
Head of research: Masaya Mori (Global Head, Rakuten Institute of Technology)
Areas of research: Deep learning applications in marketing and other fields, NLP, Creative AI, and other fields.

*Please note that the information contained in press releases is current as of the date of release.

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