Research Director

Ryota Kanai

Ryota Kanai

Founder & CEO of Araya, Inc. After graduating from the Faculty of Science at Kyoto University in 2000, he received his PhD (Cum Laude) in 2005 from Utrecht University in the Netherlands, where he studied visual information processing in the human brain. After working as a researcher at California Institute of Technology in the U.S. and University College London in the U.K., and as a JST PRESTO researcher and Associate Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience at the University of Sussex in the U.K., he founded Araya, Inc. and worked full time there since 2015. He is engaged in research on the principles of consciousness in the brain and the implementation of consciousness in AI through the fusion of neuroscience and information theory. He has been also working on the practical application of AI and neuroscience in industry. He has received many awards, including the Young Scientist Award from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, the JEITA Venture Award (2020), the ET/IoT Technology Award (2019) among others as Araya Inc. From 2020, he is working on the practical application of brain-machine interface as a project manager of the Moonshot Project in the Cabinet Office.

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Research Advisor

Shun-ichi Amari

Dr Shun-ichi Amari is a mathematical neuroscientist. He is a professor emeritus at the University of Tokyo and a honorary  science advisor at RIKEN. He received the order of culture. He initiated information geometry, which has been widely applied in various fields such as statistics, signal processing, information theory, machine learning and more. He is also one of pioneers in developing mathematical theories of neural networks. He is currently working on integrated information theory and Wasserstein distance using information geometry.

 

 

 


Researchers

Kai Arulkumaran

Kai is a research team lead at Araya and visiting researcher at Imperial College London. He received his B.A. in Computer Science at the University of Cambridge in 2012 and his Ph.D. in Bioengineering at Imperial College London in 2020. He has previously worked at DeepMind, Microsoft Research, Facebook AI Research, Twitter and NNAISENSE. His research interests are deep learning, reinforcement learning, evolutionary computation and theoretical neuroscience.

http://kaixhin.com/

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Martin Biehl

Martin is a senior researcher at Araya. He has a BSc and MSc in physics from TU Vienna and a PhD in computer science from the University of Hertfordshire. His main research interests is in understanding the emergence of individuality and goal-directedness in dynamical systems. Currently, he focuses on probabilistic planning as inference which is a (relatively) general framework for modelling goal-directed individuals (i.e. agents).

 

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Acer Chang

Acer is a post-doctor researcher at Araya. He received his Ph.D at University of Sussex and was a member in Sackler Centre for Consciousness Science from 2012 to 2017. He joined Araya from 2017. His research interest includes theoretical and experimental science of consciousness, machine learning, and artificial intelligence. He currently with his colleagues in Araya proposes and works on the Information Closure Theory of Consciousness (ICT) based on information theory.

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Junichi Chikazoe

Junichi Chikazoe

Junichi is a research team leader at Araya. He received his M.D. and Ph.D. from the Graduate School of Medicine, the University of Tokyo. He did his postdoc with Adam K. Anderson at the University of Toronto and Cornell University. After working as an associate professor at National Institute for Physiological Sciences, he joined Araya in 2021. His research interest is creating AI with emotion. He currently focuses on understanding how value/valence emerges from sensory information by combining fMRI and deep learning. Please see his latest work at the following link.

https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/2021.03.18.435929v1?rss=1

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Ippei Fujisawa

Ippei Fujisawa

Ippei is a researcher at Araya. He recieved his Ph.D in Theoretical Particle Physics at Hokkaido University in 2016. His research interests include deep learning, computer vision and meta learning.

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Hiro Hamada

Hiro Hamada

Hiro is a researcher at Araya. He received his Ph.D in systems neuroscience at Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology (OIST) in 2019. His research interests are cognitive neuroscience, computational neuroscience and phenomenology of consciousness.

https://sites.google.com/view/hiro-taiyo-hamada/home

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Arthur Juliani

Arthur Juliani

Arthur Juliani is a Senior Research Scientist at Araya Inc. In 2020, he received his PhD from the University of Oregon in Cognitive Neuroscience. Before that, he worked as a Research Engineer at Unity Technologies, where he co-founded the ML-Agents projects, a popular open-source toolkit for training artificial agents in virtual environments. His research focus is the development of biologically inspired and phenomenologically grounded neural network models of perception, cognition, and action.

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Masaru Kuwabara

Masaru Kuwabara

Masaru received his Ph.D. in cognitive neuroscience from Osaka University. After his postdoc research in neuroeconomics, he joined Araya in 2019. His research interests are consciouness, AI inspired neurosicence and application of neuroTech.

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Yi-Chen Lin

Yi-Chen Lin

Yi-Chen is a post-doctoral researcher at Araya. She received her Ph.D. at National Yang-Ming University in 2019. Her research interest are cognitive neuroscience and neuroimaging.

 

 

 

 


Pablo Morales

Pablo Morales

Pablo is a researcher at Araya. He received his Ph.D. in Theoretical Particle Physics at The University of Tokyo in 2018. He is a former Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) fellow and MEXT scholar. His current research interests include information geometry and complex systems applied to theoretical neuroscience.

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Shuntaro Sasai

Shuntaro is a Team Leader of the Neurotechnology R&D unit at Araya Inc. After graduating from the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Tokyo in 2008, he received his Ph.D. in the Graduate School of Education at the University of Tokyo in 2013. Since 2013, he is a member of the Center for Sleep and Consciousness at the University of Wisconsin at Madison. His research interests are in understanding the brain-consciousness relationship and developing brain-machine interface techniques enabling cross-brain communications. Currently, he focuses on modeling the brain’s wiring architectures supporting conscious experience and cognitive functions.

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Center for Sleep and Consciousness

 


Interns

Anna Maria Hadjiev

Anna is a current Masters student at Hokkaido University, with a B.S. in computer science from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. Her interest is natural language processing, especially dialogue systems.

 

 

 

 


Ryutaro Hashimoto

Ryutaro is a master’s student at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. He is interested in machine learning and causal inference.

 

 

 

 


Ryo Hori

Ryo is in the 1st year of a Master’s degree at Nagoya University. He majors in social informatics and is interested in applying technologies to real-world problems.

 

 

 

 


Yasuo Kabe

Yasuo is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Mechano-Informatics at the University of Tokyo. His research interest is in developing design principles for human augmentation based on neuroscience.

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Fuka Kanada


Yuta Nagai


Shota Nishiyama

Shota is a master’s student at Aichi Institute of Technology. His bachelor’s degree is computer science. He is interested in video recognition, image processing, anomalous sound detection, metric learning, and neuroscience.

 

 

 

 


Haruki Niwa

Haruki is a master’s student at Aichi Prefectural University. He is interested in machine learning.

 

 

 

 


Motoshige Sato

Motoshige is Ph.D. student at the Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, the University of Tokyo. He is interested in Brain-AI symbiosis. He is currently working on brain decoding.

http://motoshigesato.encoder.jp/

 

 

 


Masanori Ue

Masanori is a master’s student at Nara Institute of Science and Technology (NAIST) and Advanced Telecommunications Research Institute International (ATR). He is interested in consciousness and brain dynamics.

 

 

 

 


Tatsuki Yotsushima


Nao Yukawa

Nao is in the 4th year of the department of Engineering at the University of Tokyo. He is interested in deep generative learning, multimodal learning, and brain-inspired deep learning models.

 

 

 

 


* Researchers are shown in alphabetical order.