A Message from the President on the occasion of the 2023 Academic Year Degree Conferral Ceremony of the Kyoto Institute of Technology


2023 Academic Year Kyoto Institute of Technology Undergraduate Program of Science and Technology Degree Award Ceremony President’s Address

I am delighted to have this opportunity to extend my heartfelt congratulations to all of today’s graduates from the Faculty of Engineering Science at Kyoto Institute of Technology. You will soon be awarded a Bachelor of Engineering or Bachelor of Agriculture degree and, having completed the requirements of our Diploma Policy, be recognized as a qualified Tech Leader. On behalf of Kyoto Institute of Technology, I salute your perseverance. At this time, I would like to express my gratitude to everyone who supported you throughout the years of your education and provided helpful and meaningful guidance and advice.

The majority of you began your time at university in 2020, the year the COVID-19 pandemic began wreaking havoc in our lives. Amidst the uncertainty surrounding the nature of this virulent contagion, coupled with hesitation around effective countermeasures and profound sorrow over lost lives, a series of social restrictions were introduced in an experimental attempt to curb the spread of infection.

This led to such unprecedented measures as university-wide online classes and restrictions on extracurricular activities. With the distribution of vaccines and the containment of the spread of infection in May of last year, COVID-19 was reclassified as a Class 5 contagion under the Infectious Diseases Act. While our lives returning to a somewhat “pre-pandemic normal,” is welcome news. I believe that those of you who spent the majority of your student life under various behavioral restrictions may not have felt fully satisfied with your university experience. One positive outcome arising from efforts to limit the spread of the virus has been that the use of IT has permeated new areas, and with that, new ways of learning and working have become accepted. Whether consciously or not, you have all experienced these influences. I encourage you to proactively apply these advancements to your future.

You are now Tech Leaders. You have arrived at the first talent development goal at our university. Let me reaffirm that a Tech Leader is an internationally competent engineering or scientific professional who can contribute to 21st century industry, society, and culture armed with a broad education, highly developed ethics, creative thinking, the capability to execute a plan and leadership. The four competencies Kyoto Institute of Technology graduates are required to possess, are Technical Competencies, Leadership, Foreign Language Proficiency, and Personal Development. Competency refers not only to knowledge but also to skills and behaviors. You have all acquired the first level of technical professionalism and have a sense of having mastered the required levels of other competencies.

Here, I would like to reflect on the essence of technical competency, a quality essential to a Tech Leader. In English, a person with technical competency is referred to as a specialist, expert, or professional. These all refer to experts in a particular profession or field. Let’s differentiate among them. First, a specialist has accumulated specialized knowledge. Second, an expert has not only specialized, but also extensive knowledge as well as experience. An expert, is proficient in or a master of his/her/their field. However, merely amassing years of experience is not sufficient to achieve this. It is likely that their experience has been formalized into knowledge and expertise. Finally, comes the professional. This describes a professional in a specific occupation who engages in an intellectual profession or has technical expertise. While an opposite concept is that of “amateur,” skilled individuals may be found among them, as well. Persons referred to as “professionals” constantly hone their professional knowledge and skills, pursue self-improvement, and can be trusted and relied upon as an expert by anyone.

Upon completing the specialized courses in each department at the faculty, you will proceed to graduate school or enter the workforce as a “specialist” possessing strong foundational knowledge in your specialized field. However, it’s important to recognize that even as you consider yourself a specialist, there’s still ample room for further development in expertise and experience. Also, if asked whether you have become the sort of specialist who can confidently say, “My strengths lie here,” I believe your honest reply would still be, “Not yet.” Furthermore, as many of you may be acutely aware, the rapid development of AI suggests that the possession of specialized knowledge or experience alone does not allow you to proudly call yourself a specialist.

Of course, this is not to say that specialized knowledge is without value. However, furthering and enriching technical competency require a precise understanding of specialized knowledge, gaining experience through task-oriented projects and tackling challenges. Moreover, it is crucial to have an overarching view of fields outside your specialty and to exhibit your technical competency in collaborative environments. Such an attitude is essential for evolving into a true Tech Leader.

In the future, beyond merely possessing a bachelor’s degree, I encourage you to continue striving to further enhance your technical competency and work to build a solid technical competency that warrants your being called a “professional,” recognized by both yourself and others as a Tech Leader. Once more, I extend hearty congratulations to you, and eagerly anticipate your significant contributions to the science, industry, and culture of Japan and the world.

Please continue to do your best. We at Kyoto Institute of Technology are rooting for all of you.

March 25, 2024
Kiyotaka Morisako, President
Kyoto Institute of Technology


President’s Commencement Address for the 2023 Academic Year Master’s Program Degree Award Ceremony Graduate School of Science and Technology Kyoto Institute of Technology

Today, I would like to heartily congratulate each of you on your successful completion of the master’s degree program of the Graduate School of Science and Technology. On behalf of Kyoto Institute of Technology, I am honored to have this opportunity to acknowledge your achievements.

You are being awarded either a Master’s of Engineering or a Master’s of Agriculture degree. In addition, you have acquired the esteemed title of “Tech Leader.” KIT now officially recognizes you as a highly specialized technical expert. Armed with this professional Tech Leader degree, many of you are poised to enter the workforce. Others among you may have chosen to pursue further academic specialization and ascend to the next level, that of the doctoral Tech Leader. While you may already be familiar with the concepts behind the Tech Leader framework through your coursework, today I would like to reemphasize its significance.

A Tech Leader is capable of global assessment of situations, tackling various social issues on an international scale, leveraging expertise in a specialized field and decisively leading projects to success. As we recognize your achievements, I ask that you take a moment to clearly envision yourself in this pivotal role.

Over a decade ago, in 2013, the Media Lab at MIT proposed nine principles for the AI era. The subsequent year, one of these principles, “Compasses over Maps,” was introduced in our first-year undergraduate course, “Introduction to the School of Science and Technology,” which was then known as “Introduction to KIT.” This Media Lab principle advocated for prioritizing adaptable tools, like a compass, better yet, several compasses, over rigid frameworks like maps.

Back in 2013, the term “AI” denoted “After Internet,” not “Artificial Intelligence.” The nine MIT principles heralded the before-and-after-internet-use paradigm shift when the topography of our maps suddenly changed, and we needed to rely on compasses. The remaining eight principles, prioritizing “resilience over strength, pull over push, risk over safety, systems over objects, practice over theory, disobedience over compliance, emergence over authority, and learning over education,” underscored the evolving demands of the times.

Today, our world grapples with myriad complex challenges characterized by uncertainty and rapid change. These nine principles are clearly relevant today. Yet, as you are aware, AI now signifies Artificial Intelligence, rather than the internet-influenced era of digital natives.

Research into artificial intelligence, as noted by Japan’s Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, dates back to the 1950s. In the late 1950s and ‘60s, computers became capable of “reasoning” and “exploration,” enabling them to solve mazes, prove theorems and otherwise provide solutions to specific problems. There was a particular focus on machine translation. By the 1980s, AI reached a practical level at which computers, fed “knowledge” described in a form they could recognize, became able to infer and behave like experts in specialized fields, resulting in the emergence of numerous expert systems, or artificial intelligence software. During that period, human data input was necessary. Later, in the 2000s, practical applications of “machine learning” emerged, in which AI itself acquired knowledge using “big data.” Deep learning followed, enabling AI to independently acquire defining elements of knowledge. New technologies, such as ChatGPT and other generative AI, have since proliferated. In this way, advancements have propelled AI from basic reasoning to sophisticated machine learning and deep learning technologies. It now stands poised to revolutionize future technological landscapes.

For master’s degree holding Tech Leaders, generative AI promises to be an indispensable tool in shaping the trajectory of technological innovation and research. The transition from a world devoid of generative AI to one enriched by its capabilities holds profound implications for the evolution of our world.

On this exciting note, I commend you once again on the completion of this rigorous program. As you move forward, I encourage you to fully embrace your Tech Leader identity and approach the challenges ahead with unwavering enthusiasm. Carry this mindset with you as you embark on your journey beyond these walls. The combined design-thinking and scientific-thinking approach fostered by our university will undoubtedly be a valuable asset in your future endeavors. Let us unite in our efforts to contribute to a positive future and guard against dystopian outcomes. Finally, warmest congratulations and best wishes on your continued success!

March 25, 2024
Dr. Kiyotaka Morisako, President
Kyoto Institute of Technology


President’s Commencement Address for the 2023 Academic Year Doctoral Program Degree Award Ceremony Graduate School of Science and Technology Kyoto Institute of Technology

Today, on behalf of the Kyoto Institute of Technology community, I extend my heartfelt congratulations to each of you on your successfully completion of the Graduate School of Science and Technology doctoral degree program. I am honored to have this opportunity to acknowledge your achievements.
Our conferring Doctorates No. 1108 to No. 1128 today, marks the culmination of your academic journey. The dissertations you have submitted enrich our university’s intellectual legacy and are being made widely available. We anticipate that your research contributions will play a vital role in future technological innovations, industrial advancements, scientific progress, and cultural enrichment. In the face of the challenging times brought about by the global spread of the novel coronavirus, I commend your perseverance in advancing your research and completing your dissertations in a less-than-ideal environment. My heartfelt gratitude goes to the faculty who have guided you, and to your family and other sources of support. We recognize that your work has been enabled by many persons, known and unknown to us, from your past and present.

While you have attained doctoral degrees in your respective fields of expertise, you have also earned the esteemed title of “Tech Leader,” in keeping with our university’s mission of nurturing highly specialized technical professionals. As outlined in the Diploma Policy of the Graduate School of Science and Technology, we confer master’s and doctoral degrees to individuals, from their respective majors, recognized as high-level technical professionals and researchers capable of shaping 21st-century industries and culture on the global stage. “Tech Leader” is a designation coined by our university, which denotes internationally high-level technical professionals and researchers.

As the holder of a doctorate, you are now a Tech Leader prepared to conduct research activities independently and to excel on the global stage as a researcher or development engineer. In your time with us, you have become capable of spearheading research and technological development projects to positive ends. Your journey, marked by the challenges of navigating through the research process and the seeking of solutions to complex problems, embodies the value and testament of what it means to possess a doctoral degree.
Presently, our planet faces a myriad of intricate, diverse and interconnected dilemmas. These are accompanied by increasing uncertainty and rapidly evolving dynamics. Our expectations for you, as doctoral Tech Leaders, are that you maintain a big-picture view and persevere. This is the stance I urge you to take.

Amidst the constraints imposed by the spread of the novel coronavirus, we have come to recognize the indispensable nature of information technology beyond entertainment, cell phone and internet use. Society at large now sees IT as safeguarding livelihoods and supporting many aspects of our lives. Most of you have experienced online academic presentations, research conferences, or international collaboration. While face-to-face meetings have gradually resumed over the past year, we are unlikely to abandon business and academic online communication. A hybrid approach is foreseeable; one that incorporates both online and in-person formats tailored to specific purposes is sure to prevail in the future.

Humanity is entering an era where the values and societal systems of the post-industrial revolution are undergoing significant changes. The world is undoubtedly experiencing a digital transformation (DX). Many argue that DX will drive innovation across all technologies, leading to societal resets that address disparities and climate change. Notably, generative AI is being welcomed in a growing number of contexts. It is poised to become indispensable for future technological development and research. We may not yet be able to imagine the post-generative-AI world around the corner, yet, whether future societies lean towards utopias or dystopias depends on decisions we make today.

The completion of the requirements for a doctoral degree is a commendable achievement, indeed. You have every right to take great pride and joy in this accomplishment. As you embark on this new stage in your life, be mindful that you will witness different vistas than before and embrace what appears on the horizon. As holders of doctoral degrees, I ask that you remain cognizant, of what is demanded of you and what you should strive to achieve to enable a positive future. I ask that each of you actively contribute to society using your respective capacities.

Furthermore, although you will no longer be at our campus, I hope you will occasionally turn your attention to us to share your insights with us and to collaborate with our endeavors in your role of doctoral-level engineers and researchers.
In conclusion, I again extend my congratulations, and look forward to hearing of the significant contributions you make to science, industry and world culture. Additionally, I pray that each of you will work to ensure that humanity does not drift in unfortunate directions. Go forth and contribute to the creation of a future that is brighter for us all. Know that we believe in you as you go out into the world inspiring others and leading with excellence. We wish you the very best as you embark on your remarkable journey ahead.

March 25, 2024
Dr. Kiyotaka Morisako, President
Kyoto Institute of Technology