2016 INNO-vation Disruptive Challenger
The "Digital Shaman Project" proposes a new form of giving condolences designed for the modern age of science and technology. This program, which makes home robots possess the physical characteristics of the deceased, appears on the home robot only for 49 days after death and disappears automatically after 49 days. In this project, we will improve the quality so that people can be reproduced with high accuracy by introducing voice synthesis, integration of life data using life logs, home devices, introduction of body data, and interactive behavior. Through the development of a series of systems, we will create a system that addresses the absence of someone important.
Media Artist / fantasy inventor
Etsuko Ichihara is a media artist and “inventor who turns delusions into reality.” She has a bachelor’s degree from Waseda University’s School of Culture, Media and Society, where she majored in the Studies of Media, Body and Image. She left Yahoo! Japan in 2016 and has since worked as a freelancer. She has been creating artworks that interpret Japanese culture, customs and beliefs from a unique point of view, and present new, technology-based approaches. She has been featured across the globe for her work. Ichihara also received the Excellence Award at the 20th Japan Media Arts Festival, and won an Honorary Mention (Interactive Art＋) in PRIX Ars Electronica 2018. She has recently been appointed as an expert committee member for the "Workshop on Basic Concepts of the Japan Pavilion" for the Japan Pavilion at the Expo 2025 Osaka, Kansai, Japan.