Dr. Hiroaki Kanokogi

President and CEO, Yokogawa Digital Corporation

Dr. Hiroaki Kanokogi joined Yokogawa in 2007 and is currently the president and CEO of Yokogawa Digital Corporation since 2022. He has been pursuing the development, application, and commercialization of AI designed for production sites, and is one of the inventors of the FKDPP algorithm, a plant control AI. He was previously engaged in machine learning application R&D at Microsoft from 1996 to 2007. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Tokyo.

AI named Factorial Kernel Dynamic Policy Programming (FKDPP) autonomously controlled an actual chemical plant for 35 consecutive days successfully, which dealt with the complex conditions needed to ensure product quality and maintain liquids in the distillation column at an appropriate level while making maximum possible use of waste heat as a heat source. This successful result confirmed that reinforcement learning AI integrated with DCS can be safely applied in an actual plant.

In May, Yokogawa and NTT DOCOMO, INC. (DOCOMO) conducted a proof-of-concept test (PoC) of a remote control technology for industrial processing. The PoC test involved the use in a cloud environment of an autonomous control AI, the Factorial Kernel Dynamic Policy Programming (FKDPP) algorithm developed by Yokogawa and the Nara Institute of Science and Technology, and a fifth-generation (5G) mobile communications network provided by DOCOMO. The test, which successfully controlled a simulated plant processing operation, demonstrated that 5G is suitable for the remote control of actual plant processes.