Noriko H. Arai

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Noriko H. Arai (Japanese: 新井紀子, born 1962[1]) is a Japanese researcher in mathematical logic and artificial intelligence,[2] known for her work on a project to develop robots that can pass the entrance examinations for the University of Tokyo.[3] She is a professor in the information and society research division of the National Institute of Informatics.[3][4]

Education and career[edit]

Arai was born in Tokyo. She earned a law degree from Hitotsubashi University[2] and then, in 1985, a mathematics degree magna cum laude from the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign.[2][4] Her doctorate is from the Tokyo Institute of Technology.[2]

She joined the National Institute of Informatics in 2001.[4]


Arai's Todai Robot Project aims to build a robot that can pass the entrance examinations for the University of Tokyo (commonly known as Todai) by 2021.[3][5] Arai became director of the project in 2011.[2] At a 2017 TED Talk, she reported that her system could achieve a score better than 80% of the applicants to the university; however, this was still not a passing score. Arai sees the success of the project as evidence that human education should concentrate more on problem solving and creativity, and less on rote learning.[6]

Arai is also the founder of Researchmap, "the largest social network for researchers in Japan".[7] She was one of 15 top artificial intelligence researchers invited by French president Emmanuel Macron to join him in March 2018 for the announcement of a major new French initiative for artificial intelligence research.[8]


  1. ^ Birth year from Library of Congress Name Authority File, accessed 2018-10-19
  2. ^ a b c d e "Speaker profile: Noriko H. Arai, Professor, National Institute of Informatics", 20th International Conference for Women in Business, retrieved 2018-10-19
  3. ^ a b c Tsujimura, Tatsuya (March 4, 2014), "Robots challenged to pass Todai examination", Japan Times
  4. ^ a b c "ARAI Noriko", Faculty: Information and Society Research Division, National Institute of Informatics, retrieved 2018-10-19
  5. ^ Fitzpatrick, Michael (December 29, 2013), "Computers Jump to the Head of the Class", The New York Times
  6. ^ Wakefield, Jane (April 26, 2017), Ted 2017: The robot that wants to go to university, BBC News
  7. ^ "Noriko Arai", GS10 Speakers, Gender Summit Asia-Pacific 10, 2017, retrieved 2018-10-19
  8. ^ France's Macron announces 1.5-bln-euro investment in artificial intelligence, Xinhua, March 30, 2018, archived from the original on March 29, 2018

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

  1. ResearchMap profile