In 2018, Streamr announced a partnership with Daisy AI, Japan, an AI platform using blockchain for deep learning, based in Japan. Streamr intended to become Daisy AI’s official data provider to exclusively sell data from Streamr’s decentralized data Marketplace. Daisy AI planned to purchase data for a wide range of purposes, including forecasting stock and cryptocurrency prices, economy insights, footfall and traffic.
Shohei Ohsawa, representative director of Daisy AI and associate professor at the University of Tokyo, recently made a series of racist and offensive statements on Twitter. He wrote that “Daisy does not hire Chinese people.” When asked what he would do if a Chinese national applied for a job at the company, Ohsawa further tweeted that “I will not even interview the person if I know s/he is Chinese.” He also made a statement in which he plays down AIs that exhibit bias and racism.
These deeply offensive and discriminatory views were first brought to our attention by members of our community. As an open-source project with contributing members around the world, including both Japan and China, Shohei Ohsawa’s views counter everything we stand for and we can not in good faith remain in a partnership with Daisy AI. Our partnership with Daisy AI is hereby terminated.
Henri Pihkala, Streamr co-founder said:
It goes without saying that racism should be combated whenever it shows its ugly face. As we have all learned during the last decade, the business of innovation is not just about value, it has to also be about values. So it is frightening when one of the most powerful innovations of the future, artificial intelligence, can be developed by those intent on outright discrimination. We hope this wider issue can be resolved with international co-operation as well.