Singularity Battle Quest Executive Committee
(Future Kids Content Research Institute)
Producing the next generation
Future Kids Content Research Institute
of AI athletes!
Anyone can join our online tournament!
General Manager, Research & Development Division
Mr. Yusuke Mutoh
[CQ] CyberQuest, Competition Development
Hitachi Solutions-Create, Ltd.
Engineer, Security Service Department
Ms. Rika Shirasaka
The official name of the competition is the National High School AI Athlete Championship "Singularity Battle Quest". It is a competition to discover and nurture high school students who will become "AI Athletes" who have polished their comprehensive AI/ICT skills as the qualities - abilities to create the future, and to decide the top of the competition. The pilot version of the 0th competition was held as an offline competition in 2019. From the first competition last year in 2020, it became completely online due to the effects of the Corona disaster. The second edition, the 2021 tournament, is scheduled to hold regional qualifiers on Sunday, August 29, with the second round in November and the finals on Sunday, December 26.
- A large number of responses must be graded quickly and accurately.
- We would like to hold the tournament in the face of the Corona disaster travel restrictions.
- I want to manage participant information centrally.
- We want to be able to respond when the network malfunctions.
- We want to develop it into a platform for competitions that can host international competitions.
- Regardless of the number of examinees, scoring can be done instantly and without error.
- While other tournaments were cancelled, all of them were held online and high level schools participated.
- All the information of the participants is stored in a database from the time of entry.
- Participating on your phone clears up any network glitches.
The gateway to success for young people who will lead the AI/ICT field in the future
First of all, could you tell us about Singularity Battle Quest?
This is a next-generation "competition" in which "geeky" high school students compete for knowledge, skills, and teamwork.Mr. Muto.
There are two types of club activities that high school students participate in after school: sports clubs such as baseball, soccer and basketball clubs, and cultural clubs such as drama, art and brass band clubs. The Singularity Battle Quest (hereinafter referred to as "Singularity") will be held in 2019 as an inter-high school competition for high school students who are active in geek-related clubs.
I am the chairman of the executive committee. There are various contests and competitions for geeky high school students, such as NHK's "Robocon", various programming contests, and "IT Passport", a national qualification sponsored by METI. It is a next generation type of "competition" where you can compete your skills and teamwork completely online in AI/ICT competition.
In Cingular, the five events of [AQ] AI Quest, [CQ] Cyber Quest, [DQ] Data Quest, [RQ] Robo Quest, and [XQ] X Quest are proposed as the "Pentathlon of the Homo-Deus Generation," and the competition format is for teams of three to challenge each other.
Rika Shirasaka has been working with us on the development of the CQ Cyber Quest, a competition based on the theme of networks and cyber security, as well as coaching players and providing commentary on the competition.
I see. So you're involved in a variety of different fields. Could you tell us about CyberQuest, the company you are involved with?
This is a CTF-style competition of cyber security knowledge and skills. The strategy of each team is also a highlight.Dear Shirasaka.
CyberQuest is a competition of security knowledge and skills in CTF format.
CTF is an abbreviation for "Capture the Flag". The game asks you questions of various genres, and you have to find the correct answer, called a flag, from the questions. When you find a flag, you get a score according to the question, and you compete for the total points you get.
Each problem has a different difficulty level, and the harder the problem, the higher the score is assigned. In addition, the score of a problem decreases according to the number of correct answers, so if you solve only easy problems, your ranking may decrease, and your team's strategy will be tested.
Can you also tell us about the Hitachi Cyber Security Center, which is owned by the Hitachi Group?
This facility is used by Hitachi Group employees to learn about cutting-edge security knowledge and technology.Dear Shirasaka.
The facility was established jointly by Hitachi, Ltd., Hitachi Solutions, and Hitachi Solutions Create.
It was established as part of the Hitachi Group's efforts to develop human resources with advanced security knowledge and skills.
We use this program to improve the security knowledge and skills of Hitachi Group employees by holding training sessions based on research into the latest cyber attacks.
At the 0th Cingular, we had high school students gather here to learn about CyberQuest and AIQuest before the finals.
I believe that this was a good opportunity for high school students to learn about this type of facility.
What was the reason why Hitachi Solutions Create started to cooperate with Singular?
We hope that this competition will encourage more people to work in the field of ICT in the future.Dear Shirasaka.
I have a strong desire to contribute to human resource development.
While the importance of cyber security is increasing worldwide, it is said that there will be a shortage of ICT human resources as well as security and AI in Japan. By participating in such an event, high school students can learn about the importance of cyber risks and security that are familiar to them. In addition, they may become interested in the ICT field through this event, and may find a job in the ICT field in the future.
We found out that it is also very significant in terms of human resource development. What was the reason why you introduced our learningBOX to such a convention?
While we are assuming the use of CBT, we were introduced to learningBOX, which is perfect for our needs.Mr. Muto.
The 0th tournament in 2019 was held offline with participants at the qualifying venue.
In fact, we also used learningBOX in this qualifying competition as a preparation for future online competitions.
As the predecessor of Singular, we have been holding a programming competition "GP League" for elementary school students since 2017. I was thinking of using CBT for the competition for high school students.
An acquaintance of mine introduced learningBOX to me, and the person in charge of Tatsuno Information System explained it to me, and I felt it was a perfect fit for Singular.
Please let us know what you think of it.
Not only did the CBT make the work more efficient, but because it was online, we were able to hold it successfully at Corona Peril.Mr. Muto.
It is natural that this is a CBT, but the fact that the scoring is done "instantly" and "without error" regardless of the number of examinees is a truly moving experience for those of us who have experienced the hardships of scoring hundreds of examinees using human tactics, and who have benefited from the introduction of RPA.
However, at this point in time, we had no idea that the current new coronavirus would become a raging disease around the world, so further excitement and gratitude would come later.
The following year, in 2020, a pandemic of the new coronavirus was declared, which led to school closures, restrictions on club activities, etc., and the cancellation of numerous scheduled contests and competitions as well as sporting events.
In such a situation, Cingular made the best use of the features of learningBOX to create a competition environment where the participating players can participate in the qualifying round from their own high school club room, and we were able to hold the competition successfully.
Last year was the first edition of the competition, so it was completely unknown. However, we were able to have top schools of information processing competitions such as S high school in Yamagata prefecture and U high school in Saitama prefecture participate in the competition because they found out that Singular was held online, while the contests and competitions they participate in every year were cancelled due to the new Corona. When we heard that they participated in the competition even though it was their first time, we felt glad to introduce learningBOX again.
So the timing was good! Are there any other features that you found useful?
From managing your learning history to administering and grading qualifying questions, learningBOX is complete. The smartphone support was also very helpful.Mr. Muto.
At Singular, we use learningBOX from the registration of competition participants.
When participants register, they can enter their name, email address, prefecture, school name, grade, and other necessary information. We feel that learningBOX is very functional and easy to use.
There are 5 events in Singular, and each athlete participates in different events, so it was very convenient for us to group the athletes by events in advance, and to inform them of the necessary information at the designated time by using the notice management function and timer setting.
In addition, although this may not be a regular way of using the system, we were able to build, share, and accumulate FAQs for each competition without confusion by using the message box for questions from individual players.
Then, what I didn't expect last year, but appreciated, was that the functionality was fully smartphone-compatible.
One of the participating schools had a network problem on the day of the qualifying round that prevented the use of the school's PC, but thanks to a decision by the on-site teacher, the participating players were able to participate in the qualifying round from their own smartphones.
And that team went on to win the top prize at the finals.
As an organizer, I really appreciate the fact that learningBOX is smartphone-compatible.
Once you get used to the operation, you can create questions in less time than with paper tests.
Also, although I haven't tried it yet, I've heard that it has the ability to run Python as well, so I'm considering submitting a question for the next competition.
I'm looking forward to the 2021 Games.
We predict that the number of participants will grow significantly. To a competition in which all high school students living in Japan can participate.Mr. Muto.
For the 2021 conference, we have applied for support from the boards of education of 47 prefectures in Japan, so we expect the number of participants to increase significantly. In the past, after the number of participants was determined, we had to arrange for the printing of the questions and answer sheets and deliver them to the various venues. We have been able to use the printing and delivery costs for other purposes such as promotion.
On the other hand, Cingular is a competition for AI/ICT skills, but our mission is one step higher: to eliminate the learning gap.
Until last year, only teams of three entered, but from this year, the rules have been amended to allow for individual participation.
You don't have to be a member of a geek club, correspondence high school, night school, from home, from rural areas, or from a remote area to participate. Of course, it doesn't matter what gender you are, what grade you are in, or whether or not you have a disability, so students from special needs high schools are also welcome! We are aiming to make this an online competition that can be entered by any high school student living in Japan who has a desire to participate and a PC or smartphone with an internet connection, so please feel free to enter.
Finally, what do you think about learningBOX?
Tatsuno Joho System is always willing to provide friendly advice. I am convinced that I have found a truly reliable business partner.Mr. Muto.
After implementing learningBOX, I appreciate the ease of use of the interface. As a service provider, not only are daily tasks such as composing questions, checking grades, and managing players smooth, but the interface for users is also carefully designed, so there are fewer operational errors and less chance of getting lost.
Also, the most important thing is the after-sales service when we have trouble with operation. When we stumble over operations, etc. in our business, Tatsuno Joho System's staff will immediately respond to us, which leads to better service for our users.
Cingular is considering various customizations to scale up our future convention services, and Tatsuno Joho System's staff is always ready to help us, so we are grateful to have found a truly reliable business partner.
I look forward to working with you for many years to come!
How was the interview with the case study of "Singularity Battle Quest" (Future Kids Contents Research Institute)? As the name "AI Athlete" suggests, this event is going to attract more and more attention from young people who will lead the next generation to test their talent and technology seriously. We are very happy to see the various functions of learningBOX being used in this event, which requires a high level of skill. I hope that we can continue our efforts to help many people who will be active in the AI/ICT field spread their wings in the future. Thank you very much for taking time out of your busy schedule to meet with me. I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude.Mr. Yusuke Mutoh and Ms. Rika Shirasaka, thank you very much for taking the time to answer our interview!
Please feel free to contact us.
Our office hours(JST): weekdays 9:00-12:00, 13:00-18:00